Prep Cook Salary

Median pay for Prep Cooks in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $9.96 per hour. Pay ranges from $8.06 per hour on the low end to $13.03 on the high end. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residence, though the company and tenure have a (lesser) impact as well. Male Prep Cooks are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 53 percent of the field. Just under one in three enjoy medical while one in five get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to about one in six. Most Prep Cooks report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$18,116 - $42,885
(Median)
$18K
$25K
$43K
MEDIAN: $24,630
10%
50%
90%

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$8.06 - $13.03
(Median)
$8
$10
$13
MEDIAN: $9.00
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$15K$30K$45K
Salary
$18,116 - $42,885  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $242.40  
Profit Sharing
$140.00  
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).
)
$16,885 - $29,229  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 36
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$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$8.06 - $13.03  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.67  
Overtime
$7.67 - $20.42  
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$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $242.40  
   
Profit Sharing
$140.00  
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).
)
$16,885 - $29,229  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,231
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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, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Panera Bread Company, Chili's Grill & Bar, and Levy Restaurant Company are among the top companies that take on many Prep Cooks. For Prep Cooks, comfortable salaries can be found at Aramark; in fact, median earnings sit around $22K, the highest in the area. Olive Garden Restaurants, Levy Restaurant Company, and Longhorn Steak House are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Prep Cooks earning around $22K, $21K, or $21K at each firm, respectively.

A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ($20K), Panera Bread Company ($20K), and Longhorn Steak House ($21K).

Pay by Experience Level for Prep Cook

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


For Prep Cooks, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. 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. Prep Cooks with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $23K. Prep Cooks with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are no higher than those with 10 to 20 years on the job.

Prep Cook Reviews

What is it like working as a Prep Cook?

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.

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Experience Affects Prep Cook Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 10%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$21,000


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 209 votes.

Gender

Female
47 %
Male
53 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 29%
dental benefits
Dental: 21%
medical benefits
Vision: 17%
dental benefits
None: 69%
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