domestic service assistant cleaning operative
Facilities and property services

Career outlook for cleaner

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would make sure that people’s homes, other buildings and vehicles are safe and pleasant places for them to live in, visit and use.

You could work on general cleaning in offices, shops and schools. Or you could do more specialised work such as cleaning upholstery and carpets, or industrial cleaning of the outsides of buildings.

You might also clean public transport like buses and trains.

You might work in a particular area. You could:

  • Clear up after fires, floods or building work
  • Clean up crime scenes
  • Clean premises where food is prepared such as cafes and restaurants
  • Do industrial cleaning of new buildings
  • Deep-cleaning hospital wards to remove bugs
  • Clear out houses and squats
  • Clean cars and buses

You’d be responsible for knowing which cleaning chemicals to use for each task, for example using solvents to remove graffiti or oils. You’d need to read the labels on chemicals and cleaning fluids to know how much to use and measure out the amount.

When using these products and procedures you’d need to follow safety procedures. If you do cleaning at heights you’d need to use ladders or mobile access equipment.

You might also do some simple maintenance of the equipment you use and check the stock levels of cleaning materials.

Working conditions


You may have to work when buildings are closed for normal activities. This could be in the evenings, early morning or at weekends. You could work part-time or on a casual basis. In a full-time job you would work 35 to 40 hours a week. Overtime may be available.


Depending on the job, you might clean the same area every day, or go to different sites.


If you are a supervisor you are more likely to move around as you might be visiting teams of cleaners working on different contracts.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Persevering
  • Reliable
  • Time management
  • Managing resources
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Cooperating
  • Respecting

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but most employers value a good general education.  

Helpful to have

Most training is on the job, for example:

  • health and safety training
  • training in the safe use of chemicals

It is helpful to have relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Cleaning and Support Services (SVQ level 1/2) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.