How to become a Kitchen Hand

Kitchen hands assist cooks and chefs in preparing and storing food, washing dishes and kitchen utensils, and cleaning work areas.

Personal requirements of a Kitchen Hand

  • Enjoy practical work
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to work quickly and safely with minimal supervision
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Free from skin allergies to foods and detergents
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Able to work as part of a team

Education & Training for a Kitchen Hand

You can work as a kitchen hand without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a kitchen hand through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

This job provides the opportunity to learn about other kitchen work and can serve as an introduction to the catering and hospitality industries.

Duties & Tasks of a Kitchen Hand

Kitchen hands:

  • wash and clean utensils and dishes, and make sure they are stored appropriately
  • handle, sort, store and distribute food items
  • wash, peel, chop, cut and cook foodstuffs, and help prepare salads and desserts
  • sort and dispose of rubbish and recycling
  • organise laundering of kitchen linen
  • clean food preparation equipment, floors and other kitchen tools or areas.

Working conditions for a Kitchen Hand

Kitchen hands may be employed on a full-time, part-time, casual or seasonal basis and usually work in shifts. They must be prepared to work irregular hours and stand for long periods. Protective clothing such as overalls, hairnets or gloves may be provided.

Employment Opportunities for a Kitchen Hand

Kitchen hands work in hotels, motels, restaurants, cafés, catering companies, hospitals, takeaway food bars, boarding schools, and factory or office canteens. They mostly work on a part-time or casual basis. There is usually steady demand for experienced kitchen hands due to high staff turnover.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 1.6%

NSW NSW 26.7%

NT NT 1.3%

QLD QLD 23.4%

SA SA 6.8%

TAS TAS 2.9%

VIC VIC 24.8%

WA WA 12.4%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 45.7%

Female 54.3%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 11.5%

Not completed Year 12: 28%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 29.9%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 9.1%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 6.5%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 13.8%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 1.3%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 32.3%

20-24 - 18%

25-34 - 14.7%

35-44 - 7.6%

45-54 - 14.3%

55-59 - 7.2%

60-64 - 3.9%

65 and Over - 1.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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