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Summary Report for:
51-6011.00 - Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets. Includes spotters and dyers of these articles.

Sample of reported job titles: Dry Cleaner, Laundry Aide, Laundry Assistant, Laundry Attendant, Laundry Housekeeper, Laundry Technician, Laundry Worker, Machine Operator, Personal Clothing Laundry Aide, Spotter

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Start washers, dry cleaners, driers, or extractors, and turn valves or levers to regulate machine processes and the volume of soap, detergent, water, bleach, starch, and other additives. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to do so. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine and sort into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine spotting procedures and proper solvents, based on fabric and stain types. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Spray steam, water, or air over spots to flush out chemicals, dry material, raise naps, or brighten colors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply chemicals to neutralize the effects of solvents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sprinkle chemical solvents over stains, and pat areas with brushes or sponges to remove stains. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Match sample colors, applying knowledge of bleaching agent and dye properties, and types, construction, conditions, and colors of articles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect soiled articles to determine sources of stains, to locate color imperfections, and to identify items requiring special treatment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate dry-cleaning machines to clean soiled articles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate machines that comb, dry and polish furs, clean, sterilize and fluff feathers and blankets, or roll and package towels. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Iron or press articles, fabrics, and furs, using hand irons or pressing machines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Hang curtains, drapes, blankets, pants, and other garments on stretch frames to dry. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Identify articles' fabrics and original dyes by sight and touch, or by testing samples with fire or chemical reagents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Immerse articles in bleaching baths to strip colors. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air exhausters — Exhaust ventilation systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Canvas bags — Lint bags See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers — Electronic cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Centrifugal laundry extractor — Centrifugal laundry extractors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Chemical tanks — Solvent tanks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cleaning brushes — Textile cleaning brushes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clothes dryers — Industrial clothes dryers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clothing hangers — Multipurpose clothing hangers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Domestic clothing irons — Clothes pressing irons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dry cleaning machines — Dry-cleaning machines; Dry-to-dry closed loop machines; Tunnel finishers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Folding machines — Automatic folding machines; Semi-automatic folding machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Garment steamer — Clothing steamers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gas detectors — Colorimetric detector tubes; Photoionization detectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Goggles — Safety goggles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Identification markers — Hand markers; Machine markers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Infra red or ultra violet absorption analyzers — Infrared gas analyzers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ironing machines or presses — Clothing presses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laundry type washing machines — Continuous tunnel washers; Industrial washing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Leak testing equipment — Handheld refrigerant leak detectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Lint removers — Lint filters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Molecular sieve — Carbon absorbers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Multi gas monitors — Direct read air monitors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Overhead track conveyor — Overhead conveyor racks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Processing tanks — Filter tanks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Protective aprons — Chemical protection aprons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Protective gloves — Safety gloves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Proximity sensors — Proximity monitors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Remote reading thermometers — Temperature probes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Respirators — Air purifying respirators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sponges — Garment sponges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum cleaners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ventilation dampers — Exhaust dampers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Point of sale POS software — Sales processing software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sew clothing or other articles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct operational or production activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate sewing equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Smooth garments with irons, presses, or steamers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Lubricate production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repair textiles or apparel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply water or solutions to fabrics or apparel. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate garment treatment equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Compare physical characteristics of materials or products to specifications or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Count finished products or workpieces. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect garments for defects, damage, or stains. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare fabrics or materials for processing or production. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 54% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 55% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 67% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 52% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 41% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 32% responded “Extremely competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Degree of Automation — 24% responded “Completely automated.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 36% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 49% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 33% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 31% responded “Not important at all.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 47% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter and rental clerks, nonfarm animal caretakers, continuous mining machine operators, and waiters/waitresses.
SVP Range (Below 4.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
65   Less than high school diploma
34   High school diploma or equivalent Help
1   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $9.77 hourly, $20,320 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 211,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 82,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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