Window cleaners clean windows and other glass in shops, schools, offices, hospitals and homes.
New window cleaners usually earn
$23 per hour
Skilled and specialist window cleaners usually earn
$23-$35 per hour
Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2019.
Pay for window cleaners varies depending on skills, experience and qualifications.
- New window cleaners usually earn between minimum wage and a little more.
- Skilled, experienced cleaners can earn up to $25 per hour.
- Specialist window cleaners who use abseiling equipment on high-rise buildings usually earn between $25 and $35 an hour, or more for complex jobs.
Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2019.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Window cleaners may do some or all of the following:
- set up cleaning equipment
- clean and dry windows and frames
- look after cleaning equipment
- record their work.
Window cleaners who clean windows on tall buildings also set up ropes, scaffolding or work platforms.
Some window cleaners also do general cleaning.
Skills and knowledge
Window cleaners need to have:
- cleaning skills
- knowledge of safety procedures.
Those who clean windows of tall buildings need skills in working with ropes and setting up scaffolding.
Depending where they work, window cleaners may also need to know how to use eco-friendly cleaning systems and products.
- may work regular business hours, or evenings, nights or weekends
- work inside and outside buildings such as shops, offices, houses and hospitals
- work in conditions that can be cold and wet. Some work high above the ground on tall buildings, using ropes or work platforms.
There are no specific requirements to become a window cleaner as you gain skills on the job.
High-rise window cleaners often qualify while working
Employers of high-rise window cleaners often take on trainees who work while earning relevant qualifications such as:
- the New Zealand Certificate in Industrial Rope Access (Level 3 or 4)
- Industrial Rope Access Association of New Zealand courses (Levels 1, 2 and 3).
Depending where trainees work, they may also attend courses on working safely at heights or on elevated platforms.
A Site Safe course, such as the Foundation Passport – Building Construction or the Passport Plus – Height, can also be helpful.
- Industrial Rope Access Association of NZ website - industrial rope training information
- Site Safe website - training information
- Skills website - industrial rope access training
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a window cleaner.
Window cleaners need to be:
- reliable and motivated
- careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
- quick and efficient
- able to follow instructions.
Useful experience for window cleaners includes:
- work as a cleaner, scaffolder or car groomer
- work in construction
- experience with heights, including abseiling, for window cleaners working at heights.
Window cleaners need to be physically fit as they spend long periods on their feet.
Those who work on the outside of tall buildings need to be comfortable working at heights.
Find out more about training
- Industrial Rope Access Association of New Zealand (IRAANZ)
- 04 5898081 - email@example.com - www.iraanz.co.nz
- Site Safe
- 0800 SITE SAFE (748 372) - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.sitesafe.org.nz
- Skills Industry Training Organisation
- 0508 754 557 - www.skills.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Strong demand for window cleaners
Demand for window cleaners is high due to a shortage of workers.
The shortage is caused by:
- high staff turnover, especially in night-shift roles
- low numbers of job applicants, partly due to the work being physically difficult.
According to the Census, 612 window cleaners worked in New Zealand in 2018.
High-rise window cleaners in particular demand
Companies specialising in high-rise buildings often struggle to find window cleaners with rigging qualifications or abseiling experience.
As a result, employers often need to take on trainee high-rise window cleaners and help them to gain relevant qualifications.
Opportunities are seasonal
Demand for window cleaners is usually higher in summer (when it’s dry) than in winter.
Most window cleaners work for cleaning companies
Window cleaners usually work for cleaning companies with five to 30 staff.
Some window cleaners are self-employed.
- McBride, S, chief executive officer, Building Service Contractors of NZ Inc, careers.govt.nz interview, November 2019.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Window cleaners may progress to run their own businesses, or work as managers.
Window cleaners may specialise in cleaning tall buildings, or in eco-friendly cleaning without chemicals.
Last updated 3 April 2023