Who Is The Highest Paid Janitor?

How much would you expect from the highest-paid janitor? Not six figures, probably. But here it is.

Who Is The Highest Paid Janitor?

Who is the highest paid janitor?

Liang Zhao Zhang, a Bay Area Rapid Transit ( BART) System janitor has managed to become the highest-paid janitor by earning a total of $271,243. He is a senior cleaner in San Francisco’s Powell Street Station. As surprised as you might be about his salary, it is not his basic pay. His basic salary is $57,945 and the difference was earned by him by working overtime. And it is not the only time his salary has ended in six figures, but rather he has made a six-figure salary for three consecutive years now, grossing around $705,000. 

How was it possible?

Mr. Zhang earned $162,050 in overtime, almost double his basic salary. And combined with his work benefits and bonuses, his total income reached $271,243. According to Alicia Trost, Mr. Zhang is one of their most hardworking employees. He has worked hard cleaning the stations almost every day of the year. He even worked for 17 hours straight for about 18 days, in a row.

Mr. Zhang has worked for 4000 hours in a year, while an average janitor on BART works for about 2000 hours. And since, the sign-up for work hours is based on seniority, he signed up for as many shifts as possible. He took all the available shifts and even signed up for the shifts of other employees.

Classification of Liang Zhao Zhang’s income

Basic salary$57,945.8
Overtime pay $162,050
Other benefits $14594.9
Total income $271,243.2

The average salary of a Janitor in comparison 

The average salary of a Janitor is around $30,000 per annum. And the average salary of a BART janitor is around $40,000. But a janitor’s salary may vary depending on his experience level and the job description. As, with the increase in seniority, the average salary for that level also increases.

Depending on the type of custodian job and the candidate’s education qualification, experience, skills, and relevant certification, the average salary can also change. It can be probably seen from Zhang’s basic salary- $57,000 as well, as he worked as a senior janitor.

What category of Janitor he belongs to, and how it contributed to his earnings?

There are different categories of Janitor jobs and some pay more than others. Mr. Zhang was working as a custodian in BART System, in San Francisco. Custodian is the third highest paid Job title in janitor after Sanitizer Worker and Environmental Services Aid. Custodian salary is typically determined by the person’s educational qualification, skills, and experience.

Depending on the level of experience, the responsibility of the person also increases. A senior custodian may be responsible for cleaning a whole building, along with checking out maintenance defects and reporting such.

Did the location contribute to his high salary?

It can be said that the location of the station also played a big role in Zhang’s excessive paycheck. San Francisco, California, is the top metropolitan area that pays the highest salary to the janitors. The average is $42,030. And as he worked in San Francisco, Powell Street Station, we can understand how the location must have contributed to his high pay grade.

List of other Metropolitan areas with the highest janitor pay grade.

San Francisco, California $42,030
Boston, Massachusetts$41,240
Barnstable Town, Massachusetts $41,150
San Jose, California $40,520
New York, New York $39,980


As much as Mr. Liang’s pay has received an awestricken admiration for his hard work, it has been a topic of criticism as well. The criticism has not only been on the ground of BART’s faulty financial management but also the unfairness of the shift booking based on seniority. As it has given a chance to one person to amass a paycheck of six figures for three consecutive years while taking the chance away from others to earn a bit more or sign up for a desirable shift.

However, whether it’s a result of Liang’s hard work or the company’s irresponsible and outrageous compensation system or the combination of both, the fact still stands. Liang Zhao Zhang is the highest-paid janitor with a six-figure income, thanks to his overtime not only for one year but for three whole years.

Questions asked frequently

Following are a few questions that are –

  • Qualification to become a janitor

There is no particular quantification needed to become a janitor except a High School diploma of 56% or more.

  • What are the required skills for a janitor?

Following are some important skills needed to be a janitor

  1. Knowledge of various cleaning products and their application
  2. Experience with cleaning equipment and machines
  3. Knowledge about cleaning chemicals and their supply
  4. Safety guidance concerning the chemical cleaners and heavy cleaning equipment
  5. Good communication skills
  • Is there specific training to become a janitor?

There is no specific training program for the janitor job. And the training for a janitor is usually given on the job for about 1-3 months.

  • Who can apply for a janitor job?

After acquiring a high school degree, anyone can apply for a janitor’s job.

  • What is the average salary of a Janitor per hour?

Average janitor salary for an hour is $12-14.

Who Is The Highest Paid Janitor?

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