Skills Light Duty Cleaner in New Brunswick

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a light duty cleaner in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Sweep, mop, wash and polish floors
  • Dust furniture
  • Vacuum carpeting, area rugs, draperies and upholstered furniture
  • Make beds and change sheets
  • Distribute clean towels and toiletries
  • Stock linen closet
  • Clean, disinfect and polish kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances
  • Disinfect operating rooms and other areas
  • Clean and disinfect elevators
  • Handle and report lost and found items
  • Attend to guests' requests for extra supplies or other items
  • Provide basic information on facilities
  • Pick up debris and empty trash containers
  • Wash windows, walls and ceilings
  • Clean changing rooms and showers
  • Address customers' complaints or concerns

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

ReadingCleaners
  • Read notes from supervisors to receive work assignments and from co-workers sharing information. (1)
  • Read cleaning product labels to understand how to use them. (1)
  • Read memos or electronic mail messages to address service complaints. (1)
  • May read letters from the fire department about handling combustible wastes. (2)
  • Read memos from management explaining various workplace issues, such as changes to the benefits package. (2)
  • Read pamphlets to obtain information on, for example, new floor finishing products, paying particular attention to safety-related details. (2)
  • May read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of products being used for the first time to identify protective equipment requirements, potential hazardous reactions and emergency procedures. (3)
  • May refer to manuals to learn about equipment, such as dishwashers, or about cleaning procedures, such as how to safely clean up blood. (3)
Light duty cleaners
  • Guest room attendants read notes from guests to process special requests, such as a request for extra pillows or towels. (1)
  • May read minutes from staff meetings. (2)
Specialized cleaners
  • Furnace cleaners read code books on natural gas, propane or plumbing and heating to obtain information on provincial standards when dealing with unfamiliar furnaces or hook ups. (3)
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • Handymen/women read trade journals and magazines to stay abreast of industry news and manufacturers' instructions to assemble or install products, such as ceiling fans and cupboards. (2)
  • Building superintendents may read legislative documents governing the landlord-tenant relationship, cross-referencing various subsections as necessary. (3)
Document useCleaners
  • Read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels on products to understand the applicable safety cautions. (2)
  • Complete time sheets. (2)
  • Use forms to record the completion of assigned tasks. These forms may require the use of check marks (e.g., bathroom cleaning lists), the notation of times and a brief description of the task. (2)
  • Refer to assembly drawings for specialized sweeping equipment when removing and emptying canisters. (3)
Light duty cleaners
  • Hospital cleaners read lists of discharged patients and their room numbers to identify cleaning priorities. (1)
  • Room attendants read maid worksheet tables for information on room occupancy to determine which rooms to clean. (2)
Specialized cleaners
  • Septic tank cleaners use scale drawings to determine the location of septic tanks on residential properties. (2)
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • Building superintendents use the yellow pages of the phone book and in-house phone directories to contact suppliers, contractors and tenants. (1)
WritingCleaners
  • Write brief notes to themselves about their supervisor's instructions or notes to co-workers about tasks to be done. (1)
  • Leave notes for clients to communicate information about the service provided, including special requests. (1)
  • Complete a variety of forms, such as sign-out sheets when removing stock room inventory, logs to record the completion of assigned tasks and invoices to bill for services provided. (1)
  • Write lists of supplies and equipment when taking inventory. (1)
  • Write inspection reports to describe problems and maintenance requirements for their supervisor's review. (3)
Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
  • Building superintendents complete forms required for leasing, rent collection, entry into apartments and charging cleaning costs to tenants. Accuracy is important because the forms have legal implications and may be contested. (2)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • May receive payments from customers for services provided and make change. (1)
  • May calculate the cost of supplies by multiplying unit prices by quantities and totaling them. (2)
  • May total a bill for service and supplies, including calculation of labour charges using an hourly rate and applicable taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Handymen/women may monitor and reconcile petty cash budgets used to purchase supplies. (1)
  • May prepare simple financial summaries when completing cleaning franchise reports about the amount of money collected and owing. (2)
  • Building superintendents may get quotes for equipment purchases over $150 and assess best value considering initial cost, equipment life expectancy and estimated service costs. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Furnace cleaners measure clearances for furnaces and venting. (1)
  • Building superintendents perform a number of tests which involve measuring air pressure, temperature and flow to adjust heating system controls. (1)
  • Building superintendents check gauges in the furnace room to notify the plumbing/heating company when pressures fall outside acceptable range limits. (1)
  • Handymen/women calculate the area of irregularly shaped floors and walls to determine the volume of paint or quantity of carpet needed. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Guest room attendants estimate the quantity of supplies such as towels, soap or coffee needed. (1)
  • Cleaners estimate the correct volume of cleaning fluid which needs to be added to a bucket of water. (1)
  • Cleaners estimate the time to complete jobs, such as duct cleaning. Factors to take into consideration include the extent of cleaning, the size of the building, problems encountered the last time and unforeseen factors such as rodents in the duct work. (2)
