Median pay for Dietary Cooks in the United States is around $11.18 per hour. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by residence, but the company and years of experience are influential factors as well. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Dietary Cooks making up 78 percent. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and more than a third lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by the greater part and dental coverage is claimed by more than two-fifths. For the most part, Dietary Cooks enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$19,005 - $34,877
(Median)
$19K
$26K
$35K
MEDIAN: $26,252
10%
50%
90%

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$8.81 - $15.08
(Median)
$8
$11
$15
MEDIAN: $11.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12K$24K$36K
Salary
$19,005 - $34,877  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,237  
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).
)
$18,456 - $32,090  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 21
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$8$16$24
Hourly Rate
$8.81 - $15.08  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.40  
Overtime
$9.09 - $22.48  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,237  
   
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).
)
$18,456 - $32,090  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 871
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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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It's not very common for Dietary Cooks to move on to become Food Service Directors. Average pay for a Food Service Director is $50K annually. The most common next step for a Dietary Cook is to become a Certified Dietary Manager or a Dietary Manager. The former position pays an additional $12K per year on average, and the latter position pays $10K more per year.

Dietary Cook Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Dietary Cook


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Dietary Cooks include Healthcare Services Group, Inc., Brookdale Senior Living Inc., Morrison Healthcare, Brookdale, and Sodexo, Inc. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Brookdale offers the most; Dietary Cooks earn $27K on average there. Dietary Cooks can also look forward to large paychecks at Genesis HealthCare ($25K), Life Care Centers of America ($25K), and Morrison Healthcare ($24K).

Though certain workers may see earnings of up to $34K, Healthcare Services Group, Inc. still falls short in the compensation department — the median pay is only $21K, the lowest in the field. Brookdale Senior Living Inc., Sodexo, Inc., and Morrison Healthcare are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($23K, $24K, and $24K respectively).

Pay by Experience Level for Dietary Cook

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


For many Dietary Cooks, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $22K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $23K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $26K in this role. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $27K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

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.

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Experience Affects Dietary Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 13%

Experienced
up arrow 7%

National Average
$24,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Skills That Affect Dietary Cook Salaries

National Average
$24,000


Customer Service
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 135 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 57%
dental benefits
Dental: 45%
medical benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 38%
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