Laundry Worker/Dry-cleaner Kaimahi Horoi Kākahu/Kaiwhakamohani Kākahu

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners clean, wash and care for clothing, curtains and bedding.

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners may do some or all of the following:

  • take laundry from customers, calculate costs of work and record work to be done
  • label and sort items to be cleaned
  • inspect items for stains, and spot-clean as required
  • load and unload dry-cleaning or washing machines and driers
  • steam-press items
  • iron, fold and pack cleaned laundry
  • deliver items to businesses or private homes
  • repair and alter clothing, if they offer these services.

Physical Requirements

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners need to be reasonably fit as they have to lift heavy bags of laundry. They must also not be sensitive to chemicals used in the laundering or dry-cleaning processes.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for laundry workers/dry-cleaners includes:

  • work with fabric or textiles
  • clothing retail work
  • housekeeping.

Personal Qualities

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners need to be:

  • quick, practical and methodical
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • careful and responsible
  • good at basic maths.


Laundry workers/dry-cleaners need to have:

  • knowledge of different fabric types and how to care for them
  • knowledge of chemicals and stain removers
  • skill in operating washing, dry-cleaning and drying machines.

They may also need expertise in mending and alterations if the business they work for offers these services.


Laundry workers/dry-cleaners:

  • work regular business hours, but may also work evenings and weekends, or do shift work
  • work in commercial laundries, shops, factories, and laundries in hotels, hospitals or other organisations
  • work in conditions that can be hot and may involve hazardous chemicals.

Subject Recommendations

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but English, maths and textiles to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.

Related Courses

Laundry Worker/Dry-cleaners can earn around $21-$30 per hour.

Pay for laundry workers/dry-cleaners varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Laundry workers/dry-cleaners in training usually earn minimum wage. 
  • Experienced laundry workers/dry-cleaners usually earn $22 to $30 an hour.

Source: La Nuova Apparelmaster, 2020.

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners may progress to set up or buy their own businesses, or move into supervisory or managerial positions.

Laundry workers/dry-cleaners usually specialise as one of the following:

Dry-cleaners use chemicals to clean clothing.
Laundry Worker
Laundry workers wash, dry, fold and organise laundry.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become a laundry worker/dry-cleaner, as you gain skills on the job.

However, a New Zealand Certificate in Laundry Processing (Level 2) or a New Zealand Certificate in Drycleaning (Level 3) may be useful.  

Laundry Worker/Dry-cleaner