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Window Cleaner: Job Description, Salary & How To Become One

Windows are everywhere. Just think about it—in the morning, you wake up and open your curtains to look out the window. You head to work past all the high-rise buildings with windows from top to bottom. Then, maybe you take a trip to do some window shopping.

We often take windows for granted. At least, until they’re dirty—then we take notice. Luckily, dirty windows are not commonplace, thanks to window cleaners.

A window cleaning career can be very rewarding, and you can make a decent living to boot! Read on to learn everything you need to know about the window cleaning profession.

What Is a Window Cleaner?

A window cleaner is a professional who cleans the exterior and interior windows of residential and commercial buildings. They typically work for businesses that perform various types of cleaning, such as home cleaning and building maintenance companies. Though, some choose to run their own companies or do it as a side gig.

Being a window cleaner is a fulfilling career and can come with a flexible schedule and good work/life balance. Those pursuing a window cleaning career should note that with its perks come drawbacks, such as long hours of manual labor, bearing the elements, and working at heights.

What Does a Window Cleaner Do?

A window cleaner washes and dries windows of homes, offices, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, etc. Depending on the job and client, a window washer will clean the interior or exterior windows or both. They also wash other types of glass surfaces, like glass doors, mirrors, decorative glass, and partitions.

A window cleaner uses different types of cloth, squeegees, brushes, power washers, and cleaning solutions to remove grime and keep the glass sparkling clean. They also work with ladders, scaffolding, platforms, and other equipment to access higher-up windows and windows on tall buildings.

What Does a Window Cleaner Usually Focus On?

The majority of the work for a window cleaner is cleaning exterior windows. Most full-time window cleaners work for businesses that specialize in building maintenance and are contracted by businesses and apartment complexes to keep the exterior of their buildings clean.

That said, there are some full-time jobs for window cleaners with businesses that focus on residential cleaning, or they may focus on simply window cleaning. Whichever type of company, most people only want the exterior of their windows cleaned, as cleaning the interior is done by the resident or a housekeeper.

Window Cleaner Job Description

The duties of the window cleaning technician include carrying all tools and materials to job sites, cleaning windows, and participating in required safety meetings. Sometimes, they also make sure the company car is maintained.

The ideal candidate needs a strong sense of balance and awareness of health and safety laws to succeed as a window cleaning technician.

Top Window Cleaner Jobs and Careers

The top three window cleaner jobs and careers are:

  • Window cleaning technician
  • Cleaner/janitor
  • Housekeeper

Where Can a Window Cleaner Work?

A window cleaner can work at a variety of companies, depending on the type of window cleaning they want to do.

For example, if someone doesn’t mind heights and wants to work on large-scale projects, they’ll want to work for a property service company. On the other hand, if they’d rather work on residential homes, they can apply for house-cleaning jobs or window-washing jobs.

Window cleaning is also a great gig job. If you’re interested in doing window cleaning as a side hustle, then you can post ads online offering your services or send out flyers around your neighborhood or city.

That way, you can accept however many jobs you want and schedule them for whenever you want, all while making extra money!

What It’s Like To Be a Window Cleaner

Being a window cleaner may seem easy, but there are a few things you should consider before getting a job in the field, including duties, risk factors, and scheduling.

Is Being a Window Cleaner Hard?

Parts of being a window cleaner are hard. For instance, since most of a window cleaner’s workday is spent outside, dealing with adverse weather is a reality. And rain and frost can make a job more difficult.

Also, window cleaning involves a lot of repetitive motions, so muscle aches in the upper body are common.

Is a Window Cleaner’s Job Stressful?

Sometimes. Most commercial window cleaning jobs will require working at hundreds of feet. Even residential jobs can require working at 40 feet or more, which can still result in a fatal fall. So, window cleaners need to be comfortable working at heights and aware of the dangers that come with it.

Common Window Cleaner Work Day

The typical day for a window cleaner starts with reviewing the list of sites they must visit in a day. After that, they will either take their own vehicle or a company vehicle to the first job site.

