What Janitor Jobs Require Licensing or Union Membership?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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Janitor jobs can be held within many different sectors of the workplace from medical offices and hospitals to manufacturing facilities, schools, government buildings, and so on. In smaller industries and businesses, it is unlikely that janitor jobs require any special licensing or union membership beyond some form of bonding and insurance. However, some positions may require either or both.

In many cases, a janitor, also sometimes referred to as a custodian, works as an employee of a janitorial service that is contracted by individual businesses. In this case, to be eligible for janitor jobs, employees may be required to be eligible for bonding. Since many businesses elect to have their facilities cleaned after normal business hours, it becomes necessary for janitorial service companies to provide bonding and insurance. A criminal background check may be all that is required to fill janitor jobs within these service companies.

On the other hand, direct hire janitor jobs, such as those in schools and hospitals, may require either some form of training or licensing in various areas of maintenance. For example, previous training or experience in HVAC, plumbing, or electrical work may be a prerequisite for janitor jobs that are advertised as maintenance jobs. In some cases, depending on the employer, individuals may be required to join a union as well.


Depending on the employer and the work sector, janitor jobs may fall under public employee unions, labor unions, or service employee unions. Membership typically requires withholdings every pay period for union dues in exchange for certain benefits and working conditions to be negotiated by the union on behalf of each member. The amount of dues paid will vary depending on the union affiliation and location. The custodial or janitor jobs held in most public school districts are union positions.

When applying for janitor jobs, any special training or certification required should be noted in the job description. If special licensing is required, applicants will most likely have to have current licensing, but sometimes work experience may be waived in lieu of licensing if the applicant is qualified and willing to obtain licensing within a specified time period. If no special requirements are listed in the job description or on the job application, but you have specific licensing or certification in a relevant area, be sure to include that on your application.

Unlike training and certification requirements, union membership may or may not be disclosed in the job description. This information will likely be given during the job interview or during orientation and pre-employment screening. The amount of membership dues will be disclosed and a copy of the current working contract should also be provided. If you have any questions about union membership, be sure to ask the hiring manager or union steward.


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