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How to Become a School Caretaker

If you enjoy manual labour and fixing things becoming a school caretaker could be the job for you!

Table of Contents

Step 1: Learn about a school caretaker's role and responsibilities

Working as a school caretaker involves a lot of manual labour, so if you’re thinking about applying for a position you should make sure you’ll be able to physically handle it. Your duties will be mainly based around looking after the site and you could be undertaking different duties depending on the level you’re employed at, including:

  • Carrying out repairs around the school, as well as performing basic DIY.
  • Potentially cleaning or supervising cleaning of facilities.
  • Dealing with security and access to the site.
  • Managing staff and supervising external contractors.
  • Planning for site development and how the site is going to be used.
  • Setting maintenance and repair priorities around the school.

When you'll be working

As a school caretaker you’ll probably only be working in your school’s term time.

What does a school caretaker earn?

As a school caretaker you could find your salary ranging from around £17,703 on the lower end to £24,795 depending on the places you’re applying to and the level of responsibility you’ll be dealing with, from entry level to supervisory positions. The average salary is around £19,566.

If you want to learn more about what a teaching assistant earns then check out our school caretaker salary page where you can find our breakdown!

How can you progress as a school caretaker?

Site management career progression

If you want to know how you could progress, take a look at some of our other career advice pages and find out what you’ll need to get where you want to be!

Step 2: Improve your chances of getting a position as a school caretaker

If you’re comfortable with the responsibilities of being a school caretaker, then you’ll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary skills for the position. You generally won’t need academic qualifications for a school caretaker’s position but it might be helpful to look into qualifications that will be useful in any school-based position. Previous experience in a similar role is always helpful and for a position as a school caretaker having at least basic DIY skills and the ability to work flexibly depending on the needs of the workplace are going to be beneficial.

You’ll need to meet the requirements for the job role, as well as the more specific requirements that many organisations have for their potential employees that can vary from job to job, and there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances when you’re looking to enter a career in site management.

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Which qualifications do you need to become a school caretaker?

Though you more than likely won’t require any qualifications for the position, It would be a good idea to look into a Level 2 Support Work in Schools and Colleges qualification. You’ll get the knowledge you’ll need to work in a school and be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the environment you’ll be working in on your CV, at interviews, and in the job. 

How to get experience as a school caretaker

When looking for work as a school caretaker it’s going to be helpful if you have some experience in a similar role, something where you’ve had to handle some or all of the responsibilities that a school caretaker might be undertaking. This could be either in a paid position or from any volunteer work you’ve undertaken in the past, any experience or training is valuable! 

If you haven’t had the opportunity to get experience in the role then it’s a good idea to highlight the transferable skills you’ve gotten from other work for this position. Checking out our jobs board is a great way to start searching for the experience you need!

Get some supporting qualifications valuable to the job

Even though you won’t be interacting with students regularly, it could be useful to take part in a safeguarding and prevent course. Safeguarding knowledge is valuable in all positions at educational institutions and is going to help you stand out in a job where other qualifications aren’t required.

It would also be useful to have health and safety and first aid training since you’ll be working on potentially dangerous DIY projects as well as around children that could need first aid at any time. This training might also be offered as part of the job. 

Typical weekly hours

As a school caretaker you could be working around 32-40 hours a week depending on your school and responsibilities.

Step 3: Make sure your CV is up-to-date

You should make sure your CV includes your most up-to-date information, including any relevant qualifications and work experience you might’ve gained since you last updated it. It’s important to present yourself as best you can, since we all know first impressions are important, and your CV is more often than not going to be the first thing potential employers will see. It’s essential that they’re done right.

To make the best impression you can, you’ll need to convey the right information and present it well. Given how important your CV is, we’ve created a short guide to help give you the best chance of landing an interview and starting your career in early years!

Top school caretaker CV writing tips

When you’re looking at a position as a school caretaker, it’s crucial that your CV is high quality and reflects your passion for the role. An effective CV is well presented, displays relevant skills and experience, and gives your potential employers an insight into who you are. 

It’s important that you use grammar correctly, that your writing is concise but informative, and any non-relevant information is left out. Not following these rules could mean your application is rejected, since employers could see it as too unprofessional. Our school caretaker CV writing tips are here to help you to land that position you’ve been waiting for!

1. Grab their attention with a personal profile

Your personal profile is the first section of your CV that employers will read to find out more about you. This is your chance to introduce yourself, sell your skills and outline your characteristics. Personal profiles are a perfect way to persuade recruiters, as it tells them straight off why they should hire you. 

This section can include relevant experience and achievements, but it’s important to tailor this to the job description and what’s prioritised there to show your enthusiasm for the role and that you’re a serious candidate for the position who has what they’re looking for. 

There are no set rules on the length of this section but you should aim for a few short sentences and no longer than 100 words. This way you can keep it concise and effectively highlight who you are to employers without giving them too much information, increasing the chances of them reading through the rest of your CV and considering you for the job. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and presenting the things that you think make yourself stand out.

