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Window cleaner

Window cleaners work on domestic and commercial premises, cleaning windows, doors and other glass surfaces.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £23,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements.

A driving licence will be helpful.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to work at heights
  • the ability to learn to use power-operated lifting equipment for high level cleaning
  • organisation skills
  • literacy and numeracy skills

3. What you'll do

You'll wash windows and other glass surfaces on different types of buildings, like:

  • private homes
  • schools
  • offices
  • shops
  • hospitals

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • mixing cleaning chemicals and detergents
  • using ladders
  • using water-fed poles
  • cleaning windows on high buildings using cradles or ropes
  • keeping a record of payment or completing customer reports
  • safely storing and transporting equipment

You might also be asked to do other work at height, such as clearing gutters and cleaning paintwork or window frames.

If you're self-employed, you'll also market your cleaning services, collect payments and complete your accounts and tax returns.

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £23,000

Cleaning company employees will be paid a salary, and can earn more as team leaders.

Self-employed window cleaners set their own rates, and their earnings depend on how many customers they have, and what they can charge.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

If you're employed by a cleaning contractor, you're likely to work a 40-hour week.

If you're self-employed, you'll be able to choose the hours you work. You may work longer hours in summer to cover the shorter days in winter.

You'll usually work outdoors in most weather conditions, and often at height.

6. Career path and progression

You could work for contract cleaners or specialist window cleaning firms. With experience, you may be able to progress to become a supervisor or manager.

You may start your own business, working alone or employing staff.

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Last updated: 13 April 2017