Alternative titles for this job include

Cleaners carry out general cleaning of offices, shops and homes, or more specialised cleaning like upholstery or the outsides of buildings.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter


£19,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends on split shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a cleaner

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You may be able to take a Level 2 Certificate in cleaning principles.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths

More Information


The following apprenticeship may be relevant to this role:

  • Level 2 Healthcare cleaning operative

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs with cleaning companies or any organisation that employs their own cleaners. There are no set entry requirements, but you'll need to show employers that you're reliable and able to do the job.

Experience can help, particularly if you're looking for specialised cleaning work.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in cleaning from The British Institute of Cleaning Science.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • a desire to help people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will depend on where you are working. You could:

  • clean, following food safety and hygiene regulations in food premises
  • do general cleaning in industrial buildings or offices to keep areas presentable and safe
  • follow procedures to control infection in hospital wards and operating theatres
  • clear up houses and squats
  • clean passenger vehicles
  • clean at heights, using ladders or mobile access equipment
  • clear up at crime scenes, or after fires or floods
  • shampoo or vacuum carpets and upholstery
  • maintain stock levels of cleaning products
  • do minor repairs to cleaning equipment
  • follow Health and Safety (HSE) guidelines on use of chemicals for each task

Working environment

You could work at a client's home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be dirty.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could move into specialist cleaning, or a more senior managerial or supervisory role.

You could also start your own business.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Domestic Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £355.60 Weekly
  • Location: London

Apprentice Cleaning Operative

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Birmingham

Courses In England

Generic and Specialist Cleaning Principles Level 2

  • Start date: 01 August 2022
  • Location: Not known

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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