Talk about yourself (when it's relevant)

Though your CV should be more focused on your skills and work experience rather than your personality, it can be good to include some relevant personal information such as your hobbies in your CV. What counts as relevant will vary from job to job. For a school caretaker job you could try talking about hobbies that show you’re active or make use of your DIY skills. They could make a good impression on the employer and help to show your enthusiasm for the role!

2. Sell your skills

There should be a section in your CV that outlines your relevant skills. This makes it easy for the employer to read and more easily determine if you meet the requirements of the role. You should format this section using bullet points so that it’s simple and easy for employers to read. Make sure to include relevant skills that you think make you a good candidate for the position. Such as:

  • Being ready and able to undertake potentially physically demanding work since this job role will require a lot of manual labour
  • Having good teamwork skills and being able to work within a group or as part of a larger team, as well as being competent working alone
  • Great organisational and/or time management skills. School caretakers will often have to complete tasks in a timely manner to ensure they don’t become a danger to students

If you’re struggling to think of skills that are relevant to the job then it’s a good idea to check vacancy advertisements for some ideas. Start off by rereading the job you’re applying for and what might be useful to mention, but if you’re still stuck then take a look at other similar job postings. You should also think about which of your skills have been helpful in any of your past work or study. 

It’s important when talking about your skills to try and include both hard and soft skills, so that you can show some variety. Hard skills are the skills you gain through experience, knowledge, or learning such as through a qualification or after undertaking training. Soft skills refer to your personal traits and habits that determine how you work, like being an effective communicator, able to work in a team, or organisational skills.

3. Outline your experience

You should outline any past experiences in either work or volunteer positions that are relevant to becoming a school caretaker and can best show your potential employer the value that you’d be bringing to the position. 

The most valuable experience you can have as a school caretaker is working in that position before and, if you have it, is something you should present front and centre. Include any past experience working in a similar position where you’ve been responsible for maintenance or DIY. Give details of where you worked, including the dates you started and finished your employment (these don’t have to be specific, usually the month and year are fine), alongside your key responsibilities within the role. If you have a lot of relevant experience then list it from most to least recent. Employers will want to know more of what you’ve been doing recently, rather than years ago, as it’s more relevant to the jobs you’ll be applying for now.

If you have no relevant experience then you should include any previous employment you’ve been in and the transferable skills you gained that will be useful in the role. Try and think about any similarities between your previous positions and the one you’re applying for. Is there anything listed on the job advertisement that sounds familiar?

4. List your education and qualifications

Making sure you mention your education clearly on your CV is very important, as it will show that you have the knowledge and qualifications needed for the job. When listing your qualifications you should prioritise two things: the level of the qualification (is it a degree or a GCSE?) and when you received it. Much like your experience, it’s best to list your qualifications from your most to least recent.

When you’re listing your qualifications make sure you include the name of the institution, the dates you attended them from, the subject(s) you studied or name of the qualification, as well as the final grade you received. If there’s a particular aspect of your study that is very relevant to the position you’re applying to then it would be a good idea to briefly mention it at some point.

Include your certificates and other qualifications

Don’t think you just need to include your experiences from school or university, things like standalone courses that award you with a certificate or diploma are more than relevant, especially if they cover a subject that’s relevant to your work. Add your certificates in the same way you’d add your other qualifications, providing any additional information as needed.

5. Remember to include your contact details

It might seem obvious, but having your contact details clearly signposted on your CV is extremely important, without them potential employers may have no way to contact you. You should include your up-to-date email, phone number, and address somewhere near the top of your CV so that they don’t get lost amongst the rest of your information.

Example school caretaker CV

School Caretaker CV

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Struggling to put your CV together? Download our free CV template and get a head start on making a fantastic CV. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 4: Search for school caretaker jobs you can apply for

Searching for a school caretaker position should be simple, and shouldn’t be any different than finding any other job you’ve applied for before. Make sure that the positions you apply for are a good fit for you and that you have all the necessary qualifications and you should have no trouble! Checking out our job board could be a good start for your search.

Step 5: Write a job-specific school caretaker cover letter

You should write your cover letter using the job description of the vacancy you’re applying for. Your cover letter is an important part of many job applications. 

No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, your cover letter is going to help demonstrate to potential employers the passion that you have for the role and allow you to sell yourself as a valuable candidate that they need to consider hiring.

Top school caretaker cover letter writing tips

Cover letters are your chance to really sell yourself to a prospective employer and progress to the next stage of the hiring process. This opportunity isn’t always fully exploited by candidates, and sometimes cover letters just become reworked CVs or are poorly planned and formatted.

1. What should a cover letter look like?

The header of your cover letter should have your up-to-date email, contact number, and the current date, as well as the recipient’s contact information. You should start your cover letter with a greeting such as “Dear [Company] Hiring Manager” or “Dear Mr/Ms Surname”, if you know who you’ll be contacting directly.

When choosing your font you need to make sure it’s not only easy to read but also looks professional, as well as the right size. Try to stick between a size 10pt-12pt font on your cover letter, as making your font size too big could come across unprofessionally, but it should still be clear and legible. Make sure to split the main body of text into multiple paragraphs, this not only makes it easier to read but also easier to plan the structure of your cover letter (each paragraph might have a specific topic, for example). 