After cleaning the windows and other glass surfaces at the job site, they’ll move on to the next one until work is done for the day.

Window Cleaner Tasks & Duties

The tasks and duties of a window cleaner are:

  • Provide thorough window cleaning services on residential and commercial job sites
  • Utilize a sponge, cloth, squeegee, bucket, and glass cleaning solution
  • Work with lift equipment and ladders while maintaining a high level of safety
  • Perform window cleaning tasks in a variety of challenging locations
  • Transfer cleaning tools and products to the job site and clean up the job site when finished
  • Manage routes while driving to different locations

Window Cleaner Work Hours & Schedule

A full-time window cleaner will work 40 hours per week, usually when the sun rises until the afternoon for optimal light. A window cleaning gig worker can work more or fewer hours, depending on their preference, and set their own schedule.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

Yes, a window cleaning career can offer an excellent work/life balance. For instance, a gig worker or someone who owns their own business can make their own schedule. So, they can plan their work around their life instead of the other way around, like most full-time jobs.

Do Window Cleaners Make Good Money?

Window cleaners can make good money, but it’s contingent on various factors. Things like experience, location, and work setting will change the amount of money a window cleaner makes.

So, a window cleaner with experience who works for a cleaning or property services company will make a good amount of money—more than the U.S. median personal income.

On the other hand, a window cleaner who owns their own business could make significantly more than a window washing employee. Of course, they will need to put in more time and effort to achieve this.

How Much Do Window Cleaners Make?

The average window cleaning job in the U.S. pays $18.93 an hour, or $48,433 a year. This is assuming a full-time job with a company, but the amount will vary based on location.

Things get trickier when trying to calculate how much money an entrepreneurial window washer makes.

The amount of money a gig working window cleaner makes will be determined by the amount of gigs they get and how often they work. The amount a window cleaning business owner will make depends on their location, competition, marketing, and other business factors.

How do Window Cleaners Get Paid?

Given that window cleaners tend to work as housekeepers or specialists, they get paid in cash often by the families that contracted them in the first place.

If they were hired through a company and practiced as janitors, they may receive weekly or monthly payments through a bank account. Still, some companies prefer to pay cash too.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Window Cleaners

vector graphic showing an illustration of a window cleaner in action

At first glance, being a window cleaner may seem like a straightforward job. However, there are some skills and requirements that a potential window cleaner must have to be successful. Below, we’ll go over some things to consider before pursuing a career in window cleaning.

Who Should Consider a Window Cleaner Career Path?

Someone who is in good physical shape, is comfortable working at heights, and can withstand adverse weather conditions would be a good candidate for a window cleaning position.

Who Should NOT Consider a Window Cleaner Career Path?

Someone who is afraid of heights should not pursue a career in window cleaning. As stated, a lot of the workday is spent working at heights. While it might not be great heights, in the case of residential window cleaners, it’s still enough to spook anyone with acrophobia.

Similarly, someone who suffers from vertigo or other balance issues shouldn’t become a window cleaner, as it would put their life at risk.

Is It Hard To Become a Window Cleaner?

Not if you have the right skills and live in the right area. A medium to large metropolitan area should have plenty of opportunities available for the right person.

However, if you live in a rural area, there might not be a big demand for window cleaning. So, finding a job with a company might not be possible. That said, a small community may be a great place to start a window cleaning or general cleaning business if there’s a need.

What Do I Need to Become a Window Cleaner?

To become a window cleaner, a good sense of balance and attention to detail are vital skills, as working at heights and cleaning are primary duties.

If you’re planning to clean windows as a side hustle, then you’ll need the proper equipment and a car to get you to and from job sites. Otherwise, the company you work for will supply these things.

Requirements for Becoming a Window Cleaner

Some standard requirements to become a window cleaner are:

  • High school diploma/GED
  • Driver’s license
  • Window cleaning experience
  • Ability to work at different heights/varying weather conditions
  • Health and safety knowledge
  • Ability to work with lift equipment/ladders/scaffolding

What Skills Does a Window Cleaner Need?

