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
- Load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to perform loading.
- 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.
- Operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation.
- Remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other workers to do so.
- Sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them.
- Clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment.
- Examine and sort into lots articles to be cleaned, according to color, fabric, dirt content, and cleaning technique required.
- Receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.
- Apply bleaching powders to spots and spray them with steam to remove stains from fabrics that do not respond to other cleaning solvents.
- 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.
- Pre-soak, sterilize, scrub, spot-clean, and dry contaminated or stained articles, using neutralizer solutions and portable machines.
- Mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached.
- Apply chemicals to neutralize the effects of solvents.
- Mix and add detergents, dyes, bleaches, starches, and other solutions and chemicals to clean, color, dry, or stiffen articles.
- Sprinkle chemical solvents over stains, and pat areas with brushes or sponges to remove stains.
- Match sample colors, applying knowledge of bleaching agent and dye properties, and types, construction, conditions, and colors of articles.
- Inspect soiled articles to determine sources of stains, to locate color imperfections, and to identify items requiring special treatment.
- Operate dry-cleaning machines to clean soiled articles.
- Operate machines that comb, dry and polish furs, clean, sterilize and fluff feathers and blankets, or roll and package towels.
- 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.
- Clean fabrics, using vacuums or air hoses.
- Test fabrics in inconspicuous places to determine whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics.
- Rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors.
- Identify articles' fabrics and original dyes by sight and touch, or by testing samples with fire or chemical reagents.
- Start pumps to operate distilling systems that drain and reclaim dry cleaning solvents.
- Immerse articles in bleaching baths to strip colors.
- Spread soiled articles on work tables, and position stained portions over vacuum heads or on marble slabs.
- Mend and sew articles, using hand stitching, adhesive patches, or sewing machines.
- Dye articles to change or restore their colors, using knowledge of textile compositions and the properties and effects of bleaches and dyes.
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.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- 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.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Detailed Work Activities
- Remove products or workpieces from production equipment.
- Sew clothing or other articles.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- 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.
- Test chemical or physical characteristics of materials or products.
- Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading.
- Clean production equipment.
- Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions.
- Smooth garments with irons, presses, or steamers.
- Lubricate production equipment.
- Repair textiles or apparel.
- Apply water or solutions to fabrics or apparel.
- Operate garment treatment equipment.
- Compare physical characteristics of materials or products to specifications or standards.
- Count finished products or workpieces.
- Inspect garments for defects, damage, or stains.
- Prepare fabrics or materials for processing or production.
- Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 54% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 41% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 62% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 32% responded “Very important results.”
- Level of Competition — 32% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Degree of Automation — 24% responded “Completely automated.”
- Contact With Others — 36% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 33% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 31% responded “Not important at all.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 47% responded “Never.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|65||Less than high school diploma|
|34||High school diploma or equivalent|
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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.