Industrial cleaner

Alternative titles for this job include Commercial cleaner

Industrial cleaners clear up after fires, floods, crime scenes and road accidents. They also work in factories and power stations.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become an industrial cleaner

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses offered by a professional body


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 1 Award in Cleaning
  • Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning Principles

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More information


You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in cleaning and support services. 

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

Direct application

There are no set requirements if you want to apply directly for jobs, but previous cleaning experience would be useful.

Other routes

You can do specialist training through The British Institute of Cleaning Science.

More information


Career tips

A driving licence might be useful for this type of job.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in this area from The British Institute of Cleaning Science

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

  • be able to cope with working at height

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You’ll be:  

  • washing out boilers, tanks and vats with high pressure hoses
  • removing dust and ash with industrial vacuuming equipment
  • decontaminating work areas and machinery
  • mixing cleaning chemicals in the correct amounts
  • sandblasting the outsides of building and structures
  • working from ‘cradles’ or mobile access platforms to reach higher levels
  • disposing of hazardous waste
  • removing graffiti
  • reporting potential hazards to supervisors

Working environment

You could work in a prison, at a school or in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be at height and cramped.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team supervisor.

You could also set up your own company to specialise in a particular type of cleaning, like flood relief or biohazards.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Domestic/Cleaning Apprentice

  • Wage : £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Barnard Castle DL12 8UN

Site Cleaning Apprentice

  • Wage : £7,624.00 Annually
  • Location: Cheltenham GL53 8QF

Courses In England

Intermediate Apprenticehsip in Cleaning and Support Services

  • Provider: PREVISTA LTD
  • Start date: 01 February 2020
  • Location: London

Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services Skills (QCF)

  • Provider: KINGSCREST LTD
  • Start date: 01 May 2020
  • Location:

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