Window Washer Salary: Uncovering How Much They Earn

Discover the earnings of window washers in today’s market as we delve into their salaries and how various factors affect their income.

window cleaning tools

Have you ever wondered how much those fearless window washers dangling from skyscrapers get paid? It’s a job that requires skill, bravery, and a head for heights. But what kind of salary do they earn for their efforts? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the pay scale for window washers and explore some of the factors that can affect their earnings.

Whether you’re considering a career in window washing or just curious about the industry, read on to learn more about how much these high-flying professionals can expect to make.

Key takeaways:

  • Window washers work on buildings of all sizes and shapes.
  • Factors affecting window washer salaries include experience level and geographic location.
  • Commercial window washing jobs typically pay more than residential ones.
  • Self-employed window washers have higher earning potential but also face additional expenses.
  • Hourly rates versus project-based pay can impact a worker’s income level.

Window Washer Job Description

Window Washer Job

Window washers are responsible for cleaning windows on buildings of all sizes and shapes. They may work in commercial or residential settings, using specialized equipment such as ladders, scaffolding systems or bosun’s chairs.

In addition to cleaning windows from the outside of buildings with water-fed poles or squeegees and buckets filled with soapy water; window washers also inspect glass surfaces for damage like cracks or chips that could cause breakage during future cleanings.

The job can be physically demanding since it involves climbing up tall structures while carrying heavy equipment. It also requires excellent communication skills since window washers often need to coordinate their movements with other workers on-site.

Education and Training

Window Washer Job trainee

Community colleges and vocational schools offer courses in window cleaning techniques, safety procedures, equipment handling, and other related skills.

In addition to formal training programs, on-the-job training is also common in this field. New hires may work alongside experienced professionals to learn the ropes before being assigned their own tasks.

Some states require window washers who work at heights above a certain level to be certified by an accredited organization such as the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). Certification involves passing written exams on safety regulations and practical tests of technical skills.

While formal education isn’t always necessary for entry-level positions in this industry; it can help job seekers stand out from other applicants.

Factors Affecting Window Washer Salaries

worker receiving salary

Entry-level workers can expect to earn less than those with several years of experience under their belts. Commercial window washing jobs tend to pay more than residential ones due to the larger scale and complexity of the work involved.

Another factor that affects earnings is geographic location. Window washers in urban areas or high-rise buildings typically earn more than those working in rural or suburban locations.

Self-employed window washers may have higher earning potential but also face additional expenses such as equipment costs and insurance premiums compared to employed workers who receive benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.

Hourly rates versus project-based pay can also impact a worker’s income level since some projects require longer hours while others are completed quickly but at a higher rate per hour worked.

There are many variables that affect how much money a professional window washer earns each year.

Geographic Location Differences

window washer

The cost of living, demand for services, and competition in different regions all play a role in determining how much window washers get paid.

For example, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), window washers working in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas. This is because there are more high-rise buildings and commercial properties that require professional cleaning services.

In addition to this, some states have higher minimum wage rates or stronger labor laws that protect workers’ rights and ensure fair pay. For instance, California has some of the highest wages for window washers due to its strong union presence and strict safety regulations.

On the other hand, states with lower costs-of-living may offer lower salaries despite having similar job requirements as other regions.

Comparing Window Washer Salaries By Region

america region

Salaries for window washers vary widely depending on where they work, with some regions offering higher pay than others. For example, in urban areas with high-rise buildings and a strong demand for commercial cleaning services, such as New York City or Los Angeles, window washers may earn more than those working in smaller towns or rural areas.

It’s essential to note that cost-of-living differences also play a role in regional salary variations. A higher income may not necessarily mean better living conditions if the cost of housing and other expenses are significantly higher.

When comparing salaries by region, it’s crucial to consider all relevant factors before making any conclusions about earning potential.

Entry-Level Window Washer Pay

professional window cleaner

This can vary depending on the geographic location and whether you’re working for a commercial or residential cleaning company.

While it may not seem like much at first, entry-level positions provide an opportunity to gain experience and learn valuable skills that can lead to higher-paying jobs down the line. Many companies offer on-the-job training programs that teach new hires how to safely operate equipment, use cleaning solutions effectively, and work efficiently.

As with any job in any industry, hard work and dedication are key factors in advancing your career as a window washer. With time and experience under your belt, you’ll be able to take on more challenging projects that come with higher pay rates.

Experienced Window Washer Income

window cleaning equipments

With years of experience, these professionals have honed their skills and developed a reputation for quality work. Experienced window washers may also take on more complex jobs, such as cleaning windows in high-rise buildings or working with specialized equipment.

The exact salary range for experienced window washers varies depending on factors such as location, employer type (commercial vs residential), and whether they are self-employed or employed by a company. However, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for experienced window cleaners was $31,810 in May 2020.

It’s worth noting that some experienced window cleaners may choose to start their own businesses rather than working for someone else. This can offer greater earning potential but comes with additional responsibilities like marketing and managing finances.

Commercial Vs. Residential Window Washing Pay

Commercial Window Cleaning Income

Commercial buildings often have more windows than a typical home, which means that the job can take longer and require more equipment. As a result, window washers who work on commercial properties tend to earn higher salaries than those who focus on residential jobs.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you live in an area with many high-end homes or luxury apartments with large windows or hard-to-reach areas that require special equipment like scaffolding or lifts for cleaning purposes; then the pay rate for residential window washing may be comparable to what is earned by their counterparts working in commercial settings.

Self-employed Vs. Employed

window cleaning trainee

Self-employment offers more flexibility and control over one’s schedule, but it also comes with added responsibilities like marketing, accounting, and managing employees. On the other hand, working for an established company provides job security and benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.

Self-employed window washers have the potential to earn more money than those who work for someone else because they set their own rates based on market demand. However, they must also cover all expenses related to running a business such as equipment costs, advertising fees or transportation expenses.

Employed window washers typically receive hourly wages that are determined by their employer based on experience level or union agreements if applicable. They may be eligible for overtime pay after 40 hours worked in a week which can increase earnings significantly.

Hourly Rates Vs. Project-Based Pay

Window Cleaning

Hourly rates are the more traditional method of payment, where workers receive a set amount for each hour worked. Project-based pay is becoming increasingly popular in the industry and involves paying workers based on the size or complexity of a job.

Hourly rates can be beneficial for both employers and employees as they provide consistency in income. However, some window washers prefer project-based pay as it allows them to earn more money per job if they work efficiently.

It’s important to note that not all companies offer both options, so it’s essential to research potential employers before applying for a position. Some states have laws regarding minimum wage requirements or overtime regulations that may affect which type of payment structure is used.

Salary Range and Variance

Salary Range

The average salary for a window washer in the United States is around $30,000 per year. However, this can vary greatly based on experience level and geographic location.

Entry-level positions typically start at minimum wage or slightly above it. Experienced workers with several years of experience can earn significantly more than entry-level employees.

In some cases, experienced workers may even earn double or triple the amount that an entry-level worker makes.

Geographic location also plays a significant role in determining window washing salaries. Window washers working in large cities like New York City or Los Angeles tend to make more money than those working in smaller towns and rural areas due to higher demand for their services.

Benefits and Incentives

worker benefits

Some employers offer health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, or bonuses for meeting performance goals. These perks can make a significant difference in the total compensation package for window washers.

Self-employed window washers may not have access to these types of benefits but may be able to set their own rates and work schedules. They also have the potential to earn more money by taking on additional clients or expanding into related services such as gutter cleaning or pressure washing.

While salary is an important factor when considering a career in window washing, it’s essential also to consider other forms of compensation that could impact your earning potential over time.

Union Vs. Non-Union Workers

Union workers

Union workers typically earn higher wages and have better benefits than non-union workers, but they may also be subject to stricter rules and regulations.

In some areas, unions have negotiated contracts with employers that set minimum pay rates for window washers based on their experience level. These contracts may also include provisions for health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.

Non-union workers may still be able to negotiate higher pay rates based on their skills and experience level but will likely not receive the same level of job security or benefits as union members.

It’s important to note that joining a union is not always an option in every area or industry.

Seasonal Variations in Pay

snow outside house window cleaning

In some regions, window washing is a year-round job, while in others it’s more of a seasonal gig. For example, during the winter months when temperatures drop and snow falls heavily on windows, there may be less demand for window cleaning services.

As such, many professional cleaners experience fluctuations in their income throughout the year. During peak seasons like spring and summer when people are more likely to have their windows cleaned regularly or before special events like weddings or holidays where homes need to look pristine for guests’ arrival; they tend to earn higher wages than during off-peak periods.

However, this doesn’t mean that all areas experience these fluctuations equally – some places might have consistent demand throughout the year due to weather patterns or other factors unique to those locations.

Seasonal variations can impact how much money you make as a professional cleaner depending on your location and local market conditions.

Training and Certification Programs

Certification Stickers

While some window washers learn on the job, many employers prefer to hire workers who have completed training or certification programs. These programs can provide valuable instruction in safety procedures, equipment use, and other essential aspects of the job.

Training and certification programs for window washers are offered by a variety of organizations, including trade schools, vocational colleges, unions or industry associations. Some states also require licensing for professional window cleaners.

Completing one of these programs can help you stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs in this field. It may also lead to higher pay rates as well as more opportunities for advancement within your company.

Additional Earnings for Window Washers

tipping habit

For example, some companies offer bonuses or incentives for completing jobs within a certain timeframe or meeting specific performance metrics. Others may provide commission-based pay structures that reward workers for generating new business.

Window washers who work in high-end residential areas or commercial districts with large buildings can also earn more money due to the higher rates charged by these clients. Those who specialize in cleaning hard-to-reach windows such as skylights and atriums can command higher fees.

Some window washing companies also offer training programs that allow employees to learn additional skills such as pressure washing and gutter cleaning. These added services can increase a worker’s earning potential by expanding their range of expertise and making them more valuable to clients.

Opportunities for Advancement

man researching market

Experienced window washers can move up to supervisory or management positions, overseeing teams of workers and coordinating projects. They can also specialize in high-rise window cleaning or work on more complex jobs that require specialized equipment and techniques.

Some companies offer training programs to help their employees develop new skills and advance their careers. These programs may include safety training, leadership development courses, or technical skills workshops.

Self-employed window washers have even greater potential for advancement as they build their own businesses from scratch. By expanding their client base and hiring additional staff members, self-employed professionals can grow into successful business owners who oversee multiple crews working on various projects simultaneously.

Job Outlook and Growth Potential

group of window washers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for window washers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth can be attributed in part to an increase in construction activity and new building projects.

As more emphasis is placed on sustainability and energy efficiency, there has been a growing demand for eco-friendly cleaning services that use non-toxic products. Window washers who specialize in green cleaning may find themselves particularly well-positioned for future success.


How much do NYC skyscraper window washers make?

In New York, NY, a high rise window cleaner earns an average salary of $57,041, with a range typically falling between $47,239 and $68,595 as of May 25, 2023.

Is window cleaning a good job?

Window cleaning is a good job for those seeking entry-level roles with minimal education qualifications and steady demand.

Is window cleaning an easy job?

Window cleaning can be considered an easy job as it requires no experience or formal education, but demands good physical condition and proper training from the owner or manager.

How many hours does a window washer work?

A window washer typically works 35-40 hours per week, starting early in the morning and finishing in the afternoon.

What factors impact the salary of a window washer?

Salary factors for a window washer: experience level, work location, employer type, job hazards, and demand for services.

Are there any specific qualifications or certifications required for becoming a professional window washer?

Qualifications for window washers may vary, but generally, no specific certifications are required for becoming a professional window washer.

What are the common safety measures and precautions taken by window washers while working on high-rise buildings?

Common safety measures and precautions taken by window washers on high-rise buildings include using secure harnesses, stable platforms, ropes, helmets, and proper training to ensure their safety while working at heights.