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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
  • maintenance worker

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

Caretakers and building superintendents employed in residential buildings:

  • must be familiar with advertising vacancies, preparing suites for presentation to prospective renters, processing tenant applications, processing security deposits and refunds, conducting reference checks and collecting rent from tenants
  • maintain journals, revenue reports, petty cash forms and perform inventory control

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 annual provincial median salary for building superintendents, janitors and caretakers is $35,455. The hourly wage can range from $11.35 to $27.00.  In BC’s regions, they can expect to make:

Hourly Wages for building superintendents, janitors & caretakers

Table from Job Bank Wage Report

Building Superintendents’ earnings depend on where they work and the size of the building they manage. Those who take care of large buildings in major cities earn the most.  Those in charge of large buildings may receive benefits. These often include paid vacations, sick days, and dental coverage. Many who live in the buildings they manage do not have to pay rent.

Janitors & Caretakers

Salaries in this career depend on the employer, your skill level, responsibilities, experience, and length of service. The type of shift worked (morning, evening, or night) can also affect earnings.

Salaries for supervisory positions are higher. These roles include chief custodian or building supervisor. Full-time custodians often get benefits. These often include paid vacation and sick leave. Dental insurance and a retirement plan are also common.

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.

According to JobBank Canada, the employment outlook will be fair for Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6733) in British Columbia for the 2017-2019 period.

Employment outlook for Building superintendents, janitors & caretakers in BC
regional employment outlook

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
  • 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: WorkBC Career Profiles, ITA: Residential Building Maintenance Worker (BC Industry Training Authority ITA)

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.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    Available from the VPL Digital Library
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • Hays.ca
    Properties & facilities management jobs
  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards
  • JobConnect
    **must have permanent resident number** newcomers can post their skills, education and work experience to BC employers looking for workers

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 “janitor” ORbuilding cleaners OR building management” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    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

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?