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Become A Dietary Assistant

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Working As A Dietary Assistant

  • 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

  • $17,222

    Average Salary

What Does A Dietary Assistant 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 Dietary Assistant

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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Dietary Assistant jobs

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Dietary Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

71.1%

Male

27.5%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

82.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.1%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

9.5%

Bosnian

4.8%

Dakota

4.8%

Swahili

2.4%

Kurdish

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Mandarin

2.4%

Vietnamese

2.4%

German

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Tibetan

2.4%

Croatian

2.4%
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Dietary Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.5%

University of North Dakota

7.3%

Henry Ford College

6.5%

Southeast Technical Institute

6.5%

Missouri State University

5.6%

West Virginia University

5.6%

Kaplan University

5.6%

Saint Cloud State University

4.8%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

4.0%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.0%

North Dakota State University -

4.0%

South Dakota State University

4.0%

Nicholls State University

4.0%

Sinclair Community College

4.0%

Yavapai College

3.2%

Rockland Community College

3.2%

University of Southern Indiana

3.2%

Wayne State University

3.2%

Lansing Community College

3.2%

University of Central Missouri

3.2%
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Majors

Business

17.4%

Nursing

9.8%

Criminal Justice

6.9%

Medical Assisting Services

6.8%

Health Care Administration

6.6%

Dietetics

6.3%

General Studies

6.1%

Psychology

5.4%

Food And Nutrition

5.1%

Nursing Assistants

4.1%

Communication

3.2%

Culinary Arts

3.0%

Medical Technician

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Management

2.7%

Accounting

2.5%

Computer Science

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Human Services

2.2%

Biology

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

39.2%

Bachelors

30.3%

Associate

17.5%

Masters

5.2%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Dietary Assistant

MealTraysKitchenEquipmentPrepCustomerServiceDinnerFoodServiceFoodTraysDeliverySpecialDietsTrayLineFoodItemsDishwasherDietRestrictionsDietaryDepartmentFoodCartsMealPreparationFoodOrdersDietOrdersPatientTraysMealPlans

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Top Dietary Assistant Skills

  1. Meal Trays
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Prep
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Delivered meal trays to appropriate patients on a timely basis.
  • Experience using meat slicer, grills, steam tables, steamers, and general kitchen equipment.
  • Prepare and serve a variety of beverages such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
  • Maintain quality control/satisfaction records, constantly seeking new ways to improve customer service.
  • Provided food to the residents of the retirement home (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

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