This classification covers establishments primarily engaged in furnishing building cleaning and maintenance services, not elsewhere classified, such as window cleaning, janitorial service, floor waxing, and office cleaning.
The building cleaning and maintenance industry provides services to a wide range of clients, including private homes; multifamily residences, such as apartment buildings and housing projects; schools; libraries; museums; nursing homes; hospitals; government offices; hotels/motels and resorts; restaurants; churches and synagogues; community and senior citizen centers; airports; bus stations; railroad stations; marinas; and other commercial buildings and businesses.
In 2002, there were about 51,345 cleaning and maintenance businesses not elsewhere classified in the United States. The industry as a whole generated an estimated $27 billion in sales, up from $21 billion in 1997. The industry employed 937,745 cleaners and janitors in 2002. Of that number, about 20 percent were employed by cleaning and janitorial service companies. About a third of those employed worked on a part-time basis (less than 35 hours a week). The other 80 percent were employed by schools, hospitals, or other institutions or businesses as in-house cleaning staff.
Service industries are an increasingly important element of the American economy. One of the fastest growing service industries is the cleaning and building maintenance business.
With changes in needs and technology, the old view of the janitor as someone who only swept out a basement has changed dramatically. While today's custodians or cleaners may still employ brooms, they also make use of a variety of other machines, tools, and skills to keep buildings clean and well maintained. For the most part, custodians and building maintenance employees work indoors, in heated and air-conditioned environments. Work shifts vary tremendously, and some establishments, such as hospitals, large hotels, or transportation companies may employ such personnel on a round-the-clock basis. Entry-level janitors can earn between $12,500 and $14,000 annually while experienced janitors may earn $15,000 to $20,000 per year, and college-educated managers can earn $37,000 or more.