Line cooks assist in the work of a kitchen by preparing food and ingredients. They focus on one specific phase of the work that goes into creating a meal.

A good line cook is diligent, neat, and carries out orders without delay. They stick to a list of instructions created by the chef. They measure, clean, and chop ingredients, organize, stock, and maintain the cleanliness of the working area.

Working in the service industry is always extremely demanding physically. You endure long hours in a sometimes hot and always stressful environment, where getting burned, cut, bruised, and strained is part of the deal. That being said, cooking is a profession people tend to be absolutely passionate about, and line cooks are no different.

What Does a Line Cook, Prep Cook Do

There are certain skills that many line cooks, prep cook 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 dexterity, physical stamina and sense of taste and smell.

Learn more about what a Line Cook, Prep Cook does

How To Become a Line Cook, Prep Cook

If you're interested in becoming a line cook, prep cook, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 13.9% of line cooks, prep cook have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.7% of line cooks, prep cook have master's degrees. Even though some line cooks, prep cook have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Line Cook, Prep Cook Career Paths

Average Salary for a Line Cook, Prep Cook

Line Cooks, Prep Cook in America make an average salary of $32,982 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $40,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Line Cook, Prep Cook Salary
$32,982 Yearly
$15.86 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Line Cook, Prep Cook

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

  • Prepares food to specifications for traveling public. Properly measures
  • To perform side duties including, but not limited to, answering the phone, bussing tables, washing dishes, expediting orders or running food. In short, whatever it takes to support our team specific functions
  • Preparing and assembling food products to create appetizers, salads, pastas, sandwiches,

There are several types of line cook, prep cook, 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 Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active line cook, prep cook jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where line cooks, prep cook earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs By State

Line Cook, Prep Cook Education

Line Cook, Prep Cook Majors

12.5 %

Line Cook, Prep Cook Degrees

High School Diploma

43.5 %


24.5 %


13.9 %

Top Skills For a Line Cook, Prep 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, 24.7% of line cooks, prep cook listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and physical stamina are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Line Cook, Prep Cook Resume templates

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

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Line Cook, Prep Cook diversity

Line Cook, Prep Cook Gender Distribution


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

  • Among line cooks, prep cook, 32.4% of them are women, while 67.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among line cooks, prep cook is White, which makes up 56.9% of all line cooks, prep cook.

  • The most common foreign language among line cooks, prep cook is Spanish at 67.8%.

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Best States For a Line Cook, Prep Cook

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a line cook, prep cook. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Hawaii, New York, and Alaska. Line cooks, prep cook make the most in Washington with an average salary of $42,190. Whereas in Hawaii and New York, they would average $39,377 and $37,902, respectively. While line cooks, prep cook would only make an average of $37,408 in Alaska, 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. Colorado

Total Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs: 1,295
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Wyoming

Total Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs: 105
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs: 813
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Line Cooks, Prep Cook

How Do Line Cooks, Prep Cook Rate Their Jobs?


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Line Cook, Prep Cook Reviews

Jan 2020

I love to cook make arts everyday from cooking most especially making salads


I don’t like to be underestimated in my field, I don’t like to be looked down on in my field

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Top Line Cook, Prep Cook Employers

Most Common Employers For Line Cook, Prep Cook

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Cheesecake Factory$36,535$17.56182
2Bob Evans Restaurants$36,259$17.43157
4Texas Roadhouse$33,815$16.26187
5Panera Bread$33,583$16.15464
6Darden Restaurants$33,064$15.90621
7Chili's Grill & Bar$33,011$15.87294
8Outback Steakhouse$31,981$15.38354
9Cracker Barrel$31,337$15.07186
10Chipotle Mexican Grill$31,267$15.03379

Line Cook, Prep Cook Videos

Becoming a Line Cook, Prep Cook FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Line Cook, Prep Cook?

It takes 2 years of professional experience to become a line cook, prep cook. That is the time it takes to learn specific line cook, prep cook skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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