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Portrait Of A Smiling Janitors In Uniform At Office
Portrait Of A Smiling Janitors In Uniform At Office

Day Porter vs Janitor: What’s the Difference?

When looking into commercial cleaning companies, you may come across janitor and day porter roles and discover that they have a lot in common. Despite their similarities, it’s important to pinpoint their differences to ensure that your needs are being met. There may be some confusion surrounding the roles’ unique responsibilities, so let’s break down what separates a day porter from a janitor.

What Defines a Day Porter?

The general role of a day porter is to act as a facility coordinator. Specific responsibilities vary based on your facility’s needs. That can include anything from restocking restrooms to greeting guests. Duties can even extend to running business-related errands, and flexibility is greatly encouraged. The role of a day porter is more customer facing than that of a janitor meaning that they are typically on-site during business hours or 1st shift (7am-3pm for most industrial companies). Day porters act on behalf of their clients and must uphold their company’s values and standards.

What Defines a Janitor?

Where a day porter is responsible for the general oversight of a facility, a janitor’s duties are mainly centered on maintenance and sanitation. Responsibilities include but are not limited to cleaning, trash removal, high-low dusting, and minor repair projects. As opposed to day porters, janitors typically work before or after business hours so as not to be in the way of customers or interrupt operations. Janitors are also expected to handle equipment and machinery such as vacuums, blowers, carpet cleaners, and buffers.

In addition to this, cleaning professionals know just what products to use to effectively clean without sacrificing the integrity of your upholstery, furniture, floors, and walls, or otherwise damage your business. Rather than spending time on Google figuring out how to remove a stain or adding cleaning supplies to your list of monthly expenses, a commercial cleaner will bring everything with them to address your needs. 

What Makes These Roles Similar?

Seeing as both roles involve upholding the safety and integrity of your facility, day porters and janitors share many similarities. In terms of education and training, both roles typically do not require a college degree. The minimum education requirement for most positions is a high school diploma or equivalency (GED). In terms of experience, training takes place on the job. Janitors may be required to take additional courses if maintenance tasks are expected. In addition, janitors working at medical facilities may be required to take OSHA training courses. Skills needed for both roles include verbal and written communication as well as a broad understanding of health and safety protocols. 

Figuring out what you need

In a best-case scenario, you’ll have both a day porter and janitor to ensure the health and safety standards of your facility. Large facilities with large quantities of foot traffic require day porters to keep supplies stocked as well as address customer needs. While smaller spaces with minimal traffic might not need a full-time facility coordinator, a janitor will help maintain the integrity of your workspace by keeping a clean and sanitized work environment.

Day Porter vs Janitor - Things to take away:

  • Day porters act as facility coordinators and are typically customer facing
  • Janitors handle the cleaning, sanitation, and minor repairs of your environment
  • Day porters represent your company’s values, and duties vary day-to-day
  • Janitors typically work before or after business hours


Knowing the difference between a day porter and janitor is essential to making sure your staff and patrons remain safe and healthy. If you’re in need of day porter or janitorial services, Total Maintenance Services can assist. We offer around the clock maintenance with the goal of protecting our clients and providing them with a clean and healthy environment.   

Learn how Total Maintenance Services Inc. can help you and contact us today!

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