How much do crime scene cleaners make? Depending on your role, you could potentially be making anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000 per year! How does this compare with the average salary for other similar jobs in your area? There are many different roles you can play in the crime scene cleanup industry, from performing basic cleanups to managing and supervising the rest of your team. But no matter which role you decide to take on, you’re going to have to have some specialized training and certification first to become certified in your area as a crime scene cleaner.
National Average Wage
Crime scene cleaners can make upwards of $85 per hour. This wage is dependent on the company they work for and where they work. The hours are not typical and those who choose this career must be willing to work nights and weekends. Workers often wear protection such as rubber gloves, goggles, and masks to avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids. Often times their exposure to dangerous chemicals can lead them to developing respiratory illnesses or skin rashes.
Local Average Wage
On average, crime scene cleaners make about $10-15 per hour. But with expenses for safety equipment and cleanup costing an average of $500-1000 per hour, this often falls below minimum wage. The hours spent on a cleaning can range from one to three days depending on how much blood was left at the crime scene. Workers must use rubber gloves, boots, protective eyewear, and masks to avoid possible health risks.
Crime scene cleaners are often the first responders to major incidents like shootings, house fires, floods, or any other event that leaves a space messier than it would be if left untouched. Crime scene cleanup requires extensive training in identifying and handling hazardous chemicals that could be used by criminals. They also must deal with bio-hazards such as human blood and tissue, bacteria and viruses found in feces or vomit, infectious insects like maggots that thrive on decomposing flesh, or decaying animals. The work is intense enough to make it difficult for many people to hold down this job for more than a few years at a time before they seek different employment opportunities.
Education and Certification
Cleaning up a crime scene requires special cleaning equipment and techniques, in addition to knowledge of hazardous materials. Upon arrival at a crime scene, the cleaner will assess the situation and determine how long it will take to clean the space. With their company’s supervision and approval, a cleaner can start the process. They must wear protective gear like gloves and masks to protect themselves from contaminants like bodily fluids. A variety of sanitizers are used as well as other products, including disinfectants and laundry detergent-based chemicals. The environmental impact must also be considered so that damage isn’t done while removing evidence or potentially hazardous material from space.
Unfortunately, the national average income for crime scene cleaners is not listed. In fact, many will go to a private or corporate agency and negotiate a contract that is based on their experience level and expertise. Though there is no average salary range, it is worth noting that most jobs are part-time and employers often work under different regulations (or less) than other cleaning services. As such, be sure to talk about these things in your contract with your employer.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median salary for a crime scene cleaner is $31,490 and the top-earning 10% make around $54,330. Job prospects are best in areas with high crime rates. In order to become a crime scene cleaner, one must be either self-employed or work for a company. If you’re interested in this career, there’s plenty of information about it online, including an option for some people to become certified in crime scene cleanup by The Red Cross.
Additional Resources to Learn About Becoming a Crime Scene Cleaner
The average salary for a crime scene cleaner ranges from $20,000 to $25,000, depending on experience and other factors. The best part is that you can often set your own hours as a crime scene cleaner since the work tends to be on an on-call basis.
The job is not for everyone. You will need strong social skills, good organization skills and most importantly, a stomach for blood and gore. If you think you have what it takes, check out these related articles:
What Does a Crime Scene Cleaner Actually Do? What Are Some of the Requirements of Becoming a Crime Scene Cleaner? How Much Does It Cost to Become a Certified Professional Crime Scene Investigator?