Laundry worker

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

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would make sure hospitals, care homes and hotels have clean bedclothes and towels every day for the people who stay there.

You’d operate washing machines and tumble dryers to clean and dry items like clothes, bed linen, towels, sportswear and uniforms.

You could work in the laundry department of organisations like hospitals, universities and hotels, or for companies and shops that provide specialist laundry cleaning services.

Your job would vary depending on the size of the company you work for.

You would:

  • Handle incoming dirty laundry and linen
  • Check items before washing for damage or stains
  • Use water and chemicals to remove stains before they are washed
  • Sort items according to colour, size and type of fabric
  • Tag items with bar codes or computer chips for easy identification
  • Load items into machines
  • Add cleaning agents and set controls
  • Finish items by drying, pressing and folding

You could also process orders, send out invoices and update customer databases. And you might deliver laundered items back to the customer.

Working conditions


You will typically 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 any allergies, breathing problems or skin conditions, as the workplace will be hot and humid and you may come into contact with cleaning chemicals and solvents.

UK employment status



Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Working with your hands
  • Being physically fit
  • Time management
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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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 most employers value a good general education.

Most of the training will be on the job. 

Helpful to have

Once in the job you may work towards qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Laundry Operations (SVQ level 2).