KITCHEN HELPERS assist chefs and cooks by performing basic food preparation and other kitchen tasks. They get out the pots and pans, clean fruits and vegetables, and stir soups and sauces. They make and toss salads, and cut meats, poultry, and seafood for cooking. Kitchen helpers also keep work areas clean. They scrape and wash equipment, pots and pans, dishes, and silverware. They may set up tables for special events.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $22,000 average per year ($10.50 per hour)
- A large occupation (506,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.2% per year)
KITCHEN HELPERS need little education or training. Skills for kitchen helpers are learned on the job. For those who want to go above the lowest level, a high-school education is preferred. Those who plan to be cooks or chefs should also finish high school. It is a law in most states for kitchen helpers who handle food to have a health certificate. A health certificate is to show that they do not have an illness other people may contract. In some large hotels and restaurants, kitchen helpers and other kitchen workers may belong to unions.