Cleaner Kaihoroi Whare
Cleaners clean offices, factories, shops, public buildings, schools, private homes and aircraft.
Cleaners may do some or all of the following:
- sweep, vacuum, mop and polish floors
- dust and polish furniture and fittings
- clean and sanitise surfaces and appliances
- renew items like toilet paper and cleaning materials
- tidy, wash dishes, iron, and make beds
- operate high-pressure hoses, elevated work platforms (cherry pickers) and steam-cleaning or ozone cleaning equipment
- invoice clients and keep accounts.
Hospital cleaners need to complete a New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2) with an endorsement in infection control and prevention of contamination. This certificate is gained in the workplace.
Cleaners need to be reasonably fit, healthy and strong, as their work can be physically demanding, and they spend long periods on their feet.
They may need to:
- be comfortable working in confined spaces (such as plane cabins)
- be comfortable working at heights (if they clean roofs, for example)
- not be allergic to chemical cleaners.
Cleaners need to be:
- honest, reliable and hard-working
- quick and efficient, with an eye for detail
- able to follow instructions, and also to work independently.
Cleaners need to have:
- cleaning skills
- knowledge of housekeeping and cleaning methods, equipment and products
- knowledge of health and safety.
Self-employed cleaners need to have small business skills.
- work regular or irregular hours, including mornings, evenings, nights and weekends, and may be on call
- work in offices, stores, factories, schools, hotels/motels, hospitals and homes
- work in conditions that may be dirty or dangerous if they specialise in cleaning up trauma scenes or dangerous chemicals
- may travel locally during working hours.
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but maths and English to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.
For Year 11 to 13 learners, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain relevant experience and skills.
Cleaners may progress to set up their own cleaning business or move into management.
Cleaners may specialise in a certain role such as:
- Commercial/Industrial Cleaner
- Commercial/industrial cleaners clean places such as shops, offices, hospitals and factories.
- Domestic/House Cleaner
- Domestic/house cleaners clean homes.
- Toxic Site Cleaner
- Toxic site cleaners clean up hazardous material such as chemicals from methamphetamine (P) production.
- Trauma Cleaner
- Trauma cleaners clean up after crimes or other serious incidents.
Years Of Training
There are no specific entry requirements to become a cleaner as you gain skills on the job.
Depending on where you work as a cleaner, you may need:
- a driver's licence
- your own transport
- your own cleaning equipment
- to pass police or medical checks, security clearances or regular drug and alcohol tests.
Some cleaners may study on the job towards New Zealand Certificates in cleaning at Level 2 or 3. Industry training organisation Careerforce oversees cleaning qualifications.