What does a Prep Cook do?

Prep cooks work for food establishments under the supervision of the head chef. Their duties revolve around assisting the head chef in preparing food by chopping and washing vegetables and meats and arranging salads, breads, sauces and dressings. Upon completion of culinary school, prep cooks can become junior chefs in the kitchen.

Although prep cooks do not require further education aside a high school diploma, most prep cooks are currently enrolled in culinary school. Good candidates for this position often possess a keen interest in culinary arts and creative cooking with a strong ability to listen and follow instructions given by the head chef. Additional valuable skills include excellent communication skills and familiarity with general kitchen equipment and appliances. The need to be able to stand and move around for long periods of time is required.

What responsibilities are common for Prep Cook jobs?
  • Assist the head chef by chopping vegetables and washing food items
  • Ensure kitchen equipment and appliances are ready for use
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic work environment at all times
  • Prepare salads, breads, salad dressings and sauces
  • Gather food ingredients from the refrigerator or freezer as required by the chef
  • Ensure food is stored away properly when not in use
  • Study the menu and prepare ingredients ahead of schedule
  • Learn about the cooking methods and techniques employed in the kitchen
What are the typical qualifications for Prep Cook jobs?
  • Experience working as a prep cook in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong multitasking and organizational skills
  • Good understanding of ingredients, recipes, kitchen safety and hygiene
  • Passionate about culinary arts and creative cooking
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Familiar with general kitchen equipment and appliances
  • Able to follow instructions accurately and efficiently
  • Able to perform well under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Physically able to stand and move around for long periods of time
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Prep Cook make?

Confident
$34,137 /yr
Total Pay
$32,366
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$1,771
 /yr

Additional Pay

$34,137

 / yr
$27K$43K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Prep Cook Career Path

Learn how to become a Prep Cook, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Prep Cook

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
29%
2 - 4
14%
5 - 7
1%
8+
56%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Prep Cook Insights

Read what Prep Cook professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Giordano's PizzaGiordano's Pizza
Prep Cook
Aug 31, 2022

“There was one good manager and a good co worker but the manager didint know what he was doing”

Planet OrganicPlanet Organic
Prep Cook
Jun 21, 2020

“It was a good fun place to work free coffee and hrs where early morning do we worked very well together”

Upper Crust Food ServiceUpper Crust Food Service
Prep Cook
Jan 9, 2022

“Pay is not the best and in my opinion there's little to no advancement possibilities.”

Jack in the BoxJack in the Box
Prep Cook
Feb 16, 2021

“You Make Good Money and They are really nice”

Taco BuenoTaco Bueno
Prep Cook
Jun 22, 2021

“Got lucky and had great people to work with.”

Chicken Salad ChickChicken Salad Chick
Food Prep, Cook, Server, Cashier
Nov 17, 2021

“The hours and good and manageable.”

ChipotleChipotle
Kitchen Prep
Dec 17, 2020

“I was there nearly two years and received no promotion or pay raise even though I was highly skilled.”

McDonald'sMcDonald's
Prep Cook
Jul 6, 2021

“Good good good good good”

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Prep Cook Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Prep Cook

The most similar professions to Prep Cook are:
  • Line Cook
  • Cook
  • Bartender
  • Server

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Line Cook
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No skills overlap
Cook
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Bartender
$41,460
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Server
$38,382
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Prep Cook Jobs