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Dietary Cook Salary

Earnings for Dietary Cooks in the United States come in at around $10.98 per hour on average. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Dietary Cooks. Although more than a third lack health benefits of any kind, more than half do enjoy medical insurance, and a little less than one-half get dental coverage, too. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Dietary Cooks making up 72 percent. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$14,707 - $44,042
(Median)
$15K
$24K
$44K
MEDIAN: $24,348
10%
50%
90%

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$8.56 - $15.17
(Median)
$8
$11
$15
MEDIAN: $10
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary 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$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$14,707 - $44,042  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $386.30  
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).
)
$17,990 - $32,280  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 22
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.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$8.56 - $15.17  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.35  
Overtime
$11.22 - $22.52  
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$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$0.00 - $386.30  
   
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).
)
$17,990 - $32,280  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 746

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Job Description for Dietary Cook

A dietary cook is generally responsible for providing meals that are nutritious and appetizing to their clients. The meals need to be carefully handled, prepared correctly, and served at the right temperature and in correct serving sizes. They are also responsible for checking their organization's menu daily and ensuring that preparation for the upcoming meals have been completed. Additionally, the dietary cook must ensure that all cooking supplies and dishware are properly cleaned, which includes making a schedule to ensure this is accomplished.

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Dietary Cook Tasks

  • Clean and inspect equipment, appliances, and work areas in order to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
  • Prepare major meals by following recipes, determining food quantities and following meal time schedules.
  • Research food and beverage costs and assist in implementing cost control and waste management procedures.
  • Prepare and cook food for patients, employees and visitors.
  • Monitor food service for nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.

Common Career Paths for Dietary Cook


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At the upper end, Dietary Cooks who move into a Food Service Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Food Service Managers is a much higher $36K per year. Career advancement for the typical Dietary Cook often leads to becoming a Certified Dietary Manager or a Dietary Manager; median salaries in these positions are $11K higher and $10K higher, respectively.

Dietary Cook Job Listings

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Dietary Cooks who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Food Preparation and Customer Service are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Dietary Cook

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


For Dietary Cooks, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $21K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $23K. Dietary Cooks bring in $25K after working for 10 to 20 years. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $27K.

Dietary Cook Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Dietary Cook in Everett:
"Don't care, because they sure don't."
Be prepared to do the impossible at all times in the shortest amount of time. Often times the food budget is small but federal rules require certain things to be followed but you will be held responsible when a food wasn't done correctly because items were not ordered. If you have any items on new food items I hope they will let you use them because most times you have to follow the same menu serving the same boring stuff all the time. Treat this job like you are in the military, just do as you are told, trying to explain yourself usually doesn't work.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Dietary Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Experienced
up arrow 6%

National Average
$23,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

Entry-Level
up arrow 9%

Skills That Affect Dietary Cook Salaries

National Average
$23,000

Food Preparation
up arrow 3%

Customer Service
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 158 votes.

Gender

Female
72 %
Male
28 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 60% dental benefits Dental: 46%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 37%