Industrial cleaners clear up after fires, floods and crime scenes, as well as places that need to be hygienically clean.
Salary range: £15,000 to £22,000
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
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
You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in cleaning and support services.
You could specialise in working in hospitals and medical centres by doing a healthcare cleaning operative intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
There are no set requirements if you want to apply directly for jobs, but previous cleaning experience would be useful.
You can do specialist training through The British Institute of Cleaning Science.
- you’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on a construction site
A driving licence might be useful for this type of job.
You can find out more about careers in this area from The British Institute of Cleaning Science.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
- wash out boilers, tanks and vats with high pressure hoses
- remove dust and ash with industrial vacuuming equipment
- decontaminate work areas and machinery
- mix cleaning chemicals in the correct amounts
- sandblast the outsides of building and structures
- work from cradles or mobile access platforms to reach higher levels
- safely store cleaning equipment and dispose of hazardous waste
- clean and disinfect areas following strict standards and procedures
- remove graffiti
- report potential hazards to supervisors
You could work in a prison, at a school, in an NHS or private hospital, at a power station, in a factory or on a construction site.
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.