Janitors and Cleaners
(Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners)

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
83%
risk level
POLLING
59%
Based on 233 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
3.7%
by year 2032
WAGES
$31,990
or $15.38 per hour
Volume
2,148,350
as of 2022
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
2.9/10

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Automation risk

83% (Imminent Risk)

Imminent Risk (81-100%): Occupations in this level have an extremely high likelihood of being automated in the near future. These jobs consist primarily of repetitive, predictable tasks with little need for human judgment.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

59% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. However, the automation risk level we have generated suggests a much higher chance of automation: 83% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners' job openings is expected to rise 3.7% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very low paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners' was $31,990, or $15 per hour

'Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners' were paid 30.9% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 2,148,350 people employed as 'Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners' within the United States.

This represents around 1.5% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 68 people are employed as 'Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners'.

Job description

Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.

SOC Code: 37-2011.00

Resources

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Comments

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Jeff (Uncertain) says
The technology of AI has a couple or three more decades before it can become reliable enough to do repetitive tasks and the maintenance of such machines is especially high as they have a lot of technical issues so the reliability of such automation is a ways off.
Feb 16, 2024 at 08:51 PM
Josh (Low) says
I can see automation doing things like cleaning floors and tables but i can't see it being cost effective to have a bot do everything a janitor does in a normal day. everything from taking trash out and throwing it in the dumpsters to shampooing stains out of carpets to removing vandalism and cleaning complex surfaces like toilets and sinks. Not to mention tasks like opening up and refilling toilet paper and paper towel dispensers.

Don't get me wrong, i think it could be done, i just think the cost would be outrageous and that somebody would still often have to step in for unusual messes and vandalism.
Jul 23, 2023 at 10:00 PM
Kory Hasch (Low) says
Because machines can operate on a basic level, and deep cleaning requires human judgment.
Jul 18, 2023 at 06:58 PM
Mike (No chance) says
In offices, schools, factories, and public spaces like malls and restaurants, I do not believe janitorial is at risk for automation. In order to make the tasks involved more able to be automated, they would have to do two things:

A. Invest significantly in equipment and processes that make the tasks much easier to do, and
B. Put a lot of personal responsibility on the people causing messes, generating the trash, and otherwise making the work that is needed to be done.

For A, restrooms would have to be redesigned with standards for toilets, urinals, sinks, etc where automated brushes could easily reach them. Trash receptacles would also need regular emptying and cleaning. It could be done, and I believe they've even invented self-cleaning restrooms where it basically treats the entire interior like a dishwasher, locking it off and doing high pressure sprays with sanitizing chemicals. It would be very very expensive to redesign them in such a way, not to mention the ongoing maintenance costs of such precision equipment. Similar with locker/shower rooms, kitchenettes, and break areas.

For B, in order for desk waste receptacle collection to be automated, office workers would need to actually throw trash inside the trash can and not beside, behind, or underneath. They would need to have it in a fixed position, and keep the area in front of it clear, and not obstructed with personal items, stacks of paper, or other junk. Similar to automated vacuum robots, they would need the area they're to clean free of obstacles. The best way to clean greasy fingerprints off glass doors is simply not have them there in the first place; train people to put their hands on the handle. Office workers in particular are incredibly inconsiderate of the work they leave for others, and office facilities would rather hire double the amount of cleaning staff to be demeaned and jump through ridiculous and unnecessary hoops.

The amount of investment needed to automate janitorial tasks would be incredibly high. If they really wanted to save money, they could instantly probably cut 25-50% of their workforce budget by being considerate to others. But they'd much rather waste money on digging their heels into classism, ensuring there are "servants" to look down upon.
May 10, 2023 at 07:10 AM
Not a robot (No chance) says
cleaning seems automated but its very much not. you may do same tasks, but a robot wont be cheaper to maintain then hiring a person. and you would need like a robot for each specific task then someone to repair robot if it breaks down. Just do not see AI replacing janitors.
Apr 05, 2023 at 01:29 AM
Max Dragonard (Highly likely) says
Perfect job for a robot.
Nov 04, 2021 at 06:19 PM
thao (Highly likely) says
There is lots of money to be made with automation, robotics, AI. Still, we won't see cleaning robotic or humanoid for a least 10 - 15 yrs, my opinion cause companies are taking ages to make it perfect like human-like, robotic but then I am too old I will be retired anyway.
Sep 09, 2021 at 09:32 PM
Experienced Cleaner (No chance) says
No matter how sophisticated the AI and software, plus the sensing technology a robot has, it will still require humans to train, service, and operate it. Its interface will have to be simplified enough to where its operator can program and run it, while focusing on the less predictable aspects of the cleaning work. AI and automation will only reduce the turnover rate and increase wages in this occupation.
May 28, 2021 at 09:53 PM
Ben (Uncertain) says
Addressing Peter's comment that states robots and artificial intelligence cannot be made to cope with the unpredictability of dealing with people.

I am currently writing this comment using an artificial intelligence aid. It is called Grammarly. I write rather well on my own, the help though is appreciated. It can improvise upon what I'm going to write.

Does this mean it reads my mind? No, it uses algorithms to prognosticate what is coming based upon my previous writing. From that, it can then access other algorithms that study grammatical rules and policies. That allows it to use an algorithm to assist my writing by editing.

My point being case variables in programmatic instructions can be defined so as to "follow" and "cope" with people. I work as a custodian presently for our county's public schools, which we have from pre-school to grade twelve. Children are the most unpredictable of all humans.

I can easily see how timing schedules, sensors, algorithms could all be put in place to cut my workload by two-thirds, or more. My work can be greatly automated. Still, there would need to be technicians both to repair the physical and mechanical aspects and to repair the computing code at times. So I say it could go either way.
Apr 10, 2021 at 04:04 PM
Ron Leffers says
there will less people working with robots but more people doing other things
Jun 05, 2020 at 03:28 PM
Jayden (Highly likely) says
We’ve already got little cleaning technology and I think it would be good to have robots that would just do this
Mar 08, 2020 at 09:46 AM
Peter (Low) says
This job deal with people and unpredictable action of people make difficult to created AI capable do do it. That was reason why was stopped it development. Job my be changed from actual cleaning to preparing area for robots.
Oct 15, 2019 at 09:15 AM

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