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How to become a Window cleaner

window cleaner careers

What does a Window cleaner do?

Window cleaners clean windows and other glass surfaces and façades. Some work at ground level using ladders to reach upper floor windows. Others work at heights, cleaning windows on high buildings and tower blocks. In this type of work they use power-operated work platforms (or 'cradles') which hang on cables from the building, or ropes and abseiling harnesses. Special training is needed to use these methods.

Window cleaners might also be asked to do other work at heights, such as clearing gutters, cleaning paintwork, painting exteriors and applying protective coatings. Self-employed cleaners have to find new customers, agree a price for each job, collect payments and complete accounts and tax returns.

What's the working environment like working as a Window cleaner?

Window cleaners employed by a cleaning contractor would probably work a 40-hour week with the opportunity for overtime. If self-employed, window cleaners will have some flexibility in choosing the hours they work; they might work longer hours in summer to earn enough money to cover the short days of winter.

Most window cleaners have to work outdoors in all weathers. The work is physically demanding, involvingworking at heights, climbing, lifting and bending.

What does it take to become a Window cleaner?

To be a window cleaner, you should:

  • be fit and healthy and be prepared to work outdoors in all weathers
  • be able to work at heights and climb ladders
  • be happy to work alone (although some may work in teams)
  • be very safety-conscious
  • be able to learn to use power-operated lifting equipment (for high level cleaning).
In addition, as a self-employed window cleaner you should:
  • be well organised to plan your own work schedule, and self-disciplined to keep to it
  • be able to do paperwork / keep accounts (or find someone to do this for you)
  • be able to cost jobs, negotiate prices and persuade customers to pay on time.

Window cleaner Career Opportunities

Many window cleaners are self-employed, since start-up costs are fairly low. They may work alone, or employ other staff.

Window cleaners are also employed by contract cleaners or specialist window cleaning firms. They may have opportunities to move into supervisory and management positions.

Further information

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

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS)
9 Premier Court
Boarden Close
Moulton Park
Northampton
NN3 6LF
Tel: 01604 678710
www.bics.org.uk

Asset Skills
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Exeter
Devon
EX4 4EP
Helpline: 08000 567160
www.assetskills.org

Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA)
Association House
99 West St
Farnham
Surrey
GU9 7EN
Tel: 01252 739150
www.irata.org

National Federation of Master Window and General Cleaners
Summerfield House
Harrogate Road
Reddish
Stockport
SK5 6HQ
Tel: 0161 432 8754
www.nfmwgc.com

Courses to help you become a Window cleaner