Custodian Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Custodian, or General Maintenance Worker, is responsible for keeping a building clean. Custodians are often hired to clean businesses, office spaces, warehouses, and other indoor areas. Some businesses hire Custodians to clean outdoor facilities, such as windows, sidewalks, and landscaped areas. Some Custodians also handle seasonal work, such as shovelling snow and mowing grass, along with other light maintenance work for a building.


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Custodian duties and responsibilities

The tasks of Custodians vary according to the workspace and type of business, but they are responsible for maintaining a clean work area. Other key responsibilities and duties for a Custodian may include:

  • Cleaning wood, tile, and linoleum flooring
  • Vacuuming and shampooing carpeting and rugs
  • Disposing of trash
  • Changing air filters and cleaning air vents
  • Waxing floors
  • Disinfecting surfaces, including desktops and shelves
  • Keeping an inventory of cleaning supplies and ordering them as needed
  • Using heavy-duty cleaning equipment, such as floor buffers and commercial vacuums


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Custodian Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Posted 18-Jun-[phone number]Service line GWS Segment Role type Full-time Location(s) Charlottetown - Prince Edward Island - Canada JOB Summary Responsible for coordinating the daily janitorial services functions of a shift or small team of custodians delivering a high level of service to internal and external customers. Essential Duties AND Supervise one or more shifts of janitorial staff in assigned facilities, assigning and prioritizing work requests and project tasks to individual custodians, ensuring efficient work completion. Ensure that all assigned facilities and shifts are adequately staffed to maintain company and customer standards of cleanliness. Train new employees and conduct ongoing training programs to maximize staff efficiency and meet all regulatory requirements (JCAHO, WISHA, etc.) and company and client standards. Implement cleaning schedules for the assigned facilities to ensure that carpets, hard surfaces and other project related work is completed on schedule. Inspect each custodian's assigned work area on a regular basis, documenting issues, generating quality reports and developing corrective action plans to address issues noted during inspections. Maintain and monitor the janitorial equipment inventory to ensure that the staff is optimally equipped at all times. Perform regular invoice coding and assist in monthly and annual financial reporting, managing resources within the established budget and assist in the development of the EVS budget. Coordinate janitorial services provided by outside vendors. Other duties may be assigned. Supervisory Provides formal supervision to individual employees within single functional or operational area. Recommends staff recruitment, selection, promotion, advancement, corrective action and termination. Plans and monitors appropriate staffing levels and utilization of labor, including overtime. Prepares and delivers performance appraisal for staff. Mentors and coaches team members to further develop Qualifications To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Education and Experience High School diploma or GED required, Bachelors degree (BA/BS) from a four-year college preferred. Minimum of 2 years experience in a related field, prior supervisory experience preferred. Certificates and/or Licenses Valid state Driver's License and proof of insurance required. Communication Skills Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Strong organizational and analytical skills. Ability to provide efficient, timely, reliable and courteous service to customers. Ability to effectively present information. Ability to respond effectively to sensitive issues. Financial Knowledge Requires knowledge of financial terms and principles. Ability to conduct analysis including the preparation of reports. Reasoning Ability Ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret complex documents. Ability to solve problems involving several options in situations. Requires advanced analytical and quantitative skills. OTHER Skills and/or Abilities Ability to work well under pressure with a proactive approach to unusual occurrences. Requires good organizational skills, attention to detail and an openness to new ideas and procedures. SCOPE OF Responsibility Decisions made with thorough understanding of procedures, company policies, and business practices to achieve general results and deadlines. Responsible for setting work unit and/or project deadlines. Errors in judgment may cause short-term impact to department.

