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Building superintendents, janitors and caretakers (NOC 6733) may also be called:

  • custodian
  • school janitor
  • heavy-duty cleaner
  • industrial cleaner
  • plant cleaner

What Would I Do?

Building superintendents, janitors and caretakers are usually responsible for cleaning and maintaining commercial, institutional or residential buildings. They clean and maintain buildings inside and outside, may fix any minor mechanical and electrical problems and may maintain the grounds. Your duties can include:

  • operate industrial vacuum cleaners to remove scraps, dirt, heavy debris and other refuse
  • wash windows, interior walls and ceilings
  • empty trash cans and other waste containers
  • sweep, mop, scrub and wax hallways, floors and stairs
  • clean snow and ice from walkways and parking areas
  • cut grass and tend grounds
  • clean and disinfect washrooms and fixtures
  • make adjustments and minor repairs to heating, cooling, ventilating, plumbing and electrical systems, and contact tradespersons for major repairs
  • ensure that security and safety measures are in place in the establishment
  • may also: water and tend to plants, move heavy furniture, equipment and supplies, advertise vacancies, show apartments and offices to prospective tenants and collect rent

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents

Am I Suited For This Job?

Building superintendents, janitors and caretakers:

  • must be comfortable with physically demanding work that includes bending, stooping, kneeling and crouching
  • must have good communication skills and the ability to work under limited supervision
  • need the ability to listen to and understand written and verbal instructions
  • must be trustworthy and dependable

Building superintendents, janitors and caretakers

Many of the tasks performed by building superintendents, janitors and caretakers involve physical labour, including constant bending and stretching. They spend most of the day on their feet, sometimes lifting or pushing heavy furniture or equipment. They may work evenings, nights, and weekends. They work inside heated, well-lit buildings. However, sometimes their work takes them outside, sweeping walkways, mowing lawns, or shovelling snow. Some caretakers and building superintendents live in the buildings where they work, providing on-call service.

Sources: Career Cruising database (Profiles for ‘Building Superintendents’ and ‘Custodians’), WorkBC Career Profiles

What Are The Wages And Benefits?

In British Columbia, the average annual salary for building superintendents, janitors and caretakers ranges from $33,000–$44,000. In BC’s regions, they can expect to make:

building superintendents, janitors & caretakers regional wages

Table from Job Bank Wage Report

Salaries for building superintendents depend on where they work, the amount of experience they have, and their level of responsibility. Superintendents who work in apartment buildings sometimes have different compensation arrangements. Some may earn a small monthly salary plus free rent for an apartment unit in the building. Others receive a free suite on top of their annual salary.

In addition to a salary, superintendents who are in charge of large buildings may receive benefits such as paid vacations, sick days, and dental coverage.

Full-time custodians may receive benefits in addition to a salary. Benefits often include paid vacation, sick leave, dental insurance, and a retirement plan. The type of shift worked (morning, evening, or night) can also affect earnings.

Sources: WorkBC Career ProfilesCareer Cruising database (Profiles for ‘Building Superintendent’ and ‘Custodian’).

What Is The Job Outlook In BC?

The number of retired individuals involved in resident caretaking responsibilities in their buildings is in decline. However, openings in these areas will also result from worker turnover. Knowledge of new environmentally friendly standards and associated products may be helpful as companies move towards more environmentally friendly cleaning methods.

job outlook for building superintendents

Source: WorkBC Career Profile

How Do I Become a Building Superintendent, Janitor or Caretaker?

Completion of secondary school may be required to work as a janitor, caretaker or superintendent, particularly if supervision of other workers is needed. Most building superintendents receive much of their training on the job. Other requirements may include:

  • a criminal record check
  • previous cleaning and maintenance experience
  • a journeyman/woman certificate in one or more of the trades or a building operator certificate
  • basic building trade or building maintenance training
  • knowledge of safety codes, regulations and equipment, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • ability to understand Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • completion of a building service worker certificate program and/or a Certified Resident Manager designation

Sources: Job Bank Canada, WorkBC Career Profiles, ITA: Residential Building Maintenance WorkerCareer Cruising database (Profiles for ‘Building Superintendent’ and ‘Custodian’).

How Do I Find A Job?

Where would I work?

Building superintendents’ employers include owners of office, commercial, and residential buildings, property management firms, school boards, and recreation centres

Custodians’ employers include governments, hospitals, school boards, motels and hotels, and other businesses and organizations

Finding Advertised Jobs

Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in The Province on Sundays.

Online Job Postings

  • BC Housing
    Jobs to manage and maintain social housing in BC, including property managers, building supervisors, tenant support workers and janitors
    Properties & facilities management jobs

Finding “Hidden Jobs”

Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.

Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers

You can use company directories to produce lists of employers who employ building superintendents, janitors and caretakers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “janitors”** and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    **You can also try entering “building cleaners” OR “building management” to find more company names
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies

Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.

Networking and the Hidden Job Market:

When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Volunteer BC
    Also, consider volunteering for organizations that provide shelters, residences or emergency accommodation; they may need assistance with cleaning or maintaining buildings:

For additional tips see:

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.  Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

For more information see:

Where Can This Job Lead?

Entry-level positions include janitorial and cleaning positions. Progression to supervisory cleaning positions is possible with additional training or experience. As well, some experienced workers may open their own company. Some building caretakers may take on more building management responsibilities with experience and training, such as the administrative tasks of advertising vacancies, enforcing residential tenancy laws and processing security deposit refunds. Experienced caretakers and building superintendents can go on to property management or building management positions.

Where Can I Find More Information?