Things to Know About Your Career in Environmental Services

While the first job that comes to mind when you think hospital may be a doctor or a nurse, there are many different professions that are needed to keep a hospital running smoothly. Environmental Services (EVS), commonly known as custodian or janitor positions, serve a very important role in keeping both patients and staff healthy while they’re within the walls of the hospital.

As hospital systems continue to grow, EVS positions remain in high-demand. The best part of working an EVS job in a hospital is the high hourly rate and top-notch medical benefits. But, what does it take to be hired on in one of the best Bay Area medical centers such as UCSF or Stanford? We’ve compiled a list to guide you on expectations, requirements and tips on a career in the hospital EVS industry.

Education isn’t a must, but a plus.

Entry-level janitors are usually paired with a more experienced staff member and learn on the job, starting with simple tasks and moving on to more complex assignments that involve equipment like wet-dry vacuums, buffers and polishing machines. While formal education or certification aren’t requirements for most janitorial staff positions, taking a custodial training program like the one offered by City College of San Francisco may increase your chances of being hired on in a more senior role.

Endurance and physical strength are required.

Roaming around a hospital department for a full shift can be tiresome if not prepared. Positions in the environmental service industry require a lot of bending, walking, pushing and lifting. Make sure your expectations are set, be prepared for what lies ahead, and be honest with yourself about your physical limitations.

A friendly demeanor will get you far.  

Custodians working during the busier day shifts often take care of immediate issues – think spills, accidents and other clean up emergencies that could potentially endanger the people or pleasantness of the environment. If you aren’t a people person, it might be best to consider shifts that cover regular maintenance during off-hours when there are less doctors, nurses and walk-in traffic in the facility.

Maintenance or repair skills come in handy.

Some positions may come with maintenance requirements as well. This means you may be responsible for completing light building maintenance and repair. Drywall, plumbing, electrical and other trade skills aren’t necessary, but are often extremely useful for custodians and can help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants.

Know the hours of operation.

Custodians are needed for all hospital shifts – first, second and third. As an integral role, it’s also possible that you can be asked to work off-hours throughout the week which could mean some graveyard or weekend shifts. No matter when your shifts are scheduled, you can expect to work about 40 hours per week on average.

MGA Healthcare helps match you with a janitorial, custodian or housekeeping position in some of the best medical centers in the country. To take the next step toward UCSF Medical Center or Stanford Medical Center, head to mgahealthcare.com or call 415-421-4900.