Prep Cook Salary (United States)

Pay for Prep Cooks in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $9.64 per hour. Pay ranges from $7.93 per hour on the low end to $12.32 on the higher side. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group—the company and years of experience are driving factors as well. 27 percent report receiving medical coverage from their employers and about one in five collect dental insurance. Male Prep Cooks are just a bit more common than females ones, with males workers composing 57 percent of the field. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Prep Cooks. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Prep Cook Salary (?
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.
)
$17,797 - $40,976
(Median)
18K
23K
31K
41K
MEDIAN: $23,067
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Prep Cook Salary (?
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.
)
$7.93 - $12.32
(Median)
7
11
12
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$17,797 - $40,976  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $198.88  
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).
)
$16,638 - $28,308  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 24
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
$7.93 - $12.32  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.64  
Overtime
$5.13 - $19.36  
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 - $198.88  
   
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).
)
$16,638 - $28,308  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 593
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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

Though salaries lack room to grow—pay ranges from $18,050 to just $31K—Olive Garden Restaurants still offers the highest pay in town with a median paycheck of $21,971.
The consistently lowest paying firm on the list is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, where the median salary is just $18,262. Workers also receive paychecks lighter than average at Chili's Grill & Bar ($19,045) and Olive Garden Restaurants ($21,971).

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Prep Cooks, experience and pay seem to be weakly connected; experience does not necessarily lead to more money. Though starting salaries approximate $19,681, they climb to $21K after five to 10 years. Pay amounts to $21K after 10 to 20 years. Though salary increases are not as strong, pay continues to grow slightly for Prep Cooks after two decades on the job, and average earnings come to $22K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 16 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 7 percent. In this field, workers tend to have anywhere from one to nine years of experience—of those surveyed, most land within this range.

Pay Difference By Location

Seattle
up arrow 30%
Cleveland
up arrow 13%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 12%
Atlanta
up arrow 11%
Chicago
up arrow 10%
New York
up arrow 5%
Los Angeles
up arrow 3%
National Average
$20,000
Miami
up arrow 1%
Las Vegas
up arrow 6%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Prep Cooks, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 30 percent greater than the national average. Also paying near the top of the field are Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Chicago, where Prep Cooks annually earn 13 percent, 12 percent, 11 percent, and 10 percent more than the national average. Trailing the national average by 6 percent, Las Vegas is the market with the smallest paychecks.
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Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 8%
Experienced
up arrow 5%
Mid-Career
up arrow 4%
National Average
$20,000

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
43%
female alumni
 
Male
57%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
22%
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: 72%