Industrial Cleaner

Job Description:

Industrial cleaners clear up after fires, floods and crime scenes, as well as places that need to be hygienically clean.

Job Category:

What you will do:

You could

  • wash out boilers, tanks and vats with high pressure hoses
  • remove dust and ash with industrial vacuuming equipment
  • decontaminate work areas and machinery
  • mix cleaning chemicals in the correct amounts
  • sandblast the outsides of building and structures
  • work from cradles or mobile access platforms to reach higher levels
  • safely store cleaning equipment and dispose of hazardous waste
  • clean and disinfect areas following strict standards and procedures
  • remove graffiti
  • report potential hazards to supervisors


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • physical skills like bending, lifting and reaching
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming an industrial cleaner typically doesn’t have strict subject requirements, but having a good foundation in certain subjects and skills can be beneficial. Industrial cleaners are responsible for keeping large-scale facilities, such as factories, warehouses, and manufacturing plants, clean and organised. Here are some general subjects and skills to consider if you want to pursue a career as an industrial cleaner:

  1. English: Strong language skills are important for understanding and communicating instructions, safety guidelines, and maintaining documentation.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for measuring cleaning solutions, calculating cleaning times, and performing other routine tasks.
  3. Science: While not mandatory, a basic understanding of science, particularly chemistry, can be helpful in handling cleaning agents properly and understanding their effects.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses offered by a professional body

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Award in Cleaning (Level 1 in the UK)
  • Certificate in Cleaning Principles (Level 2 in the UK)

You could specialise in working in hospitals and medical centres by doing a healthcare cleaning operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Direct Application
There are no set requirements if you want to apply directly for jobs, but previous cleaning experience would be useful.

Other Routes
You can do specialist training – the the UK this can be through The British Institute of Cleaning Science.

Career tips
A driving licence might be useful for this type of job.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a client’s business, in the community or visit sites.

Your working environment may be in conditions that some may find unpleasant, cramped, physically active, at height and involve using chemicals.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a team supervisor.

You could also set up your own company to specialise in a particular type of cleaning, like flood relief or biohazards.