Janitorial Supervisor Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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Get the truth about a janitorial supervisor's salary, training, education requirements and career prospects. Read the job description and see the pros and cons of becoming a janitorial supervisor.
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Pros and Cons of a Janitorial Supervisor Career

Janitorial supervisors ensure that the residential and commercial buildings we use are kept clean, comfortable and safe. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of working in this field to decide if it is right for you.

Pros of Being a Janitorial Supervisor
No need for formal education*
Diverse employment settings*
Average pay for low educational requirements ($39,110)*
Can find full or part time work in this field*

Cons of Being a Janitorial Supervisor
Possible contact with infectious material*
High rate of on the job injuries*
Must be able to withstand strenuous physical labor*
Must be willing to deal with complaints and disputes*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Duties

Janitorial supervisors are also known as maintenance supervisors or environmental services supervisors. Supervising a janitorial staff involves assisting with hands-on cleaning as needed, inspecting work performed by subordinates and coordinating cleaning and repair schedules with other departments. You might also be responsible for creating the work schedule for employees, handling inventory, overseeing operational standards, making and receiving reports, and managing disputes.

The janitorial supervisor must have a thorough working knowledge of all equipment and operating policies and procedures for their department. Supervisors are often key players in developing cleaning and safety standards.

Career Options

Janitorial supervisors can find themselves working in many different types of settings from residential to commercial. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 34% of janitorial staff worked in service to buildings and dwellings while another 14% were found working at schools. Supervisors can also find employment overseeing work being done to the grounds of the building.

Alternatively, janitorial supervisors may open their own businesses providing services to residential and commercial properties. Owning your own business can be very rewarding, but there are never any guarantees that the business will succeed.

Salary and Job Growth

According to the BLS, a janitorial supervisor's median annual wage was about $36,270 in May 2014. Some factors that affect salary are location, experience and the size of the company. Janitorial supervisor jobs are expected to grow 13% between 2012 and 2022; on par with the average for all occupations, says the BLS.

What Are the Requirements?

While there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a janitorial supervisor, having a driver's license, a high school diploma/GED and a background free of criminal offenses are common attributes employers look for. Candidates with prior janitorial experience are also considered highly desirable. Some companies prefer to hire candidates with prior supervisory experience while others will want the applicant to have college credits or a degree.

Useful Skills

Janitorial supervisors should be able to perform all the job duties of a janitor in addition to being able to manage a staff. Overseeing the activities of subordinates requires communication skills and the ability to reason and evaluate. According to the BLS, janitorial supervisors should have the following qualities:

  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Organization skills

Job Postings from Real Employers

Employers tend to prefer candidates who are team players. Additionally, employers need to have a janitorial supervisor who knows how to effectively communicate with subordinates and other department heads. Here is a snapshot of recent jobs posted in April 2012.

•A janitorial company in New York State has a part-time opening for a janitorial supervisor. Candidates would be expected to oversee employees at various sites using his or her own transportation.

  • A California contract services group is looking for a bi-lingual janitorial supervisor to work the night shift. The supervisor will be expected to oversee workers engaged in general cleaning and floor care. Basic computer skills and at least 5 years of supervisory experience are required.
  • An Illinois company is looking for a janitorial crew supervisor to work swing shift. The applicant should have a driver's license and prior janitorial and supervisory experience.
  • A janitorial company in New York seeks a janitorial supervisor for a flexible second shift work schedule to oversee custodial personnel. Applicants should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

How to Stand out

Janitorial supervisors often work their way up to the position of supervisor by starting out as janitors. The dedication to the work and willingness to take on more responsibilities that got them to the supervisory level will continue to serve them well when seeking to stand out from the crowd. In addition, janitorial supervisors can take on extra training in the field or opt to take college or vocational school classes to improve their knowledge of the field of janitorial services and management.

Get Certified

According to the International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association, certification is a great way to expand your knowledge base. You can become certified in a variety of fields, ranging from eco-friendly practices to hazardous chemicals management. Because certification is voluntary, taking courses and tests show a level of commitment to the profession.

Alternative Careers

Grounds Maintenance Supervisor

If you're looking for a cleaning and service profession, but want to work outdoors, consider a career as a grounds maintenance supervisor. The BLS predicts a 15% growth between 2010-2020 for this field. Grounds maintenance supervisors make sure that subordinates complete assigned tasks, ensure safety of workers and others who will use the grounds, perform record keeping tasks and make decisions and solve problems. Formal education in horticulture or landscape design may help advancement to supervisory positions.

Supervisor of Housekeeping or Maids

Supervisors of maids and housekeepers are needed in a variety of settings, such as private homes, hospitals and the tourism industry. These supervisors ensure that the housekeepers perform their assigned tasks to the level expected by the employer. Maids and housekeepers are usually responsible for keeping rooms free of dust and dirt, changing linens, and cleaning of bathrooms. Although this field is expected to grow by 8%, supervisory jobs are only expected to grow by 1% between 2010-2020, says the BLS.

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