A dietary assistant is in charge of the food preparation of individuals in various settings. Dietary aides, dietary assistants cook food, check the compliance of proper procedure in safety and health measures, and maintain a clean environment in the kitchen. The assistants may work part-time or full-time, and during holidays, weekends, or evenings to accommodate customers. People in this position are expected to have experience in food preparation, strong teamwork, and customer-oriented approaches.

Dietary Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real dietary assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Prepare and serve food to visitors and staff upholding HACCP standards.
  • Record food and dishwasher temperature to prevent contamination.
  • Operate an industrial automate dishwasher correctly and safely.
  • Review and approve evening and weekend staff payroll reports
  • Provide administrative/ payroll functions (including monitoring employee performance and training).
  • Facilitate open communication between health care professionals, patients and families in reference to specialize dietary needs.
  • Maintain critical communication with dietitians and department management regarding patient concerns and demonstrates high level of patient service/satisfaction.
  • Shift supervisor assisting co-workers in following facility policy and providing conflict resolution.
Dietary Assistant Traits
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Physical strength refers to one's ability to lift, carry and move physical objects.
Dexterity describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.

Dietary Assistant Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a dietary assistant is "should I become a dietary assistant?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, dietary assistant careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a dietary assistant by 2028 is 69,100.

A dietary assistant annual salary averages $24,701, which breaks down to $11.88 an hour. However, dietary assistants can earn anywhere from upwards of $21,000 to $28,000 a year. This means that the top-earning dietary assistants make $7,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a dietary assistant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a food service worker, food prep/dishwasher, kitchen staff, and bakery clerk.

Dietary Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Dietary Assistant Resume Examples

Dietary Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Dietary Assistants are proficient in Food Trays, Food Service, and Food Preparation. They’re also known for soft skills such as Listening skills, Physical strength, and Dexterity.

We break down the percentage of Dietary Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Food Trays, 17%

    Distribute patient food trays accurately, verifying patient identification.

  • Food Service, 13%

    Provided customer service* Assisted with nutrition* Collaborated with colleagues to provide nutritional food services* Communicated effectively with colleagues and residents

  • Food Preparation, 10%

    Maintain established standards of sanitation, safety and food preparation.

  • Customer Service, 9%

    Key reservation information accurately into the computer system while providing the highest quality of customer service.

  • Kitchen Equipment, 6%

    Maintain kitchen equipment and monitor usage to ensure quality production.

  • Menu Items, 6%

    Assisted with preparing menu items, snacks, and supplements following physician's orders, standards and regulations.

"food trays," "food service," and "food preparation" aren't the only skills we found dietary assistants list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of dietary assistant responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a dietary assistant to have happens to be listening skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that dietary assistants can use listening skills to "communicated directly with patients regarding meal preferences and diet restrictions. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform dietary assistant duties is the following: physical strength. According to a dietary assistant resume, "food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds." Check out this example of how dietary assistants use physical strength: "follow all food safety rules, also follow all physical safety rules. "
  • Dietary assistants are also known for dexterity, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a dietary assistant resume: "food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "attained hands on skills as starter, cold, host, beverage, dishwasher, and pot washer. "
  • See the full list of dietary assistant skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a dietary assistant. We found that 26.0% of dietary assistants have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 1.6% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some dietary assistants have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every three dietary assistants were not college graduates.

    Those dietary assistants who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a general studies degree. Less commonly earned degrees for dietary assistants include a nursing degree or a health care administration degree.

    Once you're ready to become a dietary assistant, you should explore the companies that typically hire dietary assistants. According to dietary assistant resumes that we searched through, dietary assistants are hired the most by Capital Senior Living, Prestige Care, and Universal Health Services. Currently, Capital Senior Living has 28 dietary assistant job openings, while there are 18 at Prestige Care and 16 at Universal Health Services.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, dietary assistants tend to earn the biggest salaries at Woodside, Fairview Health Services, and Capital Senior Living. Take Woodside for example. The median dietary assistant salary is $33,650. At Fairview Health Services, dietary assistants earn an average of $30,888, while the average at Capital Senior Living is $28,968. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on dietary assistant salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a dietary assistant include Genesis HealthCare, Sodexo Operations LLC, and Brookdale Senior Living. These three companies were found to hire the most dietary assistants from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious dietary assistants are:

      What Food Service Workers Do

      Foodservice workers are employees at restaurants, food trucks, or any outlet that provides food to customers. They may be assigned to welcome customers, take food orders, prepare food orders in the kitchen, serve food, handle customer payments, clean up the tables once the guests leave, or maintain the whole store's cleanliness. They may also be assigned to manage inventories, handle stocks and deliveries, and other activities related to the restaurant's successful operations. Foodservice workers must always be hygienic and maintain the sanitation of the area to ensure food safety.

