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
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
- Receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.
- 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.
- Sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them.
- Examine and sort into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required.
- Load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading.
- Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles.
- Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment.
- Remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to do so.
- Operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation.
- Inspect soiled articles to determine sources of stains, to locate color imperfections, and to identify items requiring special treatment.
- Determine spotting procedures and proper solvents, based on fabric and stain types.
- Spray steam, water, or air over spots to flush out chemicals, dry material, raise naps, or brighten colors.
- Operate dry-cleaning machines to clean soiled articles.
- Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics.
- Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines.
- Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents.
- Spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs.
- Sprinkle chemical solvents over stains, and pat areas with brushes or sponges to remove stains.
- Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
- Mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached.
- Match sample colors, applying knowledge of bleaching agent and dye properties, and types, construction, conditions, and colors of articles.
- Apply chemicals to neutralize the effects of solvents.
- Identify articles' fabrics and original dyes by sight and touch, or by testing samples with fire or chemical reagents.
- Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes.
- Iron or press articles, fabrics, and furs, using hand irons or pressing machines.
- Hang curtains, drapes, blankets, pants, and other garments on stretch frames to dry.
- Wash, dry-clean, or glaze delicate articles or fur garment linings by hand, using mild detergents or dry cleaning solutions.
- Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors.
- Mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines.
- Immerse articles in bleaching baths to strip colors.
- Clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Air exhausters — Exhaust ventilation systems
- Canvas bags — Lint bags
- Cash registers — Electronic cash registers
- Centrifugal laundry extractor — Centrifugal laundry extractors
- Chemical tanks — Solvent tanks
- Cleaning brushes — Textile cleaning brushes
- Clothes dryers — Industrial clothes dryers
- Clothing hangers — Multipurpose clothing hangers
- Domestic clothing irons — Clothes pressing irons
- Dry cleaning machines — Dry-cleaning machines; Dry-to-dry closed loop machines; Tunnel finishers
- Folding machines — Automatic folding machines; Semi-automatic folding machines
- Garment steamer — Clothing steamers
- Gas detectors — Colorimetric detector tubes; Photoionization detectors
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Identification markers — Hand markers; Machine markers
- Infra red or ultra violet absorption analyzers — Infrared gas analyzers
- Ironing machines or presses — Clothing presses
- Laundry type washing machines — Continuous tunnel washers; Industrial washing machines
- Leak testing equipment — Handheld refrigerant leak detectors
- Lint removers — Lint filters
- Molecular sieve — Carbon absorbers
- Multi gas monitors — Direct read air monitors
- Overhead track conveyor — Overhead conveyor racks
- Processing tanks — Filter tanks
- Protective aprons — Chemical protection aprons
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Proximity sensors — Proximity monitors
- Remote reading thermometers — Temperature probes
- Respirators — Air purifying respirators
- Sponges — Garment sponges
- Vacuum cleaners
- Ventilation dampers — Exhaust dampers
Technology used in this occupation:
- 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.
No skills met the minimum score.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Detailed Work Activities
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Apply water or solutions to fabrics or apparel.
- Sew clothing or other articles.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
- Operate sewing equipment.
- Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.
- Mark products, workpieces, or equipment with identifying information.
- Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
- Clean production equipment.
- Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions.
- Operate garment treatment equipment.
- Smooth garments with irons, presses, or steamers.
- Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products.
- Repair textiles or apparel.
- Count finished products or workpieces.
- Lubricate production equipment.
- Compare physical characteristics of materials or products to specifications or standards.
- Inspect garments for defects, damage, or stains.
- Prepare fabrics or materials for processing or production.
- Spend Time Standing — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 45% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 26% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Extremely important.”
- Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 53% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Telephone — 43% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 36% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Very important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 42% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|58||High school diploma or equivalent|
|40||Less than high school diploma|
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.
- 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- 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.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$9.77 hourly, $20,320 annual|
|Employment (2012)||211,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Average (8% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||82,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Laundry and Dry-cleaning Workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.