How to Become a Kitchen Assistant

Culinary jobs range from dishwashers to lead chefs in any business that provides food to customers or boarders. If you are interested in working in a kitchen, but you do not have much culinary education, you should consider becoming a kitchen assistant. Most kitchen assistants do prep work for a kitchen, clean equipment and surfaces and occasionally serve the food directly to the customers. The job usually is done in shifts for an hourly wage. Common employers are catering companies, restaurants, health care providers and cafeterias. Find out how to become a kitchen assistant.


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    Graduate from high school, or receive an equivalency certificate. This is the minimum educational requirement for kitchen assistant work. In the UK, you should complete your General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in any subject.
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    Develop skills as a cook. In order to prepare food, you should have a knowledge of basic knife skills, prep work, timing and cooking basic meals. People who have been cooking for years are likely to have developed the skills needed to work successfully in a kitchen environment.
    • Take introductory culinary classes, if you do not have good cooking skills. Consider getting a cooking certificate from a local culinary school or community college. An advanced degree from a culinary school is not necessary, unless you want to be on a track to becoming a sous chef or chef.
    • Search for a kitchen assistant apprenticeship if you are between the ages of 16 and 24. If you are within this range, you may be able to be paid part of a wage to get a qualification, including a diploma and a technical certificate. Although you will work for a wage that is lower than the average kitchen assistant wage, you will leave the apprenticeship with valuable qualifications on your resume (CV).
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    Seek a certificate in hospitality, food hygiene or general cookery. A certificate can make you more marketable to employers. You may be able to study for a certificate while working as a kitchen assistant.
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    Work in a cafe, restaurant or kitchen to gain valuable experience. Many kitchen assistants had their first few jobs in the hospitality and serving industry. Place this relevant experience on your resume.
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    Search online or newspaper postings for kitchen assistant positions. By researching the qualifications and experience that are preferred by employers, you can figure out whether you are best suited to catering, restaurant work or institution work.
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    Apply for a place at a temp agency. Kitchen assistants are often hired through temp agencies. Interview at your local temporary job placement agencies so that recruiters can find a job for you.
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    Complete your resume. Include your education, work experience and skills in cooking, cleaning and organizing. Proof your resume well and ensure that it portrays you as a hard worker with a desire to work in the hospitality industry.
    • You may also be required to write a cover letter to explain your experience and skills in prose. Keep the cover letter under 1 page, and explain your skills, honors and success in the culinary field so far.
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    Apply for jobs online, in person and through your temp agency. With the essential education and experience, you should be able to get an entry level job as a kitchen assistant. Look for jobs that give on the job training and promote from within.
    • Ask your temp agency to give extra consideration to job contracts that can be extended or made permanent if the job is a good fit.


  • In order to do well as a kitchen assistant you must be detail oriented and willing to work nights, weekends and long shifts. While most kitchen assistants work full-time, you may find the schedule unusual if you are used to office work.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma/equivalent
  • Cooking skills
  • Culinary classes (optional)
  • Kitchen assistant apprenticeship (optional)
  • Hospitality, cookery or food hygiene certificate
  • Food service experience
  • Temporary employment agency
  • Online/newspaper job postings
  • Resume
  • Cover letter

Article Info

Categories: Occupations