It’s a good idea to sign off your cover letter using your name and a complimentary close. Using “Yours Sincerely” or “Your Faithfully” are seen as very formal, but can sometimes appear outdated, try using “Kind Regards” as a formal alternative that is still professionally acceptable.

2. What should I write in my cover letter?

Here are some suggestions for each of the paragraphs in your cover letter and what you might want to mention to your prospective employer: 

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First paragraph


Start by explaining why you're writing the letter, making sure to mention the job you're interested in by its specific title, you could also mention where you saw or heard about the vacancy. Give a brief sentence stating your experience or a relevant qualification. 

Second paragraph

Experience and Qualifications

Highlight your relevant experience or qualifications. Talk about relevant responsibilities you had in previous roles, and go into more detail about how this makes you suitable for the role--is there a particular achievement you're proud of in your previous work or study that is relevant to the job? Mention it here!

Third paragraph


Discuss the skills you have that are relevant to the job and make sure that you mention how they make you well-suited for the role. Always be showing the employer what you have to offer them if they were to hire you. 

Final paragraph

Final note

Reiterate your interest in the role. Outline your motivations for not only working this type of job but why you want to work for this employer. It's a good idea to include some relevant knowledge about your potential employer, as it shows you are taking an extra interest.  

3. How can I make my cover letter unique for each role I apply for?

A good way of making your cover letter stand out from other candidates is by tailoring it to the particular role you’re applying for. It’s always easiest to look back through the job posting and pick out relevant information like the job title and employer and making sure to mention them early on. This will show your employer that your cover letter is tailored towards them, rather than being something generic you’re sending around to every employer.

When you’re going through the job posting take note of the specific skills and experience listed as desirable by the employer, you can tailor the skills and experience you mention to what they’re looking for. Try not to follow along too closely and risk looking like you’ve just copied the advertisement, but do enough to show that you’re the ideal candidate. Order your skills, experience, and qualifications in order of relevancy–what’s highlighted or mentioned first in the job posting? Is there something very specific that they’re looking for? Make sure you bring it up!

4. Finishing touches

Now that your cover letter is well-formatted, has the main body of it’s content written, and has been tailored to the job role, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your work.

Proofread what you’ve written a few times over to check for punctuation or grammar errors and how well your writing flows. Try and enlist the help of a friend or relative to give it a read over, they may spot something you missed!

Now you should go back to the job vacancy and re-read all of it. Check if there are any special instructions you should follow when applying for the position, like if they’re asking for the documents to be submitted as a particular file type or maybe want you to add a job reference number to your cover letter. Make any of the changes you need and ensure everything’s in order. Overlooking small things like this could ruin your otherwise perfect cover letter!

Example School Caretaker Cover Letter

School caretaker cover letter

Download our Cover Letter Template and Make Yours Today!

Struggling to put your cover letter together? Download our free cover letter template and get a head start on writing an amazing cover letter. Make sure to follow the rest of our tips and learn how to land that job you’ve always wanted!

Step 6: Prepare for interviews

We all know that job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but being well prepared for the interview will help you to appear calmer and more confident. It might seem obvious, but make sure that you always present yourself professionally at interviews, dress well, and always be polite. First impressions can make or break your chances!

Interviews can be daunting and hard to prepare for–especially if you don’t have much experience–but we’re here to help you out. 

We’ve compiled a list of common questions that you might be asked in your interview for an early years job and how you should go about answering them, as well as some questions you can ask your interviewer to help show your interest in the position!

Questions your interviewer might ask

Your motivations

Many interviewers will ask why exactly you want the position. It’s great if you have a genuine motivation to do the work that you can share with them. If it’s something more simple like financial need, etc. then it can be good to mention things like the employer being good to work for or something similar that shows a knowledge of the employer or position, rather than seeming uninterested in the specifics. Do some research on your potential employer and look out for what might be a good fit for you, as that’ll be good to mention.

Your personal approach to the role

In any position where you’ll be working with others, employers will want to know how much of a team player you are and how you handle working under someone else’s direction. You should emphasise your strengths both working with others and alone, since employers value both. Try to come across as able to work well with others but competent working alone.

Qualifications and experience

Employers will always want to know about your prior experiences of the job. Try and highlight the best aspects of your previous work like any particular achievements you have. If you don’t have any prior experience then try and relate your work to something similar that you’ve done in your life, but keep it relevant to the role.

In your interview you may be asked whether you’ve used a particular kind of equipment or carried out a specific duty a school caretaker might deal with before in order for your interviewer to gauge how well you’d handle certain tasks. If you have little experience then read up on the kinds of duties you’ll be expected to perform in detail so you can at least respond with what you would or should do. In the case that you do have experience as a school caretaker or a similar role you could talk about any experience you have gained in the role. Using the STAR method to structure you real-life example could be beneficial.

Questions for you to ask your interviewer

Now let's recap...

Final note

After reading through our guide, you should be ready to embark on a new career in site management with the confidence you need to excel. If you follow our tips then you’ll be more than ready to get the job role you’ve been looking for! Good luck, and if you need any more advice on other career options, don’t forget to take a look through our career advice page

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