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Become A Cook/Dietary Aide

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Working As A Cook/Dietary Aide

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $28,373

    Average Salary

What Does A Cook/Dietary Aide Do

Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. Food preparation workers prepare cold foods, slice meat, peel and cut vegetables, brew coffee or tea, and perform many other food service tasks. 

Duties

Food preparation workers typically do the following:

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, and dishes
  • Weigh or measure ingredients, such as meats and liquids
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables for cooking
  • Cut meats, poultry, and seafood and prepare them for cooking
  • Mix ingredients for salads
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage
  • Take and record the temperature of food and food storage areas
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service

Food preparation workers perform routine, repetitive tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. To help cooks and other kitchen staff, they prepare ingredients for dishes by slicing and dicing vegetables and by making salads and cold food items. Other common duties include keeping salad bars and buffet tables stocked and clean.

Food preparation workers retrieve pots and pans, clean and store kitchen equipment, and unload and store food supplies. When needed, they retrieve food and equipment for cooks and chefs. In some kitchens, food preparation workers use a variety of commercial kitchen equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, blenders, slicers, or grinders.

In restaurants, workers stock and use soda machines, coffeemakers, and espresso machines to prepare beverages for customers. In fast-food restaurants, food preparation workers may take customer orders and process payments.

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How To Become A Cook/Dietary Aide

Food preparation workers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food preparation worker.

Training

Most food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Trainees typically start by working under the supervision of an experienced worker, who teaches them basic kitchen duties. Training also may include basic sanitation and workplace safety regulations, as well as instructions on how to handle and prepare food.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives. They must have the ability to work quickly and safely with sharp objects.

Listening skills. Food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

Physical stamina. Food preparation workers stand on their feet for long periods while they prepare food, clean work areas, or lift heavy pots from the stove.

Physical strength. Food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities for food preparation workers depend on their training and work experience. Many food preparation workers advance to assistant or line cook positions as they learn basic cooking skills.

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Cook/Dietary Aide Videos

DITL - Amy, a Dietary Aide

Dietary Aide III Job Preview

Tin Pan Chef DTES 2010: Part 1/3 - Intro and Cooking

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Cook/Dietary Aide Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Cook/Dietary Aide 3.0 years
Head Cook 3.0 years
Dietary Cook 2.4 years
Food Service Aide 2.3 years
Diet Aide 2.2 years
Dietary Assistant 2.2 years
Dietary Worker 2.2 years
Cook 1.9 years
Assistant Cook 1.9 years
Nutrition Aide 1.8 years
Dietary Aide 1.8 years
Kitchen Aide 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Cook/Dietary Aide
Cashier 18.2%
Dietary Aide 12.1%
Cook 11.4%
Prep Cook 4.0%
Waitress 3.4%
Manager 3.2%
Line Cook 2.5%
Server 2.5%
Internship 1.6%
Top Careers After Cook/Dietary Aide
Cook 16.6%
Cashier 11.5%
Prep Cook 5.1%
Server 3.3%
Line Cook 2.7%

Do you work as a Cook/Dietary Aide?

Cook/Dietary Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

74.1%

Male

24.0%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

69.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

9.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.9%

French

4.8%

Portuguese

3.2%

Chinese

3.2%

German

3.2%

Tagalog

3.2%

Hmong

3.2%

Swahili

1.6%

Irish

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%

Somali

1.6%

Tahitian

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Swedish

1.6%

Italian

1.6%
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Cook/Dietary Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.2%

University of North Dakota

10.8%

Kaplan University

6.9%

University of Florida

5.4%

Sinclair Community College

5.4%

Kirkwood Community College

4.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

4.4%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

4.4%

Grand Rapids Community College

3.9%

Vincennes University

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

Lansing Community College

3.4%

Hutchinson Community College

3.4%

Ashford University

3.4%

Northeast Community College

3.4%

Johnson & Wales University

3.4%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

2.9%

Columbus State Community College

2.9%

Everest Institute

2.9%

Utah State University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

16.0%

Culinary Arts

9.7%

Health Care Administration

8.4%

Medical Assisting Services

7.9%

Nursing

7.9%

Criminal Justice

6.7%

General Studies

6.6%

Psychology

4.5%

Food And Nutrition

3.9%

Accounting

3.9%

Nursing Assistants

3.7%

Management

3.5%

Hospitality Management

2.9%

Dietetics

2.4%

Human Services

2.3%

Early Childhood Education

2.1%

Cosmetology

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Computer Science

1.9%

Education

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

45.0%

Associate

19.8%

Bachelors

18.2%

Certificate

9.5%

Diploma

3.4%

Masters

3.1%

License

1.1%
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Cook/Dietary Aide Videos

DITL - Amy, a Dietary Aide

Dietary Aide III Job Preview

Tin Pan Chef DTES 2010: Part 1/3 - Intro and Cooking

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Top Skills for A Cook/Dietary Aide

  1. Meal Service
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Food Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collaborated with management to design new programs for meal service efficiency.
  • Ensured cleanliness and sanitation of all kitchen equipment
  • Follow correct food safety and preparation guidelines.
  • Serve tray line, prep meals, grill cook prepare meats
  • Prepared meals, planned out special diets, cooked for about 100 patients * Made up trays/passed out trays cleaning,

How Would You Rate Working As a Cook/Dietary Aide?

Are you working as a Cook/Dietary Aide? Help us rate Cook/Dietary Aide as a Career.

Top Cook/Dietary Aide Employers

Jobs From Top Cook/Dietary Aide Employers

Cook/Dietary Aide Videos

DITL - Amy, a Dietary Aide

Dietary Aide III Job Preview

Tin Pan Chef DTES 2010: Part 1/3 - Intro and Cooking

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