Example 2

Header: Are you looking for a new opportunity with a strong and stable company? Do you want the opportunity for excellence and advancement in your career? If so, Gordon Food Service could be the place for you. As one of the largest privately held foodservice distributors in North America, and recently named as one of Alberta's Top 70 Employers, our family business has a history of developing talented professionals, pursuing innovative ideas and building strong relationships. We are seeking great people looking for professional and personal growth. If you are interested in joining an innovative, supportive, values-driven company, we invite you to consider a career with Gordon Food Service. Take a look at this video to learn more about who we are and what we do! Responsibilities & Qualifications: Location: Calgary Department: Operations Shift: Night shift - Tuesday - Friday 7PM-5AM Reporting to Night Leadership Team, Full time night janitorial role working from 7pm to 5am, days to be determined. This is a salaried position. Roles primary below: Janitorial including sweeping, mopping, dusting, floor scrubbing sorting recyclable Sanitization of building including locker rooms, restrooms, and all warehouse areas assigned Conducting Covid-19 cleaning and disinfecting duties as assigned Damage reclamation (taping and repairing damaged boxes in inventory) Other janitorial duties as required and assigned Following all relevant standard operating procedures and good manufacturing practices Minimum Requirements: Education: High School diploma or GED equivalent (preferred) Experience: Previous janitorial experience preferred Relevant warehouse experience preferred Competencies: Must be able to work independently or within a team environment Operation of power pallet jack, balers for plastic, compactors for waste, floor scrubbers Must have proven record of consistent on-time attendance Positive attitude with good communication skills Excellent focus and attention to detail Physical Requirements: Must be able to meet the physical demands of the job with the ability to lift, push, pull and carry items up to 50lbs Physically able to stand, walk and climb stairs for extended periods of time Work in all temperature environments including dry, cooler and freezer areas Gordon Food Service is an equal opportunity employer who strives to provide an inclusive work environment that involves everyone and embraces the diverse talent of its people. All qualified applicants and employees will receive consideration for employment, or in terms or conditions of employment, without regard to any enumerated or analogous grounds of discrimination, including race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, sexual orientation or status as a qualified individual with disability. If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, please submit your request to and use the words “Accommodation Request” in your subject line. Our Commitment: Watch these videos for even more information about Gordon Food Service! Gordon Food Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Example 3

Position Summary: The Custodian is responsible for performing custodial duties, minor maintenance and other miscellaneous duties in order to ensure that buildings and facilities are maintained in a healthy, safe and sanitary manner. Qualifications/Requirements: High school diploma, GED or equivalent. Or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the knowledge and abilities to perform the work. 1-2 years’ experience preferred. Knowledge of standard cleaning procedures, chemicals, products and equipment. WHMIS Certification and knowledge of MSDS. Ability to read and understand labels and instructions, particularly on the use and application of cleaning chemicals and products. Physically fit and able to lift 50 lbs. Ability to safely use cleaning and maintenance equipment. Must be flexible and able to work varied shifts from early morning, late afternoon, evenings and weekends. Ability to work with limited supervision. Must be punctual, trustworthy and able to work independently to complete assigned tasks. Excellent verbal communication skills. Ability to adhere to Oath of Confidentiality and Seabird Island Band Policies and Procedure. Knowledge, respect and understanding of Stó:lō culture, traditions and language is considered an asset. Experience working with First Nations community is considered an asset. Valid BC Driver’s License, Class 5. Satisfactory Criminal Record Check. Primary Responsibilities: Clean offices, meeting chambers and other band facilities. Mop tile and concrete floor areas, vacuum all carpeted areas. Dust all furniture and fixtures, woodwork, and equipment. Wash and disinfect all washroom floors, toilets, toilet seats, hand dryers and fixtures. Replenish toilet tissue, paper towels and soap as needed. Clean all mirrors; empty all waste baskets and garbage cans. Place garbage in outside storage bin. Clean entrances and exits including glass, doors and hardware. Keep outside area near exit and entrance clear of snow, cans, paper, etc. Clean, wash and disinfect drinking fountains. Clean kitchen sinks, counters and appliances; replenish paper towel, soap etc. Report damages and acts of vandalism. Wash and buff floors with floor polisher. Spot clean walls and toilet partitions. Move and arrange chairs, tables and other furniture or equipment. Assist with heavy work in kitchen and cafeteria. Check windows and doors to see that they are closed and locked. May make minor repairs to furniture, electrical fixtures, windows and shades, locks, faucets, heating system and other equipment. May undertake routine maintenance tasks related to building operating systems, ie) changing filters, etc. May perform grounds work; including clearing snow, mowing lawns, raking leaves, trimming shrubs, and general grounds maintenance such as clearing litter and debris. Notify supervisor of any deficiencies that will require the use of Perform seasonal cleaning tasks as required. Including: waxing floors, washing windows, building exterior cleaning, etc. Use appropriate safety equipment at all times. Ensure cleaning materials and supplies are stored in a safe and orderly manner. Works in cooperation with other maintenance staff to correct safety deficiencies. Ability to move vehicles to and from and report any unsafe vehicles and equipment. Other duties or as assigned by your supervisor. Core Competencies: Client Focus Initiative Team Work Valuing Cultural Diversity Work Ethic and Values

