Be a Window Washer

By Eric Hammer

One of the few jobs which you can still get without a lot of skills and which pays a decent though not spectacular salary is that of high rise window washer. In essence, this job involves standing on scaffolding outside of high rise buildings and washing the windows from the outside. While the job has in some cases been automated, in many cases there is still a need for this profession. Here's what you need to know about it:

Watch enough TV shows and you'll inevitably see various stunts involving window washing equipment outside of high rise buildings. These scaffoldings tend not to be noticed by most people, but they are an essential part of any skyscraper. These days, some of them have been replaced by robots, especially for super tall sky scrapers such as the Burj Khalifa (the Dubai tower which rises about 2,000 feet in the air). However, for most older skyscrapers, ordinary human window washers are the order of the day.

The job is not terribly complicated, but you do need to have good coordination and you need to be able to keep yourself steady on a small platform relatively high in the air, thus it's a profession which is ill suited to those who happen to be scared of heights.

How Much Can You Make?

While some window washers do make relatively high salaries, the average salary for a window washer is around $25,000 per year according to Simply Hired.

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Remember that this is outdoor, physical work. You need to be quick and efficient as a window washer. You'll also likely start work as an assistant window washer, meaning that you'll need to put in the time to learn the profession. On the other hand, as noted above, this is a job that typically pays more than minimum wage and doesn't require much in the way of skills since the work is fairly simple - you need to simply know how to use a sponge and squeegee to clean the windows outside of tall buildings.

It's also important to remember that safety is the single most important thing that all window washers need to be aware of. Thus you need to be fully prepared to use safety harnesses and other equipment which will ensure that you aren't hurt, even if the scaffolding happens to give out from underneath you. Paying close attention to what your supervisor tells you is equally important as your life can literally depend on what they say.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are no formal requirements to become a window washer. Typically, this is the sort of job where you learn the trade while working on the job as an assistant window washer.

First Steps

Start by looking for jobs as an assistant window washer and apply for the position. You'll need to look presentable and be eager to work in order to land one of these jobs. You'll eventually be able to work your way up to being a senior window washer if you put in the time to learn how to do the job.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about becoming a window washer:

eHow: How to Become a Window Washer - This is an excellent introduction to what it takes to become a window washer. It offers all the basic information and tells you how to get started.

Free Window Cleaning Tips: How to Become a Certified Window Cleaner -This is an introduction to a special course for becoming a "certified window cleaner (i.e. window washer). While it's not a requirement by any means, it can be helpful if you happen to be looking for a job in a competitive market.

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