Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Laundry Operators in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for laundry operators in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 12,950 people work as laundry operators in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 11% to 14,320 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for laundry operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.8% over the next eight years. Laundry operators generally operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, and carpets.

Laundry operators earn approximately $9 hourly or $18,730 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $9 per hour or $19,010 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fabric and Leather , people working as laundry operators in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fabric and Leather nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a laundry operator. The most common level of education for laundry operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a laundry operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Laundry Operator

Laundry Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, laundry operators operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, and carpets.

Laundry operators load articles into washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other staff to perform loading. They also sort and count articles removed from dryers, and fold, wrap, or hang them. Equally important, laundry operators have to remove items from washers or dry-cleaning machines, or direct other staff to do so. They are often called upon to examine and sort articles into lots to be cleaned, in line with color and cleaning techniques required. They are expected to start washers or extractors, and turn valves or levers to regulate machine processes and the volume of soap and other additives. Finally, laundry operators receive and mark articles for laundry or dry cleaning with identifying code numbers or names, using hand or machine markers.

Every day, laundry operators are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to use lower back and abdominal strength. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for laundry operators to inspect soiled articles to establish sources of stains, to identify color imperfections, and to pinpoint items requiring special treatment. They are often called upon to clean machine filters, and lubricate equipment. They also operate extractors and driers, or direct their operation. They are sometimes expected to spray steam or air over spots to flush out chemicals or brighten colors. Somewhat less frequently, laundry operators are also expected to mix bleaching agents with hot water in vats, and soak material until it is bleached.

Laundry operators sometimes are asked to operate dry-cleaning machines to wash soiled articles. They also have to be able to rinse articles in water and acetic acid solutions to remove excess dye and to fix colors And finally, they sometimes have to test fabrics in inconspicuous places to establish whether solvents will damage dyes or fabrics.

Like many other jobs, laundry operators must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Decorative Painter. Paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.
  • Photographic Processing Machine Operator. Operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.
  • Tailor. Design, make, or fit garments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Laundry Operator Training

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has an associate's degree program in Apparel and Textiles, Other Specialties.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Environmental Drycleaner: CPD must demonstrate their knowledge regarding professional drycleaning and the implements of prescribed drycleaning standards for physical plant facilities and safe equipment operations.

For more information, see the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International website.

Certified Professional Drycleaner: CPD certification holders have demonstrated their knowledge regarding professional drycleaning and the implements of prescribed drycleaning standards for physical plant facilities and safe equipment operations.

For more information, see the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International website.

Certified Professional Wetcleaner: CPW must demonstrate their knowledge of professional wet cleaning practices, fibers and fabrics, and customer service as it relates to this new technology.

For more information, see the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International website.

Hospitality Skill Certification for Laundry Attendant: Skill and knowledge training is the responsibility of property management and the participant.

For more information, see the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association website.

Rug Cleaning Technician : The Rug Cleaning Technician (RCT) course covers area rug identification and appropriate cleaning techniques and methods to professional cleaning, restoration and inspection service providers as well as others in related industries.

For more information, see the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification website.

Leather Cleaning Technician: The Leather Cleaning Technician course addresses leather identification and cleaning techniques for professional on-location cleaners, restoration and inspection service providers, as well as other related industries.

For more information, see the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification website.

Certified Washroom Technician: This correspondence course is designed to educate frontline laundry personnel in the primary factors that impact laundry operations.

For more information, see the National Association of Institutional Linen Management website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.