Dietary aides work in nursing homes and assist dieticians, They're responsible for designing nutritious diets for residents. In collaboration with doctors and after consulting the patients, they come up with meals that provide the necessary nutrients in every specific case, while paying attention to taste and personal preferences.

They prepare individual menus following dietary restrictions and the necessity to lose or gain weight. They also help to maintain the kitchen, manage stock, and clean dining areas. They might deliver the food to residents as well.

As a dietary aide, you will have to pay detailed attention to follow each individual dietary guideline. Making mistakes might result in allergic reactions or health issues, so this is not a position for sloppy candidates. Patience and compassion are also key, and being on your feet all day should not be a problem.

What Does a Cook/Dietary Aide Do

There are certain skills that many cook/dietary aides have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed sense of taste and smell, dexterity and physical stamina.

Learn more about what a Cook/Dietary Aide does

How To Become a Cook/Dietary Aide

If you're interested in becoming a cook/dietary aide, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 13.5% of cook/dietary aides have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.6% of cook/dietary aides have master's degrees. Even though some cook/dietary aides have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Cook/Dietary Aide

Cook/Dietary Aide Career Paths

Average Salary for a Cook/Dietary Aide

Cook/Dietary Aides in America make an average salary of $27,490 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $34,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Cook/Dietary Aide Salary
$27,490 Yearly
$13.22 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Cook/Dietary Aide

The role of a cook/dietary aide includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general cook/dietary aide responsibilities:

  • Food preparation for patients/residents, employees and visitors maintaining clean equipment
  • Liberty health care center is accepting applications for a part time dietary aide/cook helper to work flexible hours. Major responsibilities include, but are not limited to (full job decription will be reviewed prior to/at time of offer):prepare salads, desserts,
  • Prepare and serve food and meals in accordance with planned menus

There are several types of cook/dietary aide, including:



So, get this - as a cook, you'll spend a lot of your time cooking. Crazy, we know. But that's not all you'll be doing. In addition to the food actually being cooked properly, most people like it to be seasoned. Between the preparation and seasoning, this is where you get to be creative.

When you think of a cook, you probably think of a restaurant setting but in actuality, cooks are needed in a lot of different places, this includes schools, hospitals, and even private households. One thing that is consistent is the inconsistent schedule.

Sometimes you'll work a night shift, other times you'll work super early in the morning. You may even have to work on a holiday. And don't be surprised with a weekend shift. The good news is that formal education isn't really necessary. Sometimes culinary creativity comes naturally.

  • Average Salary: $31,803
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Line Cook


As a sort of in-charge person, line cooks definitely have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. While you might think the head chef does most of the heavy lifting, think again. The majority of the food is prepared by the line cook.

Now, the head chef, or even the sous chef, give line cooks the direction they need to make the food. Typically, as a line cook, you'll have a particular place in the kitchen that you'll look after. Like, maybe you'll get assigned to the grill, and then you'll be in charge of everything at the grill. Or you might be assigned to the veggie prep area.

Wherever you are assigned, you should be prepared to work some crazy hours. Since you're preparing the food, you'll need at least an hour, if not two, to get everything ready. Once your line is prepped, then you're ready to take on your shift. With that extra 1-2 hours, you'll probably be working around 8-10 hours a shift.
  • Average Salary: $32,894
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Prep Cook


Under the direction of a head chef, you'll know exactly what to prepare for as a prep cook. It is essentially your job to make sure the food and kitchen area is prepped for the creation of delicious meals.

Typically, this is a part-time job. But you might be able to find a full-time position somewhere. In your position, you'll be working in a restaurant, hotel, or another establishment that serves food.

As a prep cook, you won't need much education to get by. In fact, the position doesn't require any formal education, but you will need to go through some training, once you're hired. And when we say training, we mean several weeks of on-the-job training. By the end of it, you'll be a sharp prep cook, ready to slice and dice.
  • Average Salary: $32,292
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Cook/Dietary Aide Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active cook/dietary aide jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where cook/dietary aides earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Cook/Dietary Aide Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York2,649$32,021
10North Carolina1,973$26,972
13New Jersey1,571$25,815
24South Carolina858$24,784
34New Mexico472$24,809
37West Virginia413$26,571
42New Hampshire246$30,280
44Rhode Island183$29,982
46North Dakota165$36,515
47South Dakota155$27,801

Cook/Dietary Aide Education

Cook/Dietary Aide Majors

15.1 %

Cook/Dietary Aide Degrees

High School Diploma

44.9 %


20.6 %


13.9 %

Top Skills For a Cook/Dietary Aide

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.6% of cook/dietary aides listed meal service on their resume, but soft skills such as sense of taste and smell and dexterity are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Cook/Dietary Aide Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Cook/Dietary Aide templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Cook/Dietary Aide resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Cook/Dietary Aide Demographics

Cook/Dietary Aide Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among cook/dietary aides, 74.1% of them are women, while 25.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among cook/dietary aides is White, which makes up 64.5% of all cook/dietary aides.

  • The most common foreign language among cook/dietary aides is Spanish at 67.3%.

Online Courses For Cook/Dietary Aide That You May Like

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1. Child Nutrition and Cooking


Eating patterns that begin in childhood affect health and well-being across the lifespan. The culture of eating has changed significantly in recent decades, especially in parts of the world where processed foods dominate our dietary intake. This course examines contemporary child nutrition and the impact of the individual decisions made by each family. The health risks associated with obesity in childhood are also discussed. Participants will learn what constitutes a healthy diet for children...

See More on Coursera

2. Cooking for Busy Healthy People


Cooking is one of the most powerful ways in which we can optimize our enjoyment of great quality food while protecting our health. Even on a tight budget, cooking can be a cost-effective, joyful and rewarding way to love the food that will love us back for a lifetime. In this course, you’ll learn some basic recipes from a home cook and two professional chefs who prioritize healthful eating. You’ll also learn some of the fundamentals of principle-based cooking that can help you break free from...

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3. Public Health Perspectives on Sustainable Diets


What we eat and how we produce that food have significant effects on human health and the sustainability of our planet. But what is a ‘sustainable’ diet? A sustainable diet, as defined by the FAO, promotes health and well-being and provides food security for the present population while sustaining human and natural resources for future generations. This short course looks at the urgent need to address the sustainability of our food systems, including better understanding the complex...

See More on Coursera
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Best States For a Cook/Dietary Aide

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cook/dietary aide. The best states for people in this position are Utah, North Dakota, Alaska, and Nebraska. Cook/dietary aides make the most in Utah with an average salary of $39,315. Whereas in North Dakota and Alaska, they would average $36,515 and $36,407, respectively. While cook/dietary aides would only make an average of $35,809 in Nebraska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Cook/Dietary Aide Jobs: 179
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Mississippi

Total Cook/Dietary Aide Jobs: 477
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Utah

Total Cook/Dietary Aide Jobs: 593
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Cook/Dietary Aides

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Top Cook/Dietary Aide Employers

Most Common Employers For Cook/Dietary Aide

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Life Care Solutions$29,346$14.1118
3Kindred Healthcare$28,791$13.8418
4Life Care Centers of America$28,661$13.7822
5HealthCare Services$28,542$13.7211
6Healthcare Services Group$28,394$13.6569
7Good Samaritan Center$27,778$13.3510
8American House Senior Living Communities$27,670$13.3012
10Good Samaritan Home of Quincy$26,684$12.8310

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