Job Prospects... At a glance
Job prospects for cleaners and caretakers are average. Although employment levels are projected to fall, the size of the occupation means there will still be openings for new workers. Cleaners also have protected employment status which means that directly employed cleaners are protected during outsourcing.
Various types of cleaners clean cars, carpets, flooring, windows, offices, residential buildings, public buildings, trains, busses and more.
Caretakers also clean commercial or residential, or public buildings, but they are also tasked with performing basic maintenance and sometimes have other tasks such as basic security or administrative work.
There are no entry requirements to work as a cleaner or caretaker. Most skills are learned on the job. People who already work as a cleaner or caretaker can complete an apprenticeship. This leads to a New Zealand Qualification Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2 or 3). Apprenticeships are managed by the industry ITO Careerforce in conjunction with employers.
The New Zealand Apprenticeships scheme is available for anyone over the age of 16, and is subsidised by the government. More information on the scheme is on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website.
|Learning on the job|
No study is needed, so starting as a cleaner is free. Completing an apprenticeship through Careerforce costs $200 in fees.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
The Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that looks after training for cleaners and caretakers is Careerforce. They arrange apprenticeships nationwide.
The annual income for cleaners working full time can be up to $38,000. The average annual income for caretakers is estimated to be around $38,000. Many cleaners and caretakers work on the minimum wage, or just a little more. Some cleaners can earn significantly more due to higher pay rates for specialised cleaning and career progression. Cleaners who progress into supervision or management can earn more than $50,000 per year.
Cleaners and caretakers’ employment
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
* Growth projections are based on the category “Cleaners and Laundry Workers”.
The number of cleaners and caretakers in employment fell slightly from 2006 to 2013. This fall is expected to continue, and speed up. Although employment numbers are falling, the large size of this occupation means there will still be high demand for new cleaners in the future.
Cleaners and caretakers may have to work outside office hours to not disturb businesses.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
Cleaners and caretakers are not on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
The number of online job vacancies for ‘Commercial cleaners’ has grown faster than the average for all vacancies since 2008. This may be due to increased turnover or retirement in cleaning and should mean that it has gotten easier to get a job as a cleaner in recent years.
Note: ‘Commercial Cleaners’ are a subset of the larger category of cleaners and caretakers. Consequently, the trend for the latter broader category may well be different.
Jobs advertised chart
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Cleaner and caretaker vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites.
Cleaners can move into other roles in cleaning companies such as supervisor, manager or customer service representative.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level cleaners and caretakers.
More information on cleaners and caretakers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of cleaners and caretakers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:
8111 – Car Detailers
8112 – Commercial Cleaners
8115 – Laundry Workers
811611 – Carpet Cleaner
811612 – Window Cleaner
899111 – Caretaker