Laundry Workers sort, clean, fold, iron and package linen, clothing and other items in laundries and drycleaning establishments, and private residences.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • sorting articles for cleaning according to the type, colour, fabric and cleaning treatment required
  • placing sorted articles into receptacles and onto conveyor belts for moving to repair and cleaning areas
  • checking and removing stains from garments, and replacing buttons and making minor repairs
  • loading and unloading washing machines, driers and extractors
  • adding cleaning agents and starches to articles
  • smoothing articles and guiding them through cleaning and pressing machines
  • stopping and starting machines to untangle, straighten and remove articles
  • ironing and pressing clean articles
  • placing articles on shelves and hanging articles for delivery and collection
  • packaging articles and preparing orders for despatch

Job Titles

  • Laundry Worker (General)
  • Drycleaner
  • Ironer or Presser
  • Laundry Worker (General)

    Sorts, cleans, irons, folds and packages linen, clothing and other garments in a commercial laundry.

    Specialisations: Folding Machine Operator, Linen Sorter

  • Drycleaner

    Cleans clothing, garments, upholstery and other fabrics using drycleaning agents and machines.

  • Ironer or Presser

    Irons or presses garments and other fabrics, such as delicate and formal wear, in a commercial laundry or private residence.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $795 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    stable
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    13,600
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    20.9%
  • Female Share

    79.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    47.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 13,600 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Laundry Workers.
  • They mainly work in: Other Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.4 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $795 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 49 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200515800
200613300
200716700
200815900
200915500
201017800
201115000
201214500
201314200
201415400
201513600
202013800

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsLaundry WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings7951230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryLaundry WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time47.868.4
Part-time52.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.440.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Other Services66.8
Health Care and Social Assistance17.1
Accommodation and Food Services6.0
Education and Training3.5
Other Industries6.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateLaundry WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW26.131.8
VIC17.325.5
QLD30.119.8
SA7.36.8
WA14.511.2
TAS3.22.0
NT0.91.1
ACT0.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketLaundry WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.6-5.45.4
20-246.5-9.99.9
25-3418.0-23.423.4
35-4415.0-21.721.7
45-5429.3-21.121.1
55-5913.4-8.78.7
60-6411.2-5.95.9
65 and Over4.9-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryLaundry WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males20.9Males53.6
Females79.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationLaundry WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree17.7-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV21.9-18.918.9
Year 1229.2-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1015.6-17.717.7
Below Year 1015.6-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Laundry Workers who are reliable and hardworking.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    64% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Production and Processing

    62% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  3. English Language

    59% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Public Safety and Security

    59% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  5. Mathematics

    56% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Handling and Moving Objects

    75% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    73% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    73% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  4. Controlling Machines and Processes

    72% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    70% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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