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Kitchen assistant

Kitchen assistants do basic food preparation, make sure chefs have everything they need and keep the kitchen clean.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £11,500 to £16,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no entry set requirements, but a good general secondary education would be useful.

Experience of working in a kitchen, in hospitality or a catering service may also be helpful.


You could complete a college qualification in catering, but this isn't essential.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to carry out tasks quickly and competently
  • the ability to pick up detailed instructions quickly and follow them closely
  • good spoken communication skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • supporting chefs in a specific work section
  • washing, peeling and preparing food items
  • using a variety of kitchen equipment such as mixers, special knives and cutters.
  • unloading deliveries
  • organising the storeroom
  • washing kitchen appliances, work surfaces, floors and walls

4. Salary

Starter: £11,500 to £12,500

Experienced: up to £16,500

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work shifts, evenings, weekends and public holidays. If you're based at a factory or catering business, your hours are likely to be more regular than in a restaurant. Part-time, casual or seasonal work may be available.

Your working environment will often be hot, busy and noisy. You may find this work unsuitable if you suffer from certain skin conditions.

You'll usually be provided with a uniform.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and further training, you could become a trainee or junior chef. You could also progress into management or move into bar work or food service.

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Last updated: 07 December 2016