Prep Cook Salary

Prep Cooks in the United States can expect wages of $9.84 per hour on average. Earnings sit near $7.98 per hour on the lower side but can approach $12.74 on the higher side. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — years of experience and the individual firm are driving factors as well. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Prep Cooks — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. Men make up a slight majority of Prep Cooks (54 percent) who responded to the survey. Nearly one in four enjoy medical while nearly one in five get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to one-sixth. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,060 - $43,172
(Median)
$18K
$24K
$43K
MEDIAN: $24,265
10%
50%
90%

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$7.98 - $12.74
(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$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$18,060 - $43,172  
   
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).
)
$16,732 - $28,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 35
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
$7.98 - $12.74  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.52  
Overtime
$5.71 - $19.33  
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).
)
$16,732 - $28,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 964
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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


Pay for Prep Cooks is best at Olive Garden Restaurants, which offers a median salary of $22K. However, the highest reported salaries don't seem to be much higher than the lowest ones; the pay range here runs from $18K to $30K.

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

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


For Prep 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. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $20K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $22K. On average, Prep Cooks make $23K following one to two decades on the job. 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.

Prep Cook Reviews

What is it like working as a Prep Cook?

Prep Cook in Birmingham:
"Rewarding."
Pros: I love working with food and be creative. I love to see and hear the way people love your food and it makes them happy. I like my coworkers how we work together as a team.
Cons: No pay raises.. How we get paid. I hate how mangement shows favoritism. No opportunities for growth are moving up the ladder. The lack of showing to employees their thankfulness of your hardwork and loyalty.

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Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Experienced
up arrow 12%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$21,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 170 votes.

Gender

Female
46 %
Male
54 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

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