Window cleaner

Window cleaners work as part of the estates team, making sure that windows are cleaned regularly.

This page has information on the role of a window cleaner in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

It is important that NHS buildings are kept clean both inside and out. This ensures that buildings are safe places to treat patients and pleasant places for patients, staff and visitors to be in.

Depending on the size and position of the window, as a window cleaner, you may use

  • water in a bucket
  • cleaning fluids
  • cloths to remove dirt and polish windows
  • squeegees
  • water-fed poles and water tanks

Some windows can be reached from ground level. For others, window cleaners may need to use

  • ladders
  • scaffolding or platforms
  • cradles or rope access

Many hospitals and other NHS buildings have glass windows or partitions inside, which also need to be kept clean. Window cleaners may have to work inside as well as outside.

Some window cleaners may take on other tasks such as cleaning gutters or the outside of buildings.

Who will I work with?

You may work alone, particularly in a small building such as a clinic or health centre. In larger buildings, you could work in a team. You may work at more than one NHS site and travel between sites in an NHS vehicle or your own vehicle.

Particularly if they are working inside a building, there may be staff and patients there, but window cleaners do not have direct contact with healthcare staff or patients.

Window cleaners may work for businesses providing window cleaning services to the NHS.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements. Employers ask for some literacy and numeracy skills. They are more interested in your reliability, attitude to work and willingness to work hard. You may also have the opportunity to get a qualification by doing an apprenticeship.

Skills needed

You'll need to be

  • physically fit for lifting, standing, potentially climbing and carrying
  • neat and methodical
  • health and safety aware
  • willing to work outside in all weathers
  • able to work alone or in a team.
  • practical

You'll also need a head for heights and good organisational skills.

  • Estates staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As a window cleaner you would typically start on AfC band 2. With further training and experience, you could apply for other estates support roles at higher points in band 2. 

    Window cleaners in the NHS are likely to work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Some may work shifts including early starts, evenings and weekends.

    Terms and conditions will differ for window cleaners working outside of the NHS.

  • You could progress to supervising a team of window cleaners or consider other roles in estates support.

  • Most NHS trusts advertise their vacancies on NHS Jobs. Some advertise on their own websites. You can find a list of NHS organisations on NHS Choices.

    If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.

    Find out more about NHS values.

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