How to become a Kitchen Hand

Kitchen Hand

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

Personal requirements for 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.


  • Cleaning cooking and general utensils used in kitchens and restaurants
  • Assembling and preparing ingredients for cooking, and preparing salads, savouries and sandwiches
  • Packing food and beverage trays for serving
  • Cleaning kitchens, food preparation areas and sculleries
  • Transferring, weighing and checking supplies and equipment
  • Cooking, toasting and heating simple food items

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.


Kitchen Hand

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

  • Average age
    Average age
    26 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    55% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Entry level
  • Unemployment
    Higher Unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    19% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    137,800 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.5%
    NSW: 28.3%
    NT: 0.9%
    QLD: 20.8%
    SA: 8.2%
    TAS: 2.4%
    VIC: 25.6%
    WA: 12.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 31%
    20-24: 16.5%
    25-34: 15.4%
    35-44: 10.1%
    45-54: 13.4%
    55-59: 6.9%
    60-64: 4.7%
    65 and Over: 2.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 5.9%
    Bachelor degree: 8.2%
    Below Year 10: 11.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 10.8%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.1%
    Year 10 and below: 29.9%
    Year 11: 11.6%
    Year 12: 31.5%
    Years 11 & 10: 28%
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