What is a laundry technician?
Laundry technicians are at the heart of laundry service department of a company. They perform production functions that maintain clean environments and allow for a comfortable stay at organizations such as, hospitals, hotels, and retirement homes.
Your responsibilities might include:
- Sorting, washing, drying, pressing, and folding clothing, linen, and other textile items
- Removing stains from items using the appropriate procedures
- Ironing and pressing
- Operating laundering equipment (washers, extractors, tumblers)
- Performing minor sewing duties
- Tracking which items belong to whom.
- Keeping an updated inventory of laundry detergents and sewing kits
- Tracking maintenance and repairs on laundering equipment
- Maintaining a clean facility
- Anticipating and responding to customers’ queries, concerns, and complaints
- Keeping sufficient tokens or change for the washing and drying machines, if required
- Education – A high school diploma or equivalent may not be required at all companies. However, most workplaces prefer it.
- Prior Experience – Like education, prior work experience may not be required at all workplaces but prior work experience in similar role is preferable.
- Familiarity with Laundry Practices – Since you will encounter tough stains, you must be familiar with the use of equipment, methods, and techniques to handle laundry appropriately and safely. This can include techniques for sorting, washing, any chemical application, or water temperature.
- Physical Condition – You must be able to perform activities that include but are not limited to lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, twisting, squatting, and handling materials. You could also be required to lift and/or move around 20 to 50 pounds. This position also requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time.
- Organizational and Time Management Skills – Tasks will include sorting, washing, drying, pressing, and folding laundry. To accomplish these tasks in a timely manner, it is important to stay organized.
- Available to work shifts and on weekends – Shifts may change, so you must be willing and able to work as needed (nights, days, holidays, etc.).
In the United States, Laundry Technicians will typically make an average of $25,119 a year or approximately $12.08/hr. Most laundry techs will make between $31,000 and $35,500 a year.
A Laundry Technician will work approximately 30 to 40 hours a week. They will typically work 8-hour shifts during the first (9:00 am to 5:00pm), second (5:00 pm to 1:00 am), or third shift (1:00 am to 9:00 am). The times may vary at different workplaces. Additionally, you may not work the same shift consistently.
They work independently or within a team. They will spend much of their time on their feet either walking around or standing for long periods of time. Since they deal with contaminated laundry and large equipment, infection prevention guidelines must be followed, and proper protective equipment must be worn when needed. Guidelines and protocols will depend on the organization you work for. They may be exposed to certain noise levels from the operation of equipment. Guidelines and protocols will depend on the organization you work for.
What qualities do laundry technicians need to be successful?
Laundry technicians need organizational and problem-solving skills to efficiently sort laundry and remove stains. They must be able to properly operate laundering equipment and formulate backup solutions if there is a machinery mishap. Inventory must also be accurately managed in order to address any problems that may arise.
What does the day-to-day routine of a laundry technician look like?
Your day-to-day responsibilities may look different depending on the industry you work in. In general, it will start with collecting dirty laundry that may include sheets, towels, blankets, clothing, and hospital gowns. Once collected, you will sort them into to colored and whites, and place them into the washing machine accordingly. For the stained items, you will perform the correct stain removal process and place them into a separate washing machine. Once they are washed and dried, you will fold and press as needed and ensure they are stored correctly or sent to the correct location.
What are some major challenges laundry technicians may face?
One challenge you may face on the job is machinery malfunction. If a machine fails to work correctly or completely stops working, do not be afraid to ask for help. Report it to a supervisor, and they will inform you of backup machines or protocols that are put in place for this specific issue. Once you have resolved the issue, continue about your day to ensure that your tasks are not affected.
You may also encounter some tough stains or new fabrics. If you do not know how to remove a stain or have never cleaned a specific fabric, consider asking a coworker or supervisor or doing some research. This is the perfect chance to learn something new that can help you in the future.
In these cases, it is important to remain calm and ask for help if you do not know what to do. As you gain more experience, you will learn from these challenges and become comfortable responding to issues that may arise.
Sources: BLS.gov | careeronestop.org | Millennium Search LLC’s Job Market Research Department