Window Cleaner Kaihoroi Matapihi

Window cleaners clean windows and other glass in shops, schools, offices, hospitals and homes.

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.

Physical Requirements

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.

Useful Experience

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.

Personal Qualities

Window cleaners need to be:

  • reliable and motivated
  • careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • quick and efficient
  • able to follow instructions.


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.


Window cleaners:

  • 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.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a window cleaner.

Window Cleaners can earn around $23 per hour.

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: research, 2019.

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.

Years Of Training

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.

Window Cleaner