In India, people usually think that the job of a cleaner is not a job but is the upshot of poor education and lack of economic stability. While this is largely true, you will be surprised to know that there are some people who actually become cleaners because of no compulsion but by choice.
The responsibilities of a cleaner are fundamental in the management of the household, office, etc, but we take them for granted; the freelance community, however, does not. In clear and categorical terms, cleaning does make a career and often a well-paid one.
The freelance community is an ever-expansive professional community, which has accommodated nearly all possible jobs in its environment. With the digitalisation of the century, the freelance community has gone online and so much can now be done just by clicking a few web pages. So, if you wish to become a part of this community, you may not find many problems.
Talking about freelance cleaners, let me put it straight that there are many of them. In India, the situation is bleak because the cleaners generally belong to lower social threshold and do not have much knowledge about freelance—they hardly know how to use computers. However, in abroad, many people become cleaners to sustain a decent living but this is not as simple as it sounds.
There are four major points you must keep in mind in order to become a freelance cleaner:
1. Job requirements to become a freelance cleaner
There is no specific requirement of formal education for cleaners. This is true in most cases; however, where the place of cleaning is not the usual household and requires special knowledge, say of machines, then the employers may emphasize on the same. Therefore, there are things to be taken into account, and to know about them, read below:
- There is no general minimum educational qualification for cleaners, and what employers look out for is experience (we shall talk about this later).
- In order to gain preference over other applicants, it is recommended you secure certifications. While you may find an acute shortage of certificate courses in cleaning in India, there are plenty abroad and most of them are available online.
- These courses are designed to cover fundamentals of cleaning: different kinds of cleaning jobs such as domestic cleaning, industrial cleaning, commercial cleaning, etc; knowledge of necessary cleaning equipment; chemical safety, which usually includes lessons on typical cleaning chemicals and basic chemistry; identification of protective clothing, importance of kitchen cleaning, hospital cleaning; identification of green cleaning solutions; reporting procedures; outdoor cleaning, etc.
- Popular certificate courses include the British Cleaning Certificate Course, Good Cleaning Practice, which is offered by Cleaning Master Class on the online platform, The Cleaning Industry Training Standard, etc. These courses are available online and may cost you significantly.
- Mere formal education will not be of any assistance in absence of experience—something which employers most focus on. Experience can be accumulated by working in various settings: households, factories, hospitals, etc. The more experience you gain, the more prospects you have.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance cleaner
- Basic skills: The cleaner must be able to perform basic cleaning operations such as cleaning the rooms, public areas, collecting and disposing of garbage, making beds, organization of equipment, use of chemicals, etc. They should be adept at using vacuum cleaners, doing dusting and polishing furniture.
- Safety and Sanitation: Cleaners working in hospitals or factories need to especially keep in mind safety and sanitation. Proper attention should be given in the application of methods of equipment and chemicals handling. They must wear necessary safety equipment such as masks, gloves and boots to avoid acquiring any illness.
- Communication skills: A cleaner must possess robust interpersonal skills in order to sustain coordination with fellow cleaners and supervisors. You need to be polite and coherent while communicating with the high-ups, the owner of the place and other cleaners and must ensure adherence to the stipulated procedures and guidelines. If there are issues relating to the cleaning work, you must communicate the same and be willing to give suggestions.
- Physical skills: The job of a cleaner is laborious, requiring the high amount of efforts—this means physical fitness is a must. You must have the stamina to work long hours and carry out heavy tasks such as carrying furniture, etc. Your body must be flexible to crawl, kneel, bend or stoop and your eyes must have a good vision to be spatially aware.
- Organizational skills: Cleaning requires organization, for example, when working as a hospital cleaner, you will have to restore the room to the way it should be after patient leaves. Organizational skills include time management, that is, you should be able to finish off the tasks given within the stipulated time, and if you are unable to do so, you must communicate the same along with a believable justification.
- Career facts: Cleaning is not considered a profession at many places, and many try to fool cleaners over the payment and the job requirements. You, on your part, must thoroughly research your career facts and take note of the current pay trends in the cleaning industry.
3. Work opportunities for a freelance cleaner
The freelance community has gone online and emerged in the form of websites such as linkedin.com, worknhire.com, and freelance.com. These websites bridge the communication gap between the freelancers and the employers and allow them to work for each other’s benefits. Create an account on these websites and keep a regular tab on the current job availability.
As a freelance cleaner, you can come across a lot of work opportunities through these websites. You can work in industries, hospitals, households, schools, colleges, sports, etc. Cleaning is required almost everywhere, and thus, there is no limit to the number of settings where you can work.
4. Pay scale of a freelance cleaner
As a freelance cleaner, you can stipulate an hourly or monthly basis of payment. You can stipulate the amount after evaluating your education and experience, the status of the employer, the workplace where the job is to be done and whatnot. Rookie cleaners do not earn much in India, but if you are experienced and have worked in big places, you may earn quite a chunk every month.