Crime Scene Cleaner Careers
Drugs, crime, trauma, bio-terrorism, and industrial accidents are an unfortunate part of life, but they are here to stay. We usually read about these incidents in the news or see them on a television show, but what happens to those gory places after the fact? They get cleaned up.
Crime scene cleaners deal with the contaminated aftermath of tragic events. It’s their job to clean up after violent crimes, suicides, meth labs, decomposing bodies, bio-terrorism, industrial accidents, trauma incidents, and other situations where there are hazardous materials, contaminated locations, or infectious fluids. Crime scene cleaners get paid to restore these nauseating scenes back to their original, safe state.
Whenever there is blood, bodily fluids, poisons, or contaminated and infectious materials present, a crime scene cleaner is called in to clean up the mess. These biohazard mitigation specialists literally work in some of the queasiest “offices” you can imagine. They have to be mentally tough to deal with these scenarios and they can’t let the blood, guts, and stomach-churning stenches get to them.
A crime scene cleaner could spend the day removing blood stains from carpets, picking bone fragments out of walls, collecting lost body parts, wiping brain matter out of crevices, disinfecting and decontaminating math labs, ripping out cabinets splattered with poison, removing lingering tear gas, cleaning out a hoarder’s home, collecting syringes for evidence, dealing with an Ebola scare, or cutting out flooring covered in guts. It’s a gross job that mixes high end cleaning with a bit of construction to ensure that the scene of an incident is no longer dangerous.
Cleaning must happen in a timely manner to ensure that the general public is safe. If a scene is left unclean, people can get sick months or even years afterwards. While at work, crime scene cleaners wear protective suits, gloves, boots, and respirators. They utilize unique cleaning equipment and containers to capture and transport hazardous materials for disposal. Disposal is expensive and requires proper permits.
The owner of the property generally pays the cleaning costs. Crime scene cleaners may charge upwards of $250 an hour. A 12-hour crime scene clean up can cost over $5,000. Entry-level crime scene cleaners can make $40,000 per year. Over time, a six-figure salary isn’t unheard of if the crime scene cleaner works in a major market with constant demand for crime scene cleaning services.
There are over 500 crime scene cleaning companies in the US. These companies work closely with government agencies, individuals, coroners, and law enforcement, as these are the first responders to events that ultimately require a crime scene cleaner.
To become a crime scene cleaner, you do not need a college degree. It’s wise to obtain certifications and training, but it is not always required. Employers will cover what you need to know to ensure that all clean ups follow OSHA requirements and that you stay safe while at work.
It’s a bit strange to capitalize on other people’s untimely tragedies, but the goal of this profession is to mitigate hazards for the innocent public. If it wasn’t for crime scene cleaners remedying these horrid situations, people would have to live in unsafe and nightmarish conditions and that is unacceptable.
While crime scene cleaner is not likely on your job search radar, it is a necessary part of our society. If you can stomach the job, it’s an in demand career that pays well and offers great job security. Do you have what it takes to be a crime scene cleaner?
Quick Facts About Crime Scene Cleaner Careers
Job Title: Crime Scene Cleaner aka CTS Decon Specialist aka Forensic Cleaner aka Biohazard Remediation Specialist
Office: Crime Scenes, Trauma Incidents, Industrial Incidents, Drug Houses
Description: Cleaning and decontaminating hazardous scenes
Certifications/Education: None Required
Necessary Skills: Follow OSHA Regulations, Tough Stomach, Safety Conscious
Potential Employers: Crime Scene Cleaning Companies
Pay: $40,000 to $100,000
Helpful Crime Scene Cleaner Employment Links:
- Search Crime Scene Cleaner and Other Cleaning Jobs on JobMonkey
- American Bio-Recovery Association
- Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
- International Sanitary Supply Association
- HowStuffWorks: How Crime-Scene Clean-Up Works
- National Institute of Decontamination Specialists
- The Secret Life Of A Crime Scene Cleaner
- The Daily Life Of A Crime Scene Cleaner