Kitchenhands assist kitchen and service staff in preparing and serving food, and clean food preparation and service areas.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • cleaning kitchens, food preparation areas and sculleries
  • cleaning cooking and general utensils used in kitchens and restaurants
  • transferring, weighing and checking supplies and equipment
  • assembling and preparing ingredients for cooking, and preparing salads, savouries and sandwiches
  • packing food and beverage trays for serving
  • cooking, toasting and heating simple food items

Job Titles

  • Kitchenhand
  • Kitchenhand (also called Kitchen Steward)

    Specialisations: Dishwasher, Pantry Attendant, Sandwich Hand

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $865 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    127,100
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    49.7%
  • Female Share

    50.3%
  • Full-Time Share

    19.0%

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This is a very large occupation employing 127,100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Kitchenhands work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Accommodation and Food Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Manufacturing.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $865 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 24 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 5 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 5 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200595400
2006113500
2007106000
2008110900
2009116100
2010116100
2011115900
2012121000
2013125000
2014128500
2015127100
2020135500

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsKitchenhandsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8651230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryKitchenhandsAll Jobs Average
Full-time19.068.4
Part-time81.031.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.340.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Accommodation and Food Services74.3
Health Care and Social Assistance14.6
Manufacturing3.4
Retail Trade3.1
Other Industries4.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateKitchenhandsAll Jobs Average
NSW28.631.8
VIC24.225.5
QLD21.419.8
SA7.26.8
WA13.711.2
TAS2.62.0
NT1.31.1
ACT1.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketKitchenhandsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1934.9-5.45.4
20-2418.1-9.99.9
25-3413.3-23.423.4
35-449.2-21.721.7
45-5413.4-21.121.1
55-595.8-8.78.7
60-644.0-5.95.9
65 and Over1.3-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryKitchenhandsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males49.7Males53.6
Females50.3Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationKitchenhandsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate1.3-8.68.6
Bachelor degree13.8-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma6.5-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV9.1-18.918.9
Year 1229.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1028.0-17.717.7
Below Year 1011.5-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around one in three workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Kitchenhands who are reliable, work hard and have good people skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    53% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Administration and Management

    48% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  3. Education and Training

    45% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Chemistry

    45% Important

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change. Danger signs and disposal methods.

  5. Food Production

    45% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

Occupational Information Network Food Preparation Workers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    79% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  2. Handling and Moving Objects

    78% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    77% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    75% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  5. Building Good Relationships

    70% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

Occupational Information Network Food Preparation Workers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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