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Prep Cook Salary

For Prep Cooks, hourly average wages total $9.81 per hour. Compensation ranges from $7.97 per hour on the lower end to $12.67 on the higher end. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by the specific employer and experience level. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Prep Cooks — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. Men working as Prep Cooks who took the survey just slightly outnumber women at 55 percent. Medical benefits are awarded to close to one-fourth, and one-fifth earn dental coverage. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$17,710 - $41,341
(Median)
$18K
$24K
$41K
MEDIAN: $23,623
10%
50%
90%

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$7.97 - $12.67
(Median)
$8
$9
$13
MEDIAN: $9.00
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$14K$28K$42K
Salary
$17,710 - $41,341  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $225.00  
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).
)
$16,726 - $28,866  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 32
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$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$7.97 - $12.67  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.56  
Overtime
$5.09 - $19.34  
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$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $225.00  
   
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).
)
$16,726 - $28,866  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 892
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Job Description for Prep Cook

A prep cook works for a restaurant, caterer, or a similar food-service establishment. A prep cook works under a chef in an entry-level job that is often occupied by an individual who is also currently in culinary school. A prep cook's main tasks include performing preparatory work for the head chef. This includes such tasks as chopping vegetables, peeling potatoes, washing food items, and slicing and dicing food items needed by the head chef. In this way, the prep cook helps ensure the head chef can have prepared food items ready and at hand without needing to stop to prepare anything. A prep cook may also have the duty of preparing salads and breads, as well as salad dressings and sauces. Other responsibilities may include taking items from the freezer or refrigerator, as well as storing foods that need to be covered and properly put away. Prep cooks in general do not do dishwashing or substantial kitchen cleaning.

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Prep Cook Tasks

  • Maintain a hygienic environment and personal appearance.
  • Set up and break down equipment, materials, and ingredients.
  • Follow standard procedures to prepare ingredients and food products.
  • Interact with customers and team courteously.

Prep Cook Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Prep Cook


Salary cannot be beat at Olive Garden Restaurants, where median pay comes to $22K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $18K, and the higher end is not far away at $31K.

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

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


Prep Cooks do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $20K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $22K. Prep Cooks claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $23K. Prep Cooks who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $24K.

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Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$21,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 164 votes.

Gender

Female
45 %
Male
55 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 27% dental benefits Dental: 20%
vision benefits Vision: 17% employee benefits None: 71%
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