Dry Cleaner
How to Become a

Dry Cleaner

The complete career guide to be a Dry Cleaner: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $22,660
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 1.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

A dry cleaner operates and maintains dry-cleaning machines to clean a wide range of household articles such as blankets, curtains, clothing items, leather, linens, rugs, and carpets.

Recommended Schools

What is a Dry Cleaner?


As a dry cleaner, you have to be adept at the following responsibilities:

  • Effectively operate driers, dry cleaners and washers by turning appropriate levers and pressing buttons to use optimal machine processes and regulate the quantities of bleach, detergent, soap and water in line with safety guidelines.
  • Utilize knowledge of sample colours and the corresponding reaction with dye properties, and bleaching agents depending on the type and condition of items.
  • Assessing clothing for defects or damages and taking measures to report damage to guests.
  • Keep an updated record for number of laundry items, client names, address in case of delivery, date and time, etc.
  • Perform pickups and drops of requested laundry or dry-cleaning requests to client locations.

Day In The Life

Dry cleaning and laundry work can differ based on the type of facility you are employed by, and that specific role. In a typical day, you can be functioning as the clerk of a store or as a driver delivering laundry orders to specified clients to and from the shop after dry cleaning or pressing. You are expected to press, iron, clean or mend various items. In addition, hand cleaning delicate materials before loading them into the machine, may be requested with the help of bleach, chemicals and solvents to get rid of spots or stains. In case the facility offers repair services, you should be familiar with sewing and mending any damaged clothing items.

Multiple tasks are more common at laundry places that are on a smaller scale while large plants will have specialized processes for each position. Sometimes, you may be required to oversee and manage the dry-cleaning process such that it maintains high quality and speed of service – this would require an advanced degree.  Most positions in this field have to keep track of client records and all financial transactions including payroll to keep the business profitable.

Work Schedule

At a large laundry establishment, normal working hours are around 40 hours every week, ranging from Monday to Saturday. It is common for some dry cleaners also take up part-time jobs. If it is a professional cleaning company, you are likely to be assigned specific shifts through the day. This type of work will bring you into close contact with various chemicals or chemical fumes so it is not recommended in case you have certain breathing issues, skin sensitivity or allergies. Laundry rooms can reach extreme temperatures for an hour or more, so dry cleaners have to be comfortable working in such a challenging environment. The role requires you to often push and pull heavy carts or equipment on a regular basis so good physical strength and health is essential for success.

Growth Of The Job

Dry cleaners can look forward to progressing to a store manager or supervisor’s role. In case the shop is part of a chain of outlets, you can be promoted to overseeing the functioning of a larger store or even area management based on your performance and experience in the field. Many eventually go on to start their own establishment, once they have mastered the foundational business skills to succeed on this career path.

Typical Employers

Employers of dry cleaners include prisons, hotels, schools, families, individuals and industries. You could be hired by a local independent laundry business or work for an organised wholesale plant that services a local community, district or area.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Dry Cleaner

To become a dry cleaner, you do not have to complete any specific educational requirements but a minimum high school diploma is recommended. For the purpose of distinguishing yourself from other competition in the market, you may choose to take classes in cleaning processes or sewing. Having a thorough understanding of dyes, fabrics and cleaning chemicals is highly valued in the field. This can be acquired through well-placed apprenticeships and by shadowing experienced professionals in the field.

In terms of personal qualities, one should display an approachable customer-friendly demeanor, reliability and a high attention to detail. You need to regularly interact with customers that are dropping off or picking up their laundry orders in a welcoming and efficient manner. Most positions include brief on the job training when you start out, which will familiarize you with basic work like types of fabric cleaning and stain removal processes.

Dry Cleaner Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Dry Cleaner salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Dry Cleaner's can make an average annual salary of $22,660, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,650 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #794 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Dry Cleaners

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 0.6%   Masters
  • 5.2%   Bachelors
  • 3.7%   Associates
  • 14.1%   College
  • 41.8%   High School
  • 34.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Dry Cleaner job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,800 jobs for a total of 212,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #555 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Dry Cleaners

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Drycleaning and laundry services 105,800 -5,700 -6%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 26,000 2,500 3%
Self-employed workers 8,700 100 0%

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