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Kitchen assistant

Kitchen assistants prepare food, 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

You’ll usually need practical skills and an interest in preparing food and drink.

You could take a college course to help prepare you for this job. Courses you might find useful include:

  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Certificate in General Cookery
  • Level 1 Diploma in Skills for Employment and Further Learning in Hospitality and Catering

You’ll usually need an interest in hospitality and catering to get onto a course. You may also find it useful to have a GCSE in English at Grade D (3) and maths at Grade E (2) or above (or equivalent level qualifications).

You could also get into this job by taking an intermediate level apprenticeship as a kitchen assistant.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to carry out tasks quickly and competently
  • the ability to pick up instructions quickly and follow them closely
  • communication skills
  • customer service 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 might 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 not be suited to this work if you have 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: 10 July 2017