Prep Cook Salary

The average Prep Cook in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $9.84 per hour. Compensation ranges from $7.98 per hour on the lower end to $12.68 on the higher end. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length and the specific company. Medical benefits are awarded to just under one in three, and one in five earn dental coverage. Most Prep Cooks are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. Male Prep Cooks are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 54 percent of the field. The data in this summary comes from 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 - $12.68
(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 - $208.47  
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).
)
$16,737 - $28,939  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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 - $12.68  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.56  
Overtime
$5.11 - $19.43  
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 - $208.47  
   
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).
)
$16,737 - $28,939  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 952
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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


Olive Garden Restaurants offers the best pay with a median salary of $22K, though salaries there don't seem that varied, bottoming out near $18K and maxing out at just $30K.

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

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


For many Prep Cooks, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. 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. After working for 10 to 20 years, Prep Cooks make a median salary of $23K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $24K.

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Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 16%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

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: 28% dental benefits Dental: 21%
vision benefits Vision: 17% employee benefits None: 71%
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