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Cook, Fast Food Salary

Pay for Fast Food Cooks in the United States sits in the ballpark of $7.78 per hour. Pay generally varies between $7.16 per hour and $9.37. Experience level and the company each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Male Fast Food Cooks are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Approximately one-eighth enjoy medical while less than one in ten get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to fewer than one in twenty. Though the majority of Fast Food Cooks do not report high levels of job satisfaction, most are moderately content with their role.
$7.16 - $9.37
MEDIAN: $7.00

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National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Hourly Rate
$7.16 - $9.37  
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.82  
$1.49 - $15.49  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
$0.00 - $198.32  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$14,913 - $20,253  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 432
United States (change)

Job Description for Cook, Fast Food

A fast food cook holds an entry-level position in casual, quick-serve restaurants. Most of these establishments are part of national chains, and thus put an emphasis on consistency of output on their cooks. A fast food cook normally learn one station (including its required food preparation) and then moves to others. New fast food cooks are traditionally paired at first with more experienced cooks who gradually add more and more duties to the new cook's responsibilities. A cook at this level frequently finds that many of the processes are automated and that a variety of timers and temperature gauges take much of the judgment and guesswork out of the food-preparation process, helping the cook ensure consistent product output.


Cook, Fast Food Tasks

  • Bake, roast, fry, grill, meats, fish, and other foods.
  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, and tools.
  • Prepare a short range of menu items in a fast-food restaurant.

Cook, Fast Food Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Cook, Fast Food

With a median salary of $17K, Sonic Drive - In offers Fast Food Cooks the highest pay. However, earnings don't seem to live on a large spectrum; they generally peter out at $15K and are capped at $19K.

McDonald's Restaurants Ltd. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $16K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $15K to $17K.

Pay by Experience Level for Cook, Fast Food

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Fast Food Cooks do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $16K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $17K. Fast Food Cooks who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $17K. Fast Food Cooks who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $18K.

Experience Affects Cook, Fast Food Salaries

up arrow 13%

up arrow 6%

up arrow 3%

National Average

up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Rated 3 out of 5
based on 70 votes.


24 %
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 13% dental benefits Dental: 7%
vision benefits Vision: 4% employee benefits None: 87%