Window cleaner

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would work at homes and businesses, cleaning windows, doors and other glass surfaces to create a pleasant environment for the people who live or work there.

You could work on different types of buildings, including houses, schools, offices, shops and hospitals.

You would:

  • Mix cleaning chemicals and detergents
  • Use ladders to clean lower windows
  • Wash windows at a higher level using water-fed poles
  • Clean windows on high buildings like tower blocks using a safety harness
  • Collect and record payments
  • Safely store equipment like ladders and transport it between jobs

If you are self-employed, you would also:

  • Market your cleaning services
  • Plan your own work schedule
  • Do paperwork and keep accounts (or find someone to do this for you)
  • Come up with prices and persuade customers to pay on time

You’d need to be able to work quickly and efficiently, and have a good awareness of health and safety.

A good head for heights is essential. You might sometimes be asked to do different types of work at heights, such as clearing gutters and cleaning paintwork or window frames.

Working conditions

Hours

If you are employed by a cleaning contractor, you are likely to work a 40-hour week. If you are self-employed, you will be able to choose the hours you work. You may work longer hours in summer to earn enough money to cover the shorter days in winter.

Environment

You would usually work outdoors in most weather conditions. A lot of the work is done at heights.

Travel

You would normally need a driving license and access to a van to move equipment.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit
  • Time management

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

You do not need formal qualifications for this job but a good standard of English and Maths is helpful.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

You will also need

A driving licence is useful and may be essential for some roles.

Some local authorities may need you to apply for a licence before you can legally work as a window cleaner. This licence has to be renewed after a period of time, normally three years.

You need to be physically fit.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show customer service skills and practical skills, such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).

The SQA Enterprise and Employability Award (SCQF level 4/5) may also be of value as many window cleaners are self-employed.

While working you can study for Scottish Vocational Qualification in Cleaning and Support Services (SVQ level 2). This includes units in working safely at heights and using a water-fed pole system to clean windows and facades.