A school janitor is responsible for the security, safety, repair and maintenance of a school building and grounds. Many primary schools have only one janitor. A large secondary school or college may have two or three.
You could be:
- supervising the school cleaning staff and monitoring the cleaning contracts which go out to tender
- operating the heating, lighting and security systems
- providing security cover by regular patrols and checking CCTV
- carrying out minor repairs and arranging for larger repairs to be done
- moving furniture, for example at exam times and setting up gym equipment
- dealing with deliveries of goods and mail for the school
- tidying the playground, grounds maintenance and gritting and clearing paths in winter
- dealing with waste collection, disposal and lost property
- keeping the school open for evening and weekend bookings and coming out for emergencies, such as break-ins, during the night.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the school
- the demand for the job.
Salaries for janitors can range between £19,000 to £21,000 a year. A senior janitor responsible for managing cleaning and janitorial staff at several cluster schools might earn between £21,400 and £24,900 a year. You can usually boost your income through overtime.
- You work irregular hours, including evenings.
- As the key-holder, you are on call for emergencies, such as break-ins, at all times.
- You usually wear a uniform.
- At times this is a physical job, involving bending, stretching, kneeling and carrying.
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- You do not need formal qualifications but a good general education is useful.
- It might help if you have experience working in the building trade.
- A driving licence is an advantage and is essential for some jobs.
- You should be physically fit.
- To work in this job you must declare any criminal convictions. Certain types of conviction may prevent you getting in. You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
Jobs are with local authorities, agencies, further education colleges and private schools.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
- aware of security, health and safety
- honest and reliable
- able to work alone or in a team
- practical, with DIY skills
- able to prioritise tasks
- able to communicate well with children, parents, staff and outside agencies.
- Training is mainly on the job.
- You can study while working for Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) such as Cleaning and Support Services at SCQF Level 5.
- The NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is also useful.
- Promotion possibilities are limited.
- You might get the chance to move to a supervisory position in a larger school or college where there are several janitors.
- You could become a senior janitor covering several cluster schools.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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