Talk:Janitor

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Untitled[edit]

Janitors or Custodians are both awesome people who clean up our messes. We should thank them at ny chance possible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AaBbCcDdZz (talkcontribs) 03:04, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Janitor should be refered to as Custodian.
Working as a janitor, I can honestly tell you that we tend to like being called what we are - namely housekeepers or janitors. The article implies that the janitors come up with the alt names (e.g., Sanitation supervisor), but usually it's bestowed upon the staff by their supervisors (my job title is Environmental Services Associate Level II, for example).

Alternative names outside US[edit]

The word janitor is not used in England Sebmelmoth (talk) 15:19, 26 July 2016 (UTC) - the closest equivalent is probably "cleaner". In England, all the schools I attended had caretakers. Sebmelmoth (talk) 11:23, 29 July 2016 (UTC) Can anyone comment on usage in other countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, ...)? Mtford 03:28, 11 December 2006 (UTC) yes do u guys know anything about Swash men? they are throwbacks to the old ways of cleaning.

The term "char force" is still used in many places to refer to the janitorial staff. The term refers to "char," as in charcoal, and is a reference to the days of chimney sweeps cleaning out soot and "char." This term is still used by some government agencies in the US, including the US Department of State, for both domestic and overseas cleaning crews.169.253.4.21 (talk) 18:08, 27 May 2008 (UTC)TexxasFinn

Not true in Britain: Origin, from the Oxford Dictionaries:

Late 16th century: from obsolete char or chare 'a turn of work, an odd job, chore'  (obscurely related to chore)  + woman.Sebmelmoth (talk) 13:06, 20 July 2016 (UTC)


"The word janitor is not used in the UK"... it most certainly is. It's used in Scotland. It's a Scots word. [1] [2]--Revolt (talk) 13:48, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
In Canada, the terms janitor and custodian are equally common, and 'caretaker' is really common in primary and secondary schools (I'm not sure why, but I've only heard it used to refer to school custodians). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.141.143.183 (talk) 21:14, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
In England, the term caretaker is usually used. 188.29.246.117 (talk) 16:49, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
In Scotland the word Janitor is used everywhere by everyone. "Caretaker" is hardly ever used here, although it is understood - and certainly would never be used to refer to a school janitor.--81.147.177.209 (talk) 12:00, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Caretaker and janitor are not, to my mind, identical. I don't know about Scottish English, but my experience in England was that a caretaker was not merely a cleaner who busied him- or herself with hoovering the corridors and cleaning the toilets, but was the equivalent of what the Germans would call a Hausmeister. There is no corresponding term in American English (I'm a native speaker), because there is no corresponding role. Building superintendent might come close (for residential buildings), but I think there are aditional administrative, non-material duties that accompany that position that would not be part of being a caretaker or Hausmeister. In some contexts, custodian--in the broadest sense of the term--might be the (North?) American equivalent of caretaker or Hausmeister, but not when custodian is used merely as a polite circumlocution for janitor (i.e., someone who is hired just to clean the place up, perhaps on a somewhat limited schedule). I know the OED says that a janitor is "a caretaker of a building", but historically this referred to an ostler (which, it seems to me, is not quite the same as being a stabler). The OED says that a caretaker is "a person hired to take charge, esp. of a house ..." or "a person looking after a public building", which seems to me to be identical to a Hausmeister, for which I know no good "American" English equivalent, and which I would pretty clearly want to distinguish (based on their duties and responsibilities) from a mere janitor.141.70.11.4 (talk) 15:10, 11 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.70.11.4 (talk) 15:07, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Dubious salary statistics[edit]

The salary statistics cited at the bottom of the page appears to be from a self-reporting career website. The particular category that was cited only had around 100 people who responded with their salary info, not nearly enough to be considered accurate. Much of the other "self-reported" info on that particular webpage seems highly dubious and contradictory as well. One graph shows the median salary for janitors in the city of Washington to be $40,000 (!), but another shows the median salary for federal government janitors to be $19,000. HoosTrax 02:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't mean to go out on a limb, but if I had to venture a guess, then I'd say that $19,000 is probably the more accurate figure. If not, then I'm definitely in the WRONG field... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.189.253.232 (talk) 23:30, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
If you work in house, you tend to make more then working for a third-party cleaning company. That America for you. --Arm (talk) 18:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Janitors in the private sector tend to make alot less money than Janitors working directly for public buildings such as schools. A Janitor working for a public school might be able to support a lower middle class lifestyle for himself and his small family however a Janitor in the private sector would most likely be poor. However there has been a growing trend among government agencies to outsource janitorial services to public buildings to private companies. That might be where the $19,000 salary is coming from. I find this practice horrifying as it is turning at least decent jobs into bad jobs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.122.81.67 (talk) 07:24, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Maintenance engineer?[edit]

I was redirected to this article when I searched for 'maintenance engineer' and I'm not sure why. Surely a janitor or caretaker's job centres around cleaning, plus doing odd jobs and repairs. As far as I understand it, a maintenance engineer's job is the repair of e.g. machinery, which requires specialised mechanical and/or electrical knowledge. If anyone could explain a possible link, then I'd be very grateful. Otherwise, the redirect should be removed. Jammycaketin (talk) 11:43, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

A full fledged custodian who has passed a test is referred to as a custodial engineer or an maintenance engineer. While their main job is cleaning and to a lesser extent repair these tests usually do include some technical skills such as boiler operation. Infact the articles linking of custodian as a synonym for janitor is wrong. While a custodians main job is cleaning they are also responsible for things that a normal janitor would not be such as operating a boiler, heating/ventilation system etc.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.122.81.67 (talk) 07:30, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

In Popular culture[edit]

This thread in the article begins:

  • The idea of the janitor, often as a figure of ridicule or pity, has become a negatively stereotypical Black or blue collar character in popular culture denoting ignorance, laziness, failure, exploitation or even perversion and have featured widely in film, television and pornography.

Not one of the references is entered correctly so that the information can be verified. If it cannot be verified it cannot be included. The entire sentence should either be removed or re-written. ```Buster Seven Talk 02:59, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Derogatory term[edit]

Today (at least in the U.S.), "janitor" is considered a derogatory -- kind of demeaning -- term, sort of like, secretaries are now "administrative assistants". When a custodian is called "janitor", it implies how that person feels about him. I thought I would mention that here before adding anything to the article. --Musdan77 (talk) 20:30, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Work and gender?[edit]

Is there any statistics about sex ratio of people who work as janitors in the USA? According to the popular culture they are mostly male, but is that true? In Russia, for example, most of the custodians are women. Like 95% of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.135.76.141 (talk) 15:09, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

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