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Laundry worker

Laundry workers operate washing machines and tumble dryers to clean and dry items like clothes, bed linen and uniforms.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £18,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. 

Previous experience in dry-cleaning or commercial clothes pressing may give you an advantage, although many employers will train you on the job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • practical skills to operate and adjust machinery
  • good attention to detail
  • the ability to work methodically and follow instructions
  • good timekeeping skills
  • the ability to count and measure accurately

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include: 

  • checking items before washing for damage or stains
  • using water and chemicals to remove stains before processing
  • sorting items according to colour, size and type of fabric
  • tagging items with bar codes or computer chips for easy identification
  • loading items into machines
  • adding cleaning agents and setting controls
  • finishing items by drying, pressing and folding
  • processing orders, sending out invoices and updating customer databases
  • delivering laundered items back to the customer

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000 to £15,000

Experienced: £16,000 to £18,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, often on a shift pattern. Part-time work is often available.

Most of the working day will be spent on your feet and there is a lot of bending and lifting, so you'll need to be reasonably fit.

This type of work may not be suitable if you have allergies, breathing problems or skin conditions, as the workplace will be hot and humid. You may come into contact with cleaning chemicals and solvents.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to supervisor or manager.

You could also start your own laundry business.

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Last updated: 13 December 2016