Window Washer  What They Do

Just the Facts

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dotWindow washers clean glass and window ledges on buildings such as offices, homes, schools and hospitals. They use squeegees, chamois, brushes and ladders.

Some work on scaffolding. Others are strapped in safety harnesses and work on equipment well above the ground. These workers must be well versed in safety regulations and rappeling. They must also do safety checks.

While they work, window washers report building repairs such as broken glass or leaking window frames to their supervisors.

Window washers can work for cleaning companies or be self-employed. Their work often requires being outside, working in tight spaces, being on ladders and working high above the ground.

Window-washing jobs are found wherever there is glass. However, in the U.S., most window-washing opportunities are found in highly populated areas because there are more houses and offices.

"Some people are laid off in the winter months," says Cameron Roelofsen, a window cleaner. "Generally, window cleaning is busiest in the spring and in the fall."

Window washers work an average 40-hour week. "People working on high-rises have to work during daylight hours," says Roelofsen. "But many other cleaners work on weekends, or after hours to squeeze in more jobs."

Window washing is a physical job. It requires cleaning, assembling and disassembling parts, and climbing ladders. It can also involve higher-risk activities such as working above ground on scaffolding or suspended in safety harnesses. "This is physically demanding work," says Carol Blewett. She works with the International Window Cleaning Association.

At a Glance

Keep windows sparkling clean

  • You may have to work high above the ground
  • This is a physical job
  • You don't need a degree -- most training is on the job