A caretaker, also sometimes referred to as janitor, is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and regular upkeep of public buildings. Caretakers are employed by government sectors, public institutions, schools and other public places. The job of a caretaker is very important not only does it contribute to high hygienic levels, but also the comfort and health of the general public.
Caretakers work on a set schedule, for example, cleaning floors every second day, cleaning windows once a month, removing rubbish every other day and so forth. The job does not require high technical skills; basic requirements are routine work and ability to undertake physical work. Caretakers usually work as part of a team and each team member may take responsibility for a specific maintenance or cleaning task. Caretakers also operate under a manager, and any problems or issues that cannot be dealt with by the caretakers require prompt reporting to management.
Caretakers (janitors) work with a whole range of maintenance tools to assist in the tasks of cleaning and servicing public buildings. Flooring requires sweeping, mopping, and polishing; windows require washing and polishing. For other caretaker tasks such as rubbish removal, no special equipment is needed. A caretaker can fairly easy learn how to work with the necessary equipment and usually previous caretaker work is not an absolute requirement. Where the caretaker has some additional training or skills, basic maintenance of electrical systems can be an advantage. A caretaker's responsibilities can also extend to the building outdoors, overseeing garden maintenance and sidewalk maintenance through mowing, weeding and sweeping.
- Ability to work according to management instructions.
- Ability to perform routine tasks.
- Physical ability to perform medium to heavy duties.
- Ability to work as part of a team and a good work ethic.