Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


Five year job forecast


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

You’d clean clothes and materials that need special care and cannot be washed at home.

You’d use chemicals and solvents to clean everything from clothes and shoes to duvets and curtains. You might need to clean valuable clothes such as expensive suits or wedding dresses.

You could work in a high street dry-cleaning shop where you’d serve customers and do cleaning. Or you could work in a large cleaning plant using industrial dry-cleaning machinery.

If you work in a shop you would:

  • Speak with customers, take their items and give them a collection ticket
  • Check items for damage
  • Tag the articles with bar codes or computer chips so you know who they belong to
  • Return the clean items to customers
  • Handle payments

To clean items you would:

  • Sort items according to colour and fabric type
  • Treat heavy stains before cleaning by 'spotting' with chemicals
  • Weigh items and load them into machines
  • Set the machine to the right programme for the fabric and the amount of soiling
  • Add cleaning fluids, often percholorethyne (known as ‘perc’)
  • Check, press, fold or hang the items after cleaning

You'd also keep work areas clean and tidy and fill out paperwork.

You need to look at items closely to notice all the marks or stains and ensure that they are fully cleaned. You be working with machinery and chemicals so you’d need to be careful and safety-conscious.

Working conditions


In a high street shop you will usually work up to 40 hours a week, between Monday and Saturday. Part-time work is common. In an industrial cleaning company you may work on a shift system.


You will come into contact with chemicals and chemical fumes, so this type of work may not be suitable if you have any allergies, breathing problems or skin complaints.

UK employment status





Self employed


Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Persevering
  • Reliable
  • Time management
  • Managing resources
  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


There are no formal qualifications required to enter this role but qualifications and experience that demonstrate physical fitness, retail and sales skills such as Skills for Work Retailing (SCQF level 5) may be of value.

Most employers value a good general education.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths

You will also need

You might have to pass a test in basic reading, writing and maths skills to enter this job.

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Dry Cleaning Operations (SVQ level 2) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.