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How to become a Caretaker

caretaker careers

What does a Caretaker do?

Caretakers are responsible for the care and upkeep of buildings and their grounds. They make sure facilities are working properly and that heating and lighting are on at appropriate times. Caretakers may also supervise cleaning staff and check that refuse is collected. Duties will vary depending on the specific job.

Increasingly, local authorities employ mobile caretakers, who provide a service to a number of different sites.

Some have a security role, making sure that windows are closed and doors locked when the building is not in use, and checking the premises to guard against vandalism or break-ins. Caretakers may also unlock buildings in the morning and lock up at the end of the day.

Maintenance tasks can involve gardening and doing minor repairs, such as mending broken windows and carrying out minor repairs to paintwork and plumbing. In the case of major faults or breakdowns caretakers would call in specialist help, such as plumbers or electricians. Other duties could include arranging chairs and tables for meetings and clearing away afterwards. Caretakers may also order fuel, new equipment and furniture, take bookings and sort mail.

What's the working environment like working as a Caretaker?

Caretakers generally work a 37-hour week, which may include early mornings, evenings and weekends. Others work longer hours and have 24-hour on-call duties.

The work can be both indoors and outdoors. Mobile caretakers work from specially equipped vans.

Some bending and lifting is usually involved, and the work may include climbing stairs or ladders.

What does it take to become a Caretaker?

As a caretaker you will need:

  • to be responsible and reliable
  • to be good with your hands and able to do practical tasks
  • the ability to work alone
  • communication skills for writing or passing on messages and explaining the nature of faults or breakdowns to electricians, builders, carpenters etc
  • to be able to supervise cleaning staff.

Caretaker Career Opportunities

There are opportunities in all areas throughout the UK. Employers include local authorities, industry, churches, private clubs, housing associations and companies.

Caretakers work in a variety of buildings such as schools, colleges, office blocks, factories, leisure complexes or in residential areas such as blocks of flats or small housing estates. Large schools and office blocks may employ several caretakers.

Promotion prospects are limited. However, in a large building there may be opportunities to become a supervisor.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Caretaker that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Vacancies may be advertised in local newspapers, jobcentres, in local authority job bulletins, which are available in libraries and other public offices and on the recruitment website for local government www.LGjobs.com

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH)
Octavia House
Westwood Business Park
Westwood Way
Tel: 024 7685 1789


Asset Skills
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Helpline: 08000 567160

Courses to help you become a Caretaker