  • Septic tank cleaners estimate the cost of solving technical problems when preparing job quotations for customers. Variables such as the soil conditions and the quantity of sludge in the tank may throw an estimate off resulting in lost time and money. (3)
Oral communicationCleaners
  • Interact with the clients to provide and receive job-related information, assess cleaning situations and discuss costs. Customer service is a high priority and appropriate communication with clients is important. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to co-ordinate work. (1)
  • Interact with their supervisors to receive work assignments, discuss priorities and report problems. (1)
  • May assign tasks and monitor the work of more junior cleaners under their direction. (2)
  • May participate in group discussions during staff or safety meetings. (2)
Building superintendents
  • Interact with property managers to make recommendations about selecting cleaning products and maintenance supplies. (2)
Handymen/women
  • Interact with suppliers when ordering paint and cleaning supplies. (1)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • Cleaners may encounter customers who complain about jobs completed. For example, a customer may be dissatisfied with the way a car wash attendant has vacuumed a vehicle. They solve the problem by offering a refund or redoing the job. (1)
  • Equipment breakdowns, such as a broken belt on the floor sweeper or a frozen lock on the paper dispenser, are frequent problems faced by custodians. Custodians troubleshoot equipment problems, using mechanical reasoning skills and past experience. (2)
  • Janitors may find mold growing in shower rooms. In collaboration with their co-workers, they determine the cause of the mold, considering all potential variables, and then correct the problem. (2)
  • Car wash attendants may receive complaints about vehicle damage allegedly caused by the car wash equipment. They explain the equipment design to the customer, often showing them the soft brushes. If the customers are not satisfied, the car wash attendants refer them to their supervisor. (2)
  • Cleaners may encounter public pressure to use scent-free products which reduce the likelihood of allergic reaction. In response to complaints, maintenance technicians identify suitable and cost-effective alternative products and monitor their practical effectiveness. (2)
  • Cleaners encounter emergency situations, such as leaking pipes or power blackouts, while cleaning office buildings at night. They assess the seriousness of the problem and take actions to minimize the damage before contacting the appropriate authority. (3)
Decision Making
  • Cleaners make decisions about personal safety while using toxic cleaning products and supplies. (1)
  • Cleaners decide how best to accomplish cleaning tasks in the allocated time. (2)
  • Building superintendents have the authority to make decisions about purchasing materials valued up to a certain amount (e.g., $150); purchases over that amount are subject to approval by the property manager. (2)
  • Car wash attendants decide when to offer complimentary service to promote customer satisfaction. (2)
  • Cleaners select the most appropriate brand and type of floor wax after analyzing several factors, such as the type of floor surface and traffic flow. Stripping and waxing floors is an expensive and time consuming job and cleaners take special effort to avoid having to redo the floors because of poor results. (2)
  • Custodians decide what repairs should be done in-house and what work should be contracted out, considering factors such as skill and time requirements. (2)
  • Caretakers working among the public (e.g., in shopping centres) decide when to call the police when faced with disorderly individuals. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Light duty cleaners working in office, hotel or hospital settings often have pre-set tasks that must be accomplished each shift; however, they have considerable leeway to decide how to sequence the tasks to maximize efficiency. Specialized cleaners, such as sandblasters and carpet cleaners, often need to accommodate their clients' schedules in responding to jobs. Job task planning and organizing is done on the spot following an assessment of each situation and is very important to efficiency. Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents establish their work priorities considering variables such as breakdowns, weather, flow of people and tenant demands. They often juggle conflicting demands on their time. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Building superintendents memorize key aspects of legislation respecting residential tenancies.
  • Building superintendents remember the names of tenants to promote a sense of community.
  • Caretakers working in recreational facilities memorize seasonal event schedules for hockey, bingo, etc.
  • Cleaners memorize the layout of a building and the task routines developed for new contracts.
Finding Information
  • Cleaners consult Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to find out a product's chemical composition and how to use it safely. (1)
  • Cleaners may refer to policy and equipment manuals to find out what to do in an emergency or how to use a particular piece of equipment. (2)
  • Specialized cleaners may refer to code books such as the building and gas codes to verify conformance to regulatory requirements. (2)
  • Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents consult catalogues and speak with vendors to find information about parts and costs. (2)
Digital technology

This occupation does not use computers.

Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Light duty cleaners work alone or independently. They may work with a partner. Specialized cleaners work independently and, depending on the nature and size of the job, may work with a helper. Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents work independently, co-ordinating their work with the work and schedules of others (e.g., tenants, contractors).

Continuous Learning

Cleaners have ongoing learning requirements relating to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), the use of cleaning products and equipment and customer service. Some cleaners are required to stay abreast of regulatory requirements, such as building codes. Training may be offered in the workplace. Often, new information is acquired by reading Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), manuals and articles.

Date modified: