Training Opportunities Help Build Cleaning Careers

Categories: Business Management, Cleaning Best Practices, ISSA Member Sponsored Content

By Adam Camhi | March 9, 2023 << Back to Articles Training Opportunities Help Build Cleaning Careers

In today’s world, a building’s health is more important than ever. Not only is safety a major factor for stakeholders in a space—whether it’s a hospital, office, retail store, or manufacturing plant—but it’s also a matter of perception. Visitors are more compelled to go to a location for an initial visit and to return to places they deem clean.

To that end, facility managers and in-house service providers need an efficient, properly trained staff more than ever. These individuals are critical to the spaces where people live and operate every day. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals to forge meaningful careers in the cleaning industry—and to expand those careers into the larger facility maintenance business. There are also training opportunities to help attract individuals to these industries and support them as they advance their skills.

Sunbelt Rentals and ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) have partnered to offer training programs with three key goals in mind:

  1. Raising the floor of knowledge and skill set in the cleaning industry through training, education, and certification
  2. Increasing industry wages through education, certification, and career development
  3. Ensuring that training opportunities are available for all who are interested.

These training opportunities aren’t only for entry level positions; they are also for those in the industry wishing to move into roles of progressive responsibility.

Available training and scholarships

The training from Sunbelt Rentals and CMI provides critical skills for efficient and effective cleaning. The partnership brings three main components to the cleaning industry.

  1. Cleaning 101 online course
  2. In-person CMI Custodial Technician course
  3. The Power of One scholarship

Cleaning 101 online course
By learning the basic skills via this online course, enrollees are able to establish the foundational elements of cleaning, as certified by CMI, currently at no cost. The courses can be taken around each individual’s schedule. The Cleaning 101 course includes five lessons requiring 45 minutes of training time each:

  • Lesson 1: Basic Chemistry of Cleaning
  • Lesson 2: Basic Cleaning Above Floor
  • Lesson 3: Basic Cleaning of Hard Floor Surface (Part 1 and 2)
  • Lesson 4: Basic Cleaning of Carpeted Floor Surface
  • Lesson 5: Basic Cleaning of Restrooms and Shower Rooms (Part 1 and 2).

Each lesson covers the fundamentals of the respective cleaning technique, including discussion about why each is important and safety factors to consider. Following completion of the lessons, enrollees must pass a Cleaning 101 exam to receive the CMI certification and be eligible to take the advanced CMI Custodial Technician course.

CMI Custodial Technician course
CMI professionals provide in-person, two-day training for this course at select Sunbelt Rentals locations nationwide. It is a combination of hands-on and lecture-based curriculum that covers the best practices for daily, periodic, and restorative cleaning procedures. Course modules covered include:

  • Customer Service
  • Basic Cleaning of Hard Floor Surfaces
  • Basic Cleaning of Carpeted Floor Surfaces
  • Basic Cleaning of Restrooms and Shower Rooms
  • Advanced Cleaning of Hard Floor Surfaces
  • Advanced Cleaning of Carpeted Floor Surfaces
  • Advanced Cleaning of Above-Floor Surfaces.

To receive the Certified Custodial Technician (C.C.T.) certification, attendees must successfully complete any combination of three courses offered through these modules. There is a cost to this certification, which is often covered by employers. In the event it is not, the Power of One scholarship covers the cost of registration in full for the selected individual or small company.

To date, Sunbelt Rentals and CMI have awarded 49 scholarships across 38 organizations for a total of US$30,000 of support. Another $50,000 has recently been committed for additional rounds of scholarships.

The value of certification

By maintaining their facilities with properly trained and certified cleaners, business owners are offering heightened value to their clients and customers through a properly cleaned and maintained space. And the certifications are more than just a piece of paper: They’re proof of an understanding of the different processes and procedures from ISSA and CMI, which set the standard in the cleaning industry. The certifications are also evidence of a commitment to learning, business maturity, and individual accountability and responsibility—all characteristics beneficial to a successful career in cleaning and facility maintenance.

Advanced technologies and opportunities

The industry is seeing a rapid increase in the number of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), also called cobots, being deployed to facilities. AMRs function without hands-on operation and can free up cleaning staff to take on more detailed and high-touch cleaning. They are specifically designed for repetitive floor cleaning and operate via a connection between the scrubber and a smart device—but they require human supervision. Sunbelt Rentals offers training to teach individuals robot onboarding to map the cleaning route, adjust for any interference, and complete the cleaning program.

Exterior cleaning drones are another advanced technology emerging in facility maintenance. These drones clean building exteriors and windows while the operator remains safely on the ground, while also eliminating the cost of scaffolding. They are an efficient means to complete cleaning projects faster. Drone operator training is also available with Sunbelt Rentals.

About the Author.

Adam Camhi is the vice president for flooring solutions at Sunbelt Rentals and has 15 years of experience in the equipment rental industry. Camhi has been an integral part of creating and establishing the flooring solutions business, which is aimed at helping customers adapt to growing and changing demands in the janitorial and surface prep industries. He can be reached at