Prep Cook Salary

The average Prep Cook in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $10.44 per hour. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Work is enjoyable for Prep Cooks, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to just under one in three, and nearly one in five earn dental coverage. Men working as Prep Cooks who took the survey just slightly outnumber women at 51 percent. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$17,363 - $41,459
$17K
$24K
$41K
MEDIAN: $24,452
10%
50%
90%

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$8.44 - $13.50
$8
$10
$14
MEDIAN: $10.44
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$14K$28K$42K
Salary
$17,363 - $41,459  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,987  
Profit Sharing
$50.00  
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).
)
$17,724 - $30,108  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 35
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
$8.44 - $13.50  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.42  
Overtime
$10.77 - $22.00  
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 - $1,987  
   
Profit Sharing
$50.00  
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).
)
$17,724 - $30,108  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,391

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

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

Prep Cook Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Prep Cook


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Prep Cooks include Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants, Olive Garden Restaurants, Texas Roadhouse, Inc, and Panera Bread Company. Prep Cooks flock to The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $27K lead the pack in compensation. Other leaders in compensation levels are Compass Group at $25K, Sodexo, Inc. at $23K, and Aramark Food Services, where Prep Cooks annually earn $23K.

Employees at Panera Bread Company, Crackerbarrel, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store can also expect below-average earnings of $20K, $21K, and $21K.

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

Pay by Experience for a Prep Cook has a positive trend. An entry-level Prep Cook with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $21,000 based on 896 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Prep Cook with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $23,000 based on 333 salaries. An experienced Prep Cook which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24,000 based on 255 salaries. A Prep Cook with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $25,000 based on 124 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $22,219

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Prep Cooks, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 42 percent greater than the national average. Prep Cooks will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+17 percent), Portland (+17 percent), Orlando (+14 percent), and Las Vegas (+12 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Cleveland. Workers in Tampa and Philadelphia earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (5 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

Prep Cook Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Prep Cook?

Prep Cook in Cleveland:
"Self worth."
Pros: The people the atmosphere also this is my home.
Cons: Sometimes just like an every place else it gets rough.

Prep Cook in Tucson:
"Along with dish, making salads and appetizers."
Pros: Employee termination is rare and the management tends not to micromanage.
Cons: Very, very dead end, low ambition atmosphere, raises are almost never given to anybody.

Prep Cook in Charlottesville:
"I do too much work for what I'm getting compensated."
Pros: I like the job, but I just don't feel like $10 per hour is enough.
Cons: Not enough pay.

Prep Cook in Albany:
"Low pay long hours."
Pros: The work was easy, but time consuming. People were friendly and I could listen to music.
Cons: The pay was horrid and the hours insane. In prep areas. And if you didn't work crazy long days you made no money. They made sure you worked 5-6 days a week even if it was only 3 hours a day when working line.

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.

Key Stats for Prep Cook

Gender

Female
49 %
Male
51 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 246 votes.
Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
9%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
▲10%

▲7%

Mid-Career
▲4%

National Average
$22,000

▼5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 246 votes.

Gender

Female
49 %
Male
51 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 29%
dental benefits
Dental: 20%
vision benefits
Vision: 17%
no benefits
None: 69%
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