A few skills needed to become a window cleaner are:

  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility

What Education Does a Window Cleaner Need?

A window cleaner doesn’t need a specific education. However, some companies may require potential employees to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and some may even require a college degree.

If you’re pursuing window cleaning gig work or thinking of starting a window cleaning business, then no education is required. Though, it would be wise to thoroughly research different techniques and industry standards and know the steps needed to start a cleaning business.

What Experience Does a Window Cleaner Need?

Many window cleaning jobs don’t require any experience and will provide training once they hire someone. But, of course, experience professionally cleaning windows is an asset.

If you don’t have any experience, you could always research window cleaning techniques and practice on your own windows.

How To Become a Window Cleaner

Finding window cleaning opportunities is as simple as doing an online search for jobs in your area. That said, you should search for quality positions and learn how to prepare for interviews and gigs.

Where To Find Window Cleaner Opportunities

Typing ‘window cleaning jobs near me’ into a search engine will yield multiple results. But, if you’d like to refine your search, you need to determine what type of job you’re looking for.

If you want a full-time job with a large company, then websites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter are good places to start. If your city has a database of jobs around the area, check that too.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for window cleaning gigs, you can try to find some on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Another option is to check out gig websites like Fiverr or TaskRabbit. Though, your best bet would be to make an ad offering your services on similar websites.

Applying for the Gig(s)

To apply for a window cleaning gig, you’ll typically need a resume outlining your skills and experience and a cover letter highlighting the qualities that make you an ideal candidate.

If you have experience working at heights or cleaning in general, make sure to include that. Also, ensure that you’re tailoring your application for each gig, including buzz words from the gig posting to increase your chances of getting an interview.

Interviewing for the Gig(s)

Getting ready for a window cleaning interview is similar to getting ready for most other interviews. You should prepare some responses to demonstrate your experience and highlight your qualifications. You should also prepare for common interview questions.

How Do I Prepare for Window Cleaner Gigs?

Do the following to prepare for a window cleaning gig:

  • Ask questions about the job site
  • Plan your route to the job site
  • Gather the appropriate equipment
  • Dress for the weather but keep it appropriate

Similar Careers To Check Out

If you like the sound of window cleaning, but want to explore other similar options, here are a few:

  • Word of Mouth Tree Service: A word of mouth tree service is a business that gets clients using word of mouth or organic referrals. This is similar to a window cleaning business, as many small business owners rely on word of mouth as a primary marketing tool.
  • Micro Entrepreneur: A micro entrepreneur starts micro businesses, usually with low initial investments and little to no staff. If you own and operate a window cleaning business, you could be considered a micro entrepreneur.
  • Copywriter: While not related to the tasks of a window cleaner, a copywriter is similar in terms of a flexible schedule. Most copywriters are independent contractors, so they can work on their own terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

With all the information presented, you likely still have some questions. Below are some common queries about the window cleaner profession.

Is being a window cleaner worth it?

If you have the skills and requirements to be a window cleaner, then yes. You can make an above-average salary while spending time outdoors and getting exercise.

Plus, there’s just something so satisfying about taking a grimy window and making it spotless—there are even YouTube channels dedicated to it!

How many houses can a window cleaner clean in a day?

Most window cleaners can do 15 to 20 homes a day, assuming an average three-bedroom property in a mid-sized city in the U.S.

Of course, it will depend on the size of the house, how many windows it has, the distance between each job, and how efficiently the job is done.

Wrapping Up

In a world full of windows, window cleaners are essential to keeping our view of nature transparent in an increasingly stay-at-home era.

A career in window cleaning can be hard work, but it’s fulfilling and offers good pay and flexibility. If you’re looking for a physically demanding job where you get to work outdoors, then becoming a window cleaner is a good option.

It’s important to remember that you must be able to work at heights and follow all health and safety protocols, as window cleaning can be a dangerous job.

If you have any questions or comments on window cleaning, make sure to comment below.

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