Kitchen assistant

Kitchen assistants prepare food, make sure chefs have everything they need and keep the kitchen clean.

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £11,500 - £16.500

Typical hours (a week): 40 - 42

How to become a kitchen assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You may find it helps you to get work if you do a course like:

  • Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry
  • Level 1 Certificate in General Cookery
  • Level 2 Award in Food Safety

College (Entry requirements)

You may need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course


You could get into this job by taking an intermediate apprenticeship in catering.

Apprenticeship (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

Direct application

You can apply directly to employers for a job as a dish washer or general kitchen hand, then train while you're working.

More info

Further information You can get more details about catering careers from the Hospitality Guild and CareerScope.

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • business management skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day to day

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • supporting chefs in a specific work section
  • washing, peeling and preparing food items
  • using a variety of kitchen equipment such as mixers, special knives and cutters
  • unloading deliveries
  • organising the storeroom
  • washing kitchen appliances, work surfaces, floors and walls

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a restaurant or in an NHS or private hospital. Your working environment may be noisy and hot. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Career path & progression

With experience and further training, you could become a trainee or junior chef. You could also progress into management or move into bar work or food service.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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