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tib services logoIf you’re reliable, know your way around a toolbox, and are thinking about a career change, then why not consider becoming a school caretaker? School caretakers are trusted and valued members of the community who work hard to make sure that premises are safe, secure, and in proper working order for pupils, school staff, and visitors.

There are many reasons why people consider caretaking in later life – whether it be the sense of reward and satisfaction or the flexibility that some caretaking opportunities provide. You can choose to work full-time, part-time, or on a flexible temporary basis for an agency.

With this in mind, we’ve teamed up with TIB Services to explain more about what school caretakers do, what kinds of opportunities are available, how you can qualify, and what the rewards and challenges of the job are.

What do school caretakers do?

School caretakers supervise and look after school buildings and/or grounds. As a school caretaker, your role would be to make sure that everything is in proper working order, and that the premises is both clean and secure.

Some school caretakers cover a variety of different locations within a certain area, while others are employed to look after one specific site. Depending on the size of the site, you could be working solo or as part of a team.

Although duties will differ based on the type of caretaking role you choose to pursue and the individual needs of the site, day-to-day responsibilities typically include things like…

  • Supervising cleaning teams
  • General maintenance (e.g. minor repairs)
  • General support (e.g. setting up meeting rooms)
  • Landscape work (e.g. mowing grass and cutting back foliage)
  • Organising and supervising major repair work (e.g. booking outside contractors)
  • Opening the premises in the morning and locking it again at night
  • Ordering new equipment and supplies when needed (e.g. furniture, cleaning products, etc)
  • Making sure all heating, lighting, and alarm systems are functioning properly
What do school caretakers do

What skills and experience do I need to become a school caretaker?

You don’t need any specific professional experience to become a school caretaker. But there are a few skills and qualities that might make you a good fit for the role.

For example, the right person will…

  • Have excellent attention to detail to ensure all maintenance and security jobs are completed to the highest standard.
  • Be proactive. Going above and beyond to make your site the best it can be is what separates an excellent caretaker from the rest and is important for success in this role.
  • Have good organisational skills. Schools are busy places full of people and require a wide range of jobs to be completed at any given time.
  • Be reliable and trustworthy because you’ll be entrusted with the safety and security of the premises and everybody on it.
  • Have a willingness to learn. Every day is different as a school caretaker and you never know what the job might throw at you, so a willingness to learn is important – whether it’s learning how to use a new tool or adapting to new situations.
  • Have good communication and customer service skills, as the role involves constant interaction with others. For example, students, teachers, visitors, and the school management team.
  • Have a reasonable level of fitness, as you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet and may, at times, be required to lift heavy objects.
  • Have home DIY experience to enable you to help out with everyday maintenance and minor repairs.
  • Have an understanding of public safety and security. Being first aid-trained or having prior knowledge of best hygiene and security practices from a previous career (e.g. in the military or emergency services) could be helpful in this role.
  • Be able to pass schools’ safer recruitment checks, like an Enhanced DBS and child barred list check, as you’ll be working with children.

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What will I love about being a school caretaker?

There are various reasons why you might enjoy this role, for example, it’ll give you the chance to…

  • Solve problems – whether it be fixing a leaky sink or helping someone who’s lost on your site.
  • Get involved with practical work, such as DIY and gardening. This is a perfect role for someone who likes to work with their hands.
  • Stay active because you’ll constantly be on your feet and moving about.
  • Help others. Whether you’re working at a small primary school or a large academy, caretakers are always around to offer general assistance to pupils, staff, and visitors.
  • Spend more time outdoors doing things like landscape work and perimeter checks.
  • Be a trusted member of the community.
What will I love about being a school caretaker

What are the challenges of being a school caretaker?

  • While working as a caretaker can be a great chance to stay active, it can also be physically challenging. For example, in certain schools, you may occasionally be required to do some heavy lifting or work at heights.
  • Depending on the role, you may be required to work early morning or late night shifts.

How much can I earn as a school caretaker?

As a school caretaker, you can typically earn a salary of between £16,000 and £25,000. Although some roles, particularly supervisory and leadership roles, may offer more.

If you’re looking for a more flexible opportunity where salary is calculated on an hourly basis, you can expect something between £10 and £11 an hour.

Are there opportunities to progress as a school caretaker?

As you gain experience as a school caretaker, a variety of opportunities may become available to you. For example, you could be promoted to a site manager role, in which you’d manage a team of caretakers and other site staff.

How do I get started as a school caretaker?

Apply to organisations directly…

As we’ve already said, lots of employers will take on applicants as school caretakers with no prior professional experience in the industry. So, as long as you have experience doing DIY tasks at home and are familiar with common tools, there’s no reason why you can’t apply for roles straight away.

There are various caretaking opportunities out there. So whether you’d like to work full-time or take on a more flexible, part-time role, you’ll hopefully be able to find one to suit your lifestyle.

If you’d like to brush up on your DIY skills or gain a certificate to strengthen your application, why not consider taking a DIY course? Alternatively, you could search for caretaking apprenticeships near you, where you’d be able to learn on the job from scratch.

Remain flexible by applying to TIB Services…

If you like the sound of becoming a school caretaker but you’re looking for something more flexible, why not consider applying to TIB Services?

TIB Services is an agency that provides temporary maintenance and site services to schools and care homes all across England, Scotland, and Wales. Their competent, efficient, and reliable staff are on hand to offer relief when permanent staff are sick or absent.

No qualifications are needed to apply, you just need to be a confident and capable DIYer who’s looking for a fresh challenge and is keen to learn new skills. Training will be provided online, as well as in person before each assignment.

As a TIB Services caretaker, you’ll be able to remain completely flexible; choosing which jobs you’d like to take on and when – whether that be full-time assignments or flexible part-time opportunities.

So if you’re interested in becoming a TIB Services caretaker, why not head over to their website to find out more, or search for available roles on Rest Less? You can also check out the video below to hear from some of their staff.

Final thoughts…

Caretaking is not only rewarding but it’s also an ideal role for people who like to solve problems and work hands-on.

Plus, depending on what you’re looking to gain from your next opportunity, with flexible options like TIB Services, you can build the perfect work-life balance. This means that your new role doesn’t have to interfere with other aspects of your life, like spending time with family and doing the things you love.