      We looked at the average dietary assistant annual salary and compared it with the average of a food service worker. Generally speaking, food service workers receive $4,743 lower pay than dietary assistants per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between dietary assistants and food service workers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like food trays, food preparation, and customer service.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A dietary assistant responsibility is more likely to require skills like "food service," "diet orders," "dietary staff," and "infection control." Whereas a food service worker requires skills like "positive attitude," "safety standards," "pos," and "portion control." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Food service workers really shine in the government industry with an average salary of $26,668. Whereas dietary assistants tend to make the most money in the pharmaceutical industry with an average salary of $26,323.

      The education levels that food service workers earn is a bit different than that of dietary assistants. In particular, food service workers are 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a dietary assistant. Additionally, they're 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Food Prep/Dishwasher?

      A food prep/dishwasher's role is to perform food preparation and cleaning duties in a kitchen, under the supervision and directives of a chef or manager. One of their primary responsibilities is washing dishes, sanitizing utensils, and preparing ingredients by washing, peeling, and cutting them according to size. They may also participate in organizing, sorting, and putting them in proper storage. There are also instances when they have to perform basic cooking tasks ranging from boiling and frying to baking. Furthermore, a food prep/dishwasher may have the duty of maintaining the kitchen's cleanliness and other areas.

      Next up, we have the food prep/dishwasher profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a dietary assistant annual salary. In fact, food prep/dishwashers salary difference is $2,159 lower than the salary of dietary assistants per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Dietary assistants and food prep/dishwashers both include similar skills like "food service," "food preparation," and "customer service" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real dietary assistant resumes. While dietary assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "food trays," "tray line," "diet orders," and "meal service," some food prep/dishwashers use skills like "dishes," "safety standards," "sanitation standards," and "positive attitude."

      Food prep/dishwashers may earn a lower salary than dietary assistants, but food prep/dishwashers earn the most pay in the retail industry with an average salary of $26,390. On the other side of things, dietary assistants receive higher paychecks in the pharmaceutical industry where they earn an average of $26,323.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, food prep/dishwashers tend to reach similar levels of education than dietary assistants. In fact, they're 1.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Kitchen Staff Compares

      The kitchen staff consists of preparation workers who execute several routine tasks as directed by chefs, food service managers, and cooks. These works should have the ability to follow cooking instructions and deliver well-prepared meals. Their responsibilities include the cleanup of dishes, cooking equipment, and the working stations. They also take charge of food safety regulations, storing and sorting of ingredients, and preparing foodstuff.

      The kitchen staff profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of dietary assistants. The difference in salaries is kitchen staff making $3,431 lower than dietary assistants.

      Using dietary assistants and kitchen staff resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "food trays," "food service," and "food preparation," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from dietary assistant resumes include skills like "tray line," "diet orders," "meal service," and "food carts," whereas a kitchen staff might be skilled in "positive attitude," "sanitation standards," "staff members," and "safety standards. "

      Additionally, kitchen staff earn a higher salary in the retail industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $24,036. Additionally, dietary assistants earn an average salary of $26,323 in the pharmaceutical industry.

      Kitchen staff are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to dietary assistants. Additionally, they're 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Bakery Clerk

      A bakery clerk is an employee who is responsible for running the bakery department of supermarkets, boutique bakeries, or baking facilities. Bakery clerks are usually tasked to manage the bakery's cash register, bagging baked goods and then taking customers' payments. They ensure that the display cases inside the bakery are fully stocked with fresh bread and other baked goods. They also assist bakers with baking tasks such as measuring ingredients, mixing dough, or pouring batter.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than dietary assistants. On average, bakery clerks earn a difference of $652 higher per year.

      While their salaries may vary, dietary assistants and bakery clerks both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "food preparation," "customer service," and "kitchen equipment. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "food trays," "food service," "tray line," and "diet orders" are skills that have shown up on dietary assistants resumes. Additionally, bakery clerk uses skills like bakery products, safety standards, company policies, and special orders on their resumes.

      In general, bakery clerks make a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $31,168. The highest dietary assistant annual salary stems from the pharmaceutical industry.

      In general, bakery clerks reach similar levels of education when compared to dietary assistants resumes. Bakery clerks are 0.4% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.