14 Pros and Cons of Being a Janitor

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Janitors work behind the scenes every day to keep offices, schools, hospitals, and other businesses clean and safe.

They perform many important duties, but rarely get the respect that they deserve for their hard work.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a bad job for you.

It does have many pros and cons that make it an interesting option for the right person.

Here’s what you need to know about this field to gauge whether it’s right for your career needs. 

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Pros of Being a Janitor

While the cliched view of janitor jobs isn’t necessarily great, there are many advantages of this career that may make it worth your consideration.

It’s typically one of those under-appreciated job types that work for specific people, particularly those who don’t mind a little physical labor.

Here are a few of the biggest advantages of working as a janitor. 

1. The Chance to Work Alone  

Do you want a job where you can mostly work alone without anybody interfering with you?

You might love a career as a janitor!

Most janitors work during off-hours in a facility, such as early in the morning or late at night, to ensure they don’t interfere with its operation.

As a result, you’ll usually be alone or working with one or two other janitors who mostly do their own thing.

For the right person, this type of solitary job is peaceful and relaxing. 

2. Minimal Training Needs 

If you’re interested in a job that requires little to no training, a janitor job is a great option for you.

Most positions take people right out of high school, meaning that you don’t need to go to college or get specialized training.

While it’s true that some jobs may require basic maintenance skills, such as repairing equipment, you’ll learn most of these while working.

As a result, this career is a great choice for someone who just wants to work right away and get started in life. 

3. Flexible Schedule 

As mentioned previously, janitors typically don’t work when an office or facility is open by providing cleaning support while they’re closed.

That means you may have a flexible schedule.

You might do some of your duties early in the morning, take a break and a nap, and come in after the office is closed to finish your tasks.

As a result, you can work around your personal needs, including taking care of children or attending school if you are training for another job.

4. Physically Busy 

Do you want a job that will keep you on your feet and physically active at all times?

You’ll like being a janitor.

There aren’t many times when you’ll just be sitting around waiting to do something.

Instead, you’re going to be on your feet and busy most of the day, which means that you can stay in shape more easily.

People who care about their physical fitness may find this a very rewarding job, especially if they struggle to find exercise outside of work.

5. Satisfying to Complete Tasks 

Work satisfaction is important and can often be hard to get in some positions.

However, janitors have the satisfaction of seeing their work make a difference to their employer.

For example, as you work through a facility and clean its many rooms, you’ll see your progress in real-time.

You’ll not only clean trash cans and keep them from overflowing but get rid of stains and other issues that may affect a facility.

That feeling of satisfaction is tangible for many janitors. 

6. High Job Demand 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, janitor positions will grow about as fast as all other occupations in the market over the next 10 years.

More physical jobs like these simply can’t be replaced by robots or AI just yet, meaning that there will likely always be a need for them.

As a result, your job security is usually high: it’s almost always possible to find a job as a janitor, and you typically don’t get fired unless you make a very dangerous mistake.

7. Multiple New Skills 

Even if you don’t need a lot of training to become a janitor, you’ll definitely learn new things every time you start a different job in this field.

For example, you’ll master cleaning various facility types and even become adept at various maintenance and repair steps.

Even better, you can transition these skills into other positions and may even become a head or managing janitor.

Some people even start a cleaning business to make more money for themselves.

Cons of Being a Janitor

We’re not going to lie and say that becoming a janitor is a perfect career move for everyone.

While some people will love its physical and solitary nature, others will dislike it.

There are other negatives about this position that you must understand before you begin.

Doing so can ensure that you’re prepared for them if you decide to apply for this job anyway.

1. Not a High-Paying Career

You’re not going to become a millionaire working a janitor’s job and may even struggle to retire due to a fairly low salary level.

Simply put, you aren’t going to make a lot of money in this job.

The average salary in the US is about $33,870, with the highest-paying janitors earning up to $39,172.

That’s not a ton of money, but it is better than some positions, particularly ones that require minimal training.

Keep that in mind when applying for a janitorial position. 

2. May Work on Weekends 

Here’s the thing about being a janitor: you need to be invisible at a business to get your job done properly.

As a result, you may find yourself working not only off hours during the week but even during the weekend!

If you’re someone who likes having Saturday and Sunday off to do whatever you want, you may not like this job.

Granted, you might have days off during the week to compensate.

But you may also work extra hours on the weekend while working during the week. 

3. Physically Demanding 

Are you in poor shape or have physical health issues that affect how well you can walk or stand?

You shouldn’t become a janitor because this job is very physically demanding.

While that means it’s a great option for younger people with stronger bodies, it’s not a smart choice for people who are weaker or in bad shape.

Furthermore, becoming a janitor may even cause some physical wear and tear on your body that may end up affecting your overall health for years to come.

4. Bad Balance for Your Life 

Depending on your position as a janitor, you may be in constant demand or even on-call to handle emergencies at a facility.

For example, if your job also includes maintenance needs, you’ll likely be required to fix problems as they occur, even if you’re off for the day.

This demand can make janitor jobs a fairly tough career for someone with a family or busy social life because you’ll likely have to be constantly ready to drop everything and work extra. 

5. Tough on Older People 

Janitor work is often best suited for younger people with stronger bodies and less care about life.

It can be a more difficult career path for older people, even anyone past their 40s.

That’s because it’s a physically demanding job, one that requires you to work hard and heavy for hours at a time.

If you’re an older person who wants a side hustle or something to do in retirement, try just about anything but a janitorial position first to minimize physical strain. 

6. Few Benefits 

While it’s true that some full-time janitors may get benefits like health insurance and even paid time off, not every position offers this compensation.

For example, you might work as a contractor for many cleaning firms, which typically means you’ll get no benefits at all.

That makes janitorial work a frustrating option for many people, particularly those who want to take vacations with their family or even start a retirement fund. 

7. Minimal Retirement Support 

Yes, you’ll be paying into Social Security as a janitor regularly, which could help you build a small retirement fund.

However, the concept of pensions and even 401(k) retirement options are rare in a janitor position, which means you could have a hard time retiring.

Have you ever seen very old janitors struggling to handle their job and wondered why they didn’t just retire?

The lack of retirement support is why, and it’s something to take seriously about this career.

14 Pros and Cons of Working as a Janitor – Summary Table

Pros of Being a JanitorCons of Being a Janitor
1. The Chance to Work Alone1. Not a High-Paying Career
2. Minimal Training Needs2. May Work on Weekends
3. Flexible Schedule3. Physically Demanding
4. Physically Busy4. Bad Balance for Your Life
5. Satisfying to Complete Tasks5. Tough on Older People
6. High Job Demand6. Few Benefits
7. Multiple New Skills7. Minimal Retirement Support

Should You Become a Janitor?

Only become a janitor if you’re okay with not making a lot of money and working physically demanding hours.

You’re not going to take it easy with this job and will have many duties that may make it hard on your body and mind.

That said, if you love physical work and live a simple life that doesn’t need a lot of money, you may love this job.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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