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Industrial cleaner Commercial cleaner

Industrial cleaners work in factories, power stations and high-rise buildings, and clear up after fires, floods and at crime scenes and road accidents.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £22,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 to 48 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but previous cleaning experience would be useful. 

Employers dealing with engineering and construction contracts may ask you for a relevant industry safety certificate like the CCNSG or Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

A driving licence may be needed for some jobs.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to follow strict health and safety rules
  • teamworking skills
  • good attention to detail
  • the ability to cope with upsetting scenes for accident and crime scene work

3. What you'll do

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

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £17,500

Experienced: £18,000 to £21,000

Highly Experienced: £22,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 40 to 48 hours a week, often on shifts including weekends and nights.

For some jobs you’ll need to work at height or in cramped conditions.

Your employer will give you protective clothing and equipment.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016