If you already read the Forensic Scientist Career Description and were feeling a little uneasy, stop reading this right now. The Crime Scene Cleaner is the end of the line. When something goes horribly wrong, whether it happens in someone’s home or out on the street, the cleaners are the people that show up after the police cars and the ambulances leave. The service they provide is instrumental, both for the physical AND psychological health of witnesses and/or family members.
The cleaner’s job is akin to a plumber’s. The job itself is dirty, labor-intensive and sometimes gruesome. As a result, cleaners get paid highly for the role they provide. The range of pay can go up to $600 in certain municipalities. There are many factors that contribute to this high wage point. The main reason for the high wage is the utmost need to comprehensively clean and sanitize a work environment that no one really wants to work in. Many of these crime scenes are biohazardous and dangerous, thus mandating the use of protective clothing, special cleaning products, and proper hazardous materils transportation and disposal. From blood and vomit to brain matter and toxic fumes, a cleaner is never sure what his or her task will be until arriving at the scene.
In addition to the duties that need to be performed, the human side of the job can not be discounted. Much like a funeral home director, the cleaner must be respectful and psychologically aware if people who have suffered loss are present. Most cleaners say this is the most draining element of the job, not the cleaning itself. People are never happy to see a crime scene cleaner show up their house, but if the cleaner is respectful and does the job quickly and with great care, their appreciation will be evident.