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Commercial cleaner

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Summary of occupation

Commercial cleaners wash, dust, vacuum, polish and tidy the spaces that people work and live in. From offices in our many city skyscrapers to regional hospitals and schools, these cleaners are responsible for ensuring that work spaces are clean and fit for use. They clean lights, windows, walls, floors, ceilings and fixtures. The spaces they clean may include toilets and ablution areas, manufacturing and display areas, staff and computer rooms, and even the exteriors of buildings.

ANZSCO description: Cleans offices, residential complexes, hospitals, schools, industrial work areas, industrial machines, construction sites and other commercial premises using heavy duty cleaning equipment.
Alternative names: Cleaner, Industrial Cleaner, Office Cleaner
Specialisations: Aircraft Cabin Cleaner, Carpet Cleaner, Domestic Cleaner, Hospital/Hostel Cleaner, Industrial Plant Cleaner, School Cleaner, Steam, Pressure and Chemical Cleaner
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A cleaner needs:

  • to enjoy practical work
  • to be able to tolerate working in often untidy and sometimes unhygienic conditions
  • an eye for detail
  • to adopt a thorough and methodical approach
  • to be honest and reliable 
  • to be willing to work late or early hours.
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Working conditions

Commercial cleaners work in a range of private, commercial and industrial locations, using commercial cleaning equipment and cleaning agents for a range of jobs. They may be required to work in particularly dirty conditions, and often come into contact with waste products. They often work late at night or early in the morning as the work can be noisy and disruptive.

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Salary details

On average, commercial cleaners can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Commercial cleaners use domestic cleaning appliances such as vacuum cleaners and mops, and larger industrial machines such as scrubber-dryers, high-pressure hoses, and even sandblasting equipment. They also use smaller cleaning implements like cleaning rags and dusters. They are often required to use chemical cleaning agents.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a commercial cleaner without formal qualifications and get training on the job. 

​You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a traineeship. A cleaning operations traineeship usually takes between six and 12 months to complete. 

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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