Find The Best Kitchen Cook Jobs For You

Where do you want to work?

0 selections
Average Salary
$26,595
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
47,544
Job Openings

Kitchen Cook Careers

A kitchen cook is someone who works in a kitchen and prepares delicious food to feed hungry customers. While most kitchen cooks work in restaurants, they can also work in school cafeterias, hospitals, or other places where people need to be fed. They usually follow the direction of a chef, who is the head of a kitchen and creates the menu.

It goes without saying that kitchen cooks need to be good at cooking food. However, cooking in a busy kitchen requires some additional skills than when you're just whipping up a tasty sauce at home. Kitchen cooks need to be able to work quickly in a confined, crowded space to serve many customers. They also need to follow strict safety regulations so that their kitchen doesn't get shut down by government inspectors.

There are many paths to becoming a kitchen cook. Some cooks choose to get a bachelor's degree or go to culinary school. However, most work their way up to this position with practical restaurant experience alone. Cooks only earn an average salary of $26,674 and spend many long hours working on their feet, but for many, the satisfaction of preparing good food for customers is worth the work.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a kitchen cook. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.79 an hour? That's $26,595 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 282,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Kitchen Cook Do

There are certain skills that many kitchen cooks 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a kitchen cook, we found that a lot of resumes listed 30.7% of kitchen cooks included menu items, while 14.9% of resumes included dishes, and 9.5% of resumes included kitchen equipment. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the kitchen cook job title. But what industry to start with? Most kitchen cooks actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Kitchen Cook

If you're interested in becoming a kitchen cook, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 15.7% of kitchen cooks have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.4% of kitchen cooks have master's degrees. Even though some kitchen cooks have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a kitchen cook. When we researched the most common majors for a kitchen cook, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on kitchen cook resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a kitchen cook. In fact, many kitchen cook jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many kitchen cooks also have previous career experience in roles such as cook or sales associate.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$26,595
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
47,544
Job Openings

Kitchen Cook Career Paths

Top Careers Before Kitchen Cook

Cashier
18.9 %
Cook
12.2 %

Top Careers After Kitchen Cook

Cook
14.6 %
Cashier
13.0 %

Kitchen Cook Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Kitchen Cook

Kitchen Cooks in America make an average salary of $26,595 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $33,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
$26,595
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Vancouver, WA
Salary Range30k - 41k$36k$35,561
Los Angeles, CA
Salary Range27k - 38k$32k$32,338
Huntley, IL
Salary Range23k - 30k$27k$26,778
Yonkers, NY
Salary Range21k - 30k$26k$25,843
Boca Raton, FL
Salary Range20k - 28k$24k$24,218
Chesapeake, VA
Salary Range19k - 27k$23k$23,021
$17k
$41k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Kitchen Cook
Kitchen Cook
Mother's Market & Kitchen
Mother's Market & Kitchen
05/31/2021
05/31/2021
$31,30505/31/2021
$31,305
Kitchen Team Member/Cook
Kitchen Team Member/Cook
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings
05/28/2021
05/28/2021
$29,21805/28/2021
$29,218
Kitchen Cook
Kitchen Cook
Mother's Market & Kitchen
Mother's Market & Kitchen
05/26/2021
05/26/2021
$31,30505/26/2021
$31,305
Pizza Kitchen Cooks
Pizza Kitchen Cooks
Joy Hill Denver
Joy Hill Denver
05/26/2021
05/26/2021
$37,56605/26/2021
$37,566
Cook/Kitchen
Cook/Kitchen
Portillo's
Portillo's
05/25/2021
05/25/2021
$27,13105/25/2021
$27,131
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Kitchen Cook Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Kitchen Cook. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Kitchen Cook Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Kitchen Cook resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Kitchen Cook Demographics

Gender

male

61.4 %

female

34.2 %

unknown

4.4 %

Ethnicity

White

60.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.2 %

Black or African American

11.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.4 %

French

6.5 %

Japanese

5.2 %
See More Demographics

Kitchen Cook Education

Majors

Business
20.1 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

33.3 %

Certificate

26.7 %

Associate

15.7 %
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Kitchen Cook That You May Like

Food and Customer Service Skills Training
ed2go

Food and Customer Service Skills Training...

Nutrition and Health: Food Safety
edX (Global)

Everyday reports of food scandals and recalls are published. One day it’s scary bacteria in meat, and another day it’s dangerous pesticides in fruits. According to some, meat needs to be cooked well to prevent food-borne illness while others warn not to heat food to prevent the formation of poisonous substances. Many consumers worry about the conflicting and confusing messages about food hazards. This nutrition and health course will teach you about the risk factors associated with food and...

Food Fermentation: The Science of Cooking with Microbes
edX (Global)

What’s living in your food? Many of the foods that we consume daily owe their distinct characteristics and flavors to microbes, specifically through a biochemical process of fermentation (using bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms to produce diverse foods). Gourmands and everyday consumers can quickly name some of the most popular fermented foods we consume—beer, yogurt, pickles—but, what about that coffee you drank this morning, or the chocolate bar you are saving for later? Through...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Kitchen Cook

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, 30.7% of kitchen cooks listed menu items on their resume, but soft skills such as sense of taste and smell and dexterity are important as well.

  • Menu Items, 30.7%
  • Dishes, 14.9%
  • Kitchen Equipment, 9.5%
  • Customer Service, 7.8%
  • Food Products, 7.3%
  • Other Skills, 29.8%
  • See All Kitchen Cook Skills

Best States For a Kitchen Cook

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a kitchen cook. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, and California. Kitchen cooks make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $40,254. Whereas in Alaska and Washington, they would average $36,834 and $34,801, respectively. While kitchen cooks would only make an average of $32,669 in California, 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 Kitchen Cook Jobs:
150
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
0.8
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Kitchen Cook Jobs:
488
Highest 10% Earn:
$39,000
Location Quotient:
1.04
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Hawaii

Total Kitchen Cook Jobs:
103
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
0.55
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
View Full List

How Do Kitchen Cook Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Kitchen Cook? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Kitchen Cook?
Rate how you like work as Kitchen Cook. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Kitchen Cook Employers

1. Buffalo Wild Wings
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$31,575
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
102+
2. McDonald's
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$19,267
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
96+
3. Burger King
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$18,223
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
89+
4. Casey's General Stores
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$29,805
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
80+
5. Chick-fil-A
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$19,226
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
49+
6. Sonic
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$18,929
Kitchen Cooks Hired: 
44+

Kitchen Cook Videos