Career Development

What Does an Aircraft Cleaner Do?

Find out what an aircraft cleaner does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an aircraft cleaner.

Aircraft cleaners are responsible for keeping commercial aircraft clean and tidy. They’re often the last people to board the plane, and their duties begin as soon as passengers disembark.

Aircraft cleaners may use a variety of cleaning products and equipment to keep the interior of the plane spotless. This includes vacuums, brushes, chemicals, etc. They also have to be mindful of where they step so that they don’t track dirt or debris onto freshly cleaned surfaces.

Aircraft Cleaner Job Duties

Aircraft cleaners have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Washing or cleaning aircraft interiors using commercial cleaning products and equipment
  • Inspecting aircraft parts for damage or defects that may have occurred during a flight
  • Storing cleaning supplies in designated locations on the plane to ensure that they are available when needed
  • Using specialized equipment to remove biohazardous material from aircraft cabins and lavatories
  • Cleaning and polishing metal fittings and fixtures inside the plane, including seats and tray tables
  • Cleaning and maintaining lavatories and bathrooms on planes, including scrubbing floors and walls, replacing linens, and mopping floors
  • Applying protective coatings to aircraft surfaces to prevent rust and corrosion
  • Dusting and vacuuming seats and carpets, removing trash from seats and bins, and cleaning windows and mirrors using specialized tools and equipment
  • Scrubbing and waxing floors and walls, cleaning upholstery and cushioned seats, removing stains and spots from carpet or fabric surfaces

Aircraft Cleaner Salary & Outlook

Aircraft cleaners’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $25,808 ($12.41/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $86,000 ($41.35/hour)

The employment of aircraft cleaners is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Aircraft cleaners will be needed to clean and maintain airplanes as airlines continue to expand their fleets. In addition, demand for commercial flights is expected to increase, which should lead to more flights and, in turn, more cleaning work.

Aircraft Cleaner Job Requirements

Aircraft cleaners typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Aircraft cleaners typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a post-secondary program in aircraft cleaning. These programs typically last six to twelve months and include classroom instruction and hands-on experience.

Training & Experience: Aircraft cleaners typically receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other experienced employees. This training helps the aircraft cleaner learn the specific cleaning products and methods used by the airline. It also helps the aircraft cleaner learn the layout of the aircraft and the location of the cleaning supplies.

Certifications & Licenses: Aircraft cleaners usually don’t need any certifications, but some cleaning companies may require employees to hold certifications to show their dedication to the industry.

Aircraft Cleaner Skills

Aircraft cleaners need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a crucial skill for aircraft cleaners because it allows them to perform their duties with precision. This skill allows them to clean the aircraft to the standards of the company and ensures that the aircraft is safe for passengers. Attention to detail also allows them to notice any potential issues with the aircraft and alert their supervisors so they can address the problem.

Communication skills: Aircraft cleaners often work in teams, so it’s important for them to be able to communicate effectively with their coworkers. They often work with other aircraft cleaners and other aviation staff, such as flight attendants, to ensure that the aircraft is clean and safe for passengers. Communication skills can help them to work with others to complete tasks and solve problems.

Time management: Aircraft cleaners often work on a tight schedule, so time management is an important skill for them to have. They often have a set number of tasks they need to complete in a certain amount of time. Having good time management skills can help them stay on track and complete their work on time.

Physical stamina: Aircraft cleaners often work in large hangars or airports, where they may walk long distances to reach different areas. Staying physically fit can help you maintain stamina throughout your workday.

Ability to work independently: Aircraft cleaners often work alone, so it’s important for them to be able to work independently. This allows them to complete their duties efficiently and without assistance. They also need to be able to follow instructions and procedures to ensure they complete their duties correctly.

Aircraft Cleaner Work Environment

Aircraft cleaners typically work in hangars or on the tarmac at airports. They may be exposed to loud noise from aircraft engines, fumes from cleaning chemicals, and inclement weather conditions. They typically work in teams of two or more and use ladders, scaffolding, and other equipment to reach high areas on the aircraft. They may also be required to crawl into small spaces to clean hard-to-reach areas. Aircraft cleaners typically work full time, and their hours may vary depending on the airline’s schedule. They may work early morning, evening, or overnight shifts and may be required to work on weekends and holidays. Some aircraft cleaners are members of unions, which set wages and working conditions.

Aircraft Cleaner Trends

Here are three trends influencing how aircraft cleaners work. Aircraft cleaners will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Robots in Aircraft Maintenance

As aircraft maintenance becomes more complex, the use of robots is becoming increasingly common. This is because robots are able to perform tasks that are too dangerous or difficult for humans to do, such as working on an airplane’s engine while it is still running.

Aircraft cleaners can take advantage of this trend by learning how to work with robots. This will allow them to be more efficient and safe in their jobs, and it may also open up new opportunities for employment.

The Need for More Specialized Training

As airlines continue to expand their fleets, they are looking for professionals who have specialized training in cleaning and maintaining aircraft. This is because aircraft cleaners need to be familiar with the unique challenges that come with cleaning a large, complex machine.

Aircraft cleaners can capitalize on this trend by pursuing training that focuses on specific areas of aircraft maintenance. This will make them more valuable to airlines and give them a leg up on the competition.

Airport Security Will Become Even Tighter

As airport security becomes even tighter, aircraft cleaners will need to adapt their cleaning methods in order to stay ahead of the curve.

In the future, aircraft cleaners will need to be aware of new technologies and techniques that are being developed to detect explosives and other threats. They will also need to be familiar with the latest regulations regarding what can and cannot be brought onto planes.

How to Become an Aircraft Cleaner

An aircraft cleaner career can be a great way to get started in the aviation industry. As an aircraft cleaner, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of different aircraft and meet new people from all over the world. You’ll also learn about the different types of aircraft and how they are used.

To become an aircraft cleaner, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent, be able to lift 50 pounds, and be able to stand for long periods of time. You should also be able to follow instructions and work independently.

Related: How to Write an Aircraft Cleaner Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many opportunities for aircraft cleaners to advance their careers. Some cleaners may move into management positions, such as lead cleaner or supervisor. Others may move into related fields, such as aircraft maintenance or aviation security. With experience, some cleaners may become certified to operate certain types of cleaning equipment.

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