Skip to main content Skip to footer

How to become a laundry assistant

You can become a laundry assistant in the NHS by applying for vacancies on our recruitment website. 

What is a laundry assistant?

Across the NHS in Scotland, laundry and linen services process and finish thousands of pieces of linen every day.

Laundry assistants sort used linen into different categories, ready for washing in large continuous batch washing machines. They also press and fold linen, which is recorded and then moved to the dispatch area, ready to be returned to hospital wards and departments.

Starting your career as a laundry assistant

Choosing subjects at school

To become a laundry assistant, you'll need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths 

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Workplacements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.

Education and training pathway

Some experience in a production environment, such as a factory, is useful for a career in laundry and linen services.

College courses

If you choose to go to college, you could do the following qualifications to learn some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role:

  • SVQ Hospitality at SCQF level 4
  • SVQ Customer Service at SCQF level 4

Course search

Search for college courses on My World of Work.

Get to know the role

As a laundry assistant you'll sort, process, and finish linen to make sure it is clean and hygieneic. Hospital linen includes bedding, curtains, surgical sheets, and scrubs.

Tasks may include: 

  • sort used linen into different categories ready to be washed
  • operate laundry equipment, including large continuous batch washing machines, calendar press machines, dress units, and tumble dryers
  • fold, record, and stack linen ready for dispatch
  • report any equipment faults or hazards

You'll need these skills:

  • communicating
  • collaborating
  • focussing
  • initiative

Laundry assistants work with the following: 

  • laundry supervisor
  • porter
  • maintenance engineer
  • drivers

You could work in: 

  • large scale central laundry
  • onsite hospital laundry

Learning and development

Learning specific to your role includes:

  • Linen Workbook
  • health and safety training
  • supervised training on equipment and laundry processes

Your NHS employer will confirm their training requirements during your induction.

Career progression

Once in the job, there are opportunities to progress. Support is also available to help you develop your skills and encourage you to take qualifications, such as SVQ Textile Care Services at SCQF level 5.

Gaining new qualifications will help you when applying for more senior roles, such as laundry supervisor or production manager.

Navigate page

Explore careers

Explore careers

Discover the skills and qualifications you’ll need for each role and what the work will be like.

Explore careers

Help with recruitment

Discover the skills and qualifications you’ll need for each role and what the work will be like..

Help with recruitment