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Prep Cook Careers

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a prep cook. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.23 an hour? That's $25,441 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 Prep Cook Do

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

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a prep cook, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.1% of prep cooks included sanitation standards, while 12.4% of resumes included kitchen equipment, and 8.2% of resumes included high volume. 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 prep cook job title. But what industry to start with? Most prep cooks actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Prep Cook

If you're interested in becoming a prep cook, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 12.4% of prep cooks have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.7% of prep cooks have master's degrees. Even though some prep 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 prep cook. When we researched the most common majors for a prep cook, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on prep cook resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$25,441
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
52,102
Job Openings

Prep Cook Career Paths

Top Careers Before Prep Cook

Cashier
19.1 %
Cook
15.1 %

Top Careers After Prep Cook

Cook
16.8 %
Cashier
13.8 %
Line Cook
11.0 %

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 Prep Cook

Prep Cooks in America make an average salary of $25,441 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $31,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$25,441

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Seattle, WA
Salary Range29k - 39k$34k$34,064
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range27k - 38k$33k$32,969
Boston, MA
Salary Range27k - 34k$31k$30,849
Washington, DC
Salary Range23k - 32k$28k$27,503
Denver, CO
Salary Range24k - 30k$27k$26,987
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range21k - 31k$26k$26,259
$16k
$39k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Upward Projects
Prep Cook-Co Postino 9CO
Prep Cook-Co Postino 9CO
Upward Projects
Upward Projects
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$33,39201/31/2021
$33,392
Food Service/Prep Cook
Food Service/Prep Cook
Maverik
Maverik
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$20,87001/30/2021
$20,870
Prep Cook
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$31,30501/30/2021
$31,305
Prep Cook
Prep Cook
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$25,04401/29/2021
$25,044
Peopleready
Prep Cook
Prep Cook
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$22,95701/29/2021
$22,957
See More Recent Salaries

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Prep 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 Prep 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 Prep Cook Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Prep 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

Prep Cook Demographics

Gender

male

56.0 %

female

37.9 %

unknown

6.1 %

Ethnicity

White

57.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.8 %

Black or African American

12.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4 %

French

10.4 %

German

3.3 %
See More Demographics

Prep Cook Education

Majors

Business
14.7 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

47.9 %

Associate

18.3 %

Bachelors

12.4 %
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a 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, 15.1% of prep cooks listed sanitation standards on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and physical stamina are important as well.

  • Sanitation Standards, 15.1%
  • Kitchen Equipment, 12.4%
  • High Volume, 8.2%
  • Positive Attitude, 6.4%
  • Communication, 5.3%
  • Other Skills, 52.6%
  • See All Prep Cook Skills

Best States For a Prep Cook

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a prep cook. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Washington, Alaska, and Massachusetts. Prep cooks make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $37,079. Whereas in Washington and Alaska, they would average $33,242 and $32,237, respectively. While prep cooks would only make an average of $30,847 in Massachusetts, 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 Prep Cook Jobs:
119
Highest 10% Earn:
$38,000
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. Hawaii

Total Prep Cook Jobs:
107
Highest 10% Earn:
$50,000
Location Quotient:
0.72
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. Washington

Total Prep Cook Jobs:
697
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
0.53
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
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Top Prep Cook Employers

1. McDonald's
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$18,317
Prep Cooks Hired: 
2,249+
2. Pizza Hut
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$19,912
Prep Cooks Hired: 
1,386+
3. Burger King
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$17,826
Prep Cooks Hired: 
1,257+
4. KFC
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$17,903
Prep Cooks Hired: 
1,205+
5. Cracker Barrel
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$31,151
Prep Cooks Hired: 
1,015+
6. Sonic Drive-In
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$18,183
Prep Cooks Hired: 
790+

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