Facility cleaning managers in this industry might genuinely love their jobs, but there is no denying that the main reason most are in the work force is to make money. And whether managers are working toward a cushy retirement, or simply to cover expenses, most can agree on one thing — the higher the salary, the better.

Even though making higher wages is a common goal for managers, salaries are often one of the main taboo topics of discussion around the water cooler. But no matter what a person’s age or how long they’ve worked in a career, at some point, they have all wondered how their salaries compare with the industry norm.

To help answer that question, Facility Cleaning Decisions researched national averages for custodial operations managers and compared those findings to survey responses from readers.

Cost Comparison

Many of the managers in the cleaning industry got to where they are through hard work, determination and, in some cases, years of dedication to an organization. They have worked their way up to obtain an executive or director-level position and deserve to be paid for their expertise and years of hard work. In fact, 30 percent of survey respondents have between 10 and 20 years of experience, while 45 percent have been in the industry more than 20 years.

But, depending on a person’s tenure, the type of facility they work in, the number of staff they oversee, and where that facility is located throughout the country, their financial compensation can vary quite a bit.

For example, Facility Cleaning Decision readers working in K-12 facilities had quite different salaries depending on where they were located throughout the country. It seems that the East Coast reins king in terms of salaries. In the Northeast, managers made an average of $81,811, and the Southeast averaged $83,625. In the Midwest, the average K-12 manager brought in $61,639, while the South had the lowest median salaries at $51,000. The Northwest averaged only $54,006, while the norm in the Southwest was $80,200.

Salaries based on geographical location varied quit a bit for college and university cleaning executives, too — anywhere from $57,000 in the South to as much as $103,667 in the Northwest. And the same was true for healthcare and hospitality facilities.

With such varying numbers, averages were difficult to determine using facility type and geographical location. Instead, it seems that job title may be a better way to benchmark.

According to the Facility Cleaning Decisions survey, readers with the title of director of custodial operations should expect salaries between $60,167 and $78,470. These numbers actually fall in line with many salary comparison websites such as Indeed.com, which claims an industry average of $64,000 a year for the director level.

Managers also fared well in the survey, albeit a bit lower than the directors they likely answer to. Readers with a manager title brought in an average of $59,268 in annual salaries.

Although these salary numbers fall in line with general averages, some might feel they are lower than the positions warrant. The good news is, average wage increases are quite strong among readers. Sixty-three percent of readers receive either a 2 or 3 percent raise every year. With 58 percent of those readers expecting to be working for at least another five years, the opportunity for salary growth is quite high. That is assuming salary negotiation is an option.

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