What does a Custodian do?

 A Custodian generally handles any of the necessary cleaning that needs to be done at any given property. Custodians may also handle light maintenance or repairs, such as fixing damaged floors or replacing damaged mouldings or doors. In some cases, Custodians may handle biohazardous cleaning or chemical cleaning agents. For buildings with outdoor spaces, Custodians may handle landscaping or snow removal, depending on the season.


Custodian skills and qualifications

Custodians require many skills and abilities to perform their tasks successfully, and handle the physical demands of the job. Some other important skills and qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of different cleaning supplies and tools
  • Awareness of safety procedures
  • Multitasking and organizational skills to keep track of various responsibilities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Ability to carry out tasks in a timely fashion with minimal supervision
  • Flexibility to work with team members or individually


Custodian experience requirements

A Custodian is generally an entry-level position. Custodians typically start with basic cleaning tasks, and their responsibilities increase with time and experience. Those who work with hazardous chemicals, biohazardous materials or advanced commercial cleaning supplies and equipment, typically have a minimum of one to three years of previous experience. Senior Custodians and Managers typically have three to five years of relevant work, including management experience.


Custodian education and training requirements

Custodians usually possess a high school diploma or equivalent to begin working in an entry-level position. They often do not need prior experience, but most positions should include some on-the-job training sessions to familiarize employees with material safety, proper cleaning supplies, and the use of heavy-duty commercial equipment. Custodians working with hazardous chemicals or biohazardous materials require certifications for work safety.


Custodian salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Custodian is $17.91 per hour. Wages may be dependent on how much relevant experience the candidate has, the location of work, and the exact requirements of the position.


Job description samples for similar positions

If a Custodian isn’t the position you’re looking for, other job description samples are available for related or similar job positions:


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Custodian job description FAQs


Are Custodians required to work outside of the office?

Custodian positions are typically for indoor cleaning, but some businesses include limited outdoor maintenance in their work responsibilities. Custodians may be required to clean windows, sidewalks, courtyards, outdoor seating areas, and outdoor break areas, among others. Custodians may also be tasked with basic landscaping and winter cleanup, such as clearing snow and applying road salt to parking lots and walkways. Essentially, Custodians may have to work anywhere on any property owned by their employer, whether indoors or outdoors. 


What makes a good Custodian job description?

Generally, Custodian job descriptions should be detailed, highlighting specific skills required to perform the necessary duties. The job description should include an overview that provides the general duties and responsibilities of a Custodian and what is expected from the candidates, with a focus on anything outside the realm of cleaning and maintenance that may make this particular Custodian job unique. 

The same is true for the skills section. There should also be a list of work responsibilities that covers all the details of the job, including any required skills that may not be typical of a Custodian position. The description should have a section that covers the education, certification and training requirements of the candidate, especially in specialized positions such as working with biohazards or other hazardous materials.


What is the difference between a Custodian and a Janitor?

A Custodian and a Janitor have many overlapping skills and responsibilities, but there are important differences between the two. A Janitor is responsible for general cleaning services both inside and outside of a building, which may include sweeping, dusting, carpet cleaning, emptying trash and recycling, and window cleaning or floor cleaning. On the other hand, Custodians typically handle overall maintenance of a commercial space, which includes janitorial services as well as minor repairs and maintenance.

Job Description Examples

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