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

Also known as: Kitchen Steward.

Specialisations: Dishwasher, Pantry Attendant, Sandwich Hand.

You can work as a Kitchenhand without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in hospitality might be helpful.

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

All Kitchenhands

  • $1,000 Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
  • 137,800 workers Employment Size
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • 19% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 26 years Average age
  • 55% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Kitchenhands (in their main job) grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 137,800 in 2018 to 153,900 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 135,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 27,000 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
  • Location: Kitchenhands work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Accommodation and Food Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Retail Trade.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,000 per week (lower than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (19%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 26 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (48%).
  • Gender: 55% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008105000
2009111800
2010113400
2011118900
2012118500
2013123000
2014127000
2015128200.0
2016125600
2017135000
2018137800
2023153900

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings10001460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Accommodation and Food Services68.4
Health Care and Social Assistance19.7
Retail Trade3.1
Manufacturing1.8
Other Industries7.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateKitchenhandsAll Jobs Average
NSW28.331.6
VIC25.625.6
QLD20.820.0
SA8.27.0
WA12.210.8
TAS2.42.0
NT0.91.0
ACT1.51.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketKitchenhandsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1931.0-5.05.0
20-2416.5-9.39.3
25-3415.4-22.922.9
35-4410.1-22.022.0
45-5413.4-21.621.6
55-596.9-9.09.0
60-644.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.2-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate2.1-10.110.1
Bachelor degree8.2-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma5.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV10.8-21.121.1
Year 1231.5-18.118.1
Year 1111.6-4.84.8
Year 10 and below29.9-12.512.5

You can work as a Kitchenhand without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in hospitality might be helpful.

Membership with Restaurant & Catering Australia may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Tourism, Travel and Hospitality VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Food production

    41% Skill level

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

  2. Mathematics

    39% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Customer and personal service

    34% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. English language

    33% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Chemistry

    33% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-2021.00 - Food Preparation Workers.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Spend time standing

    99% Important

    Spend time standing at work.

  2. Contact with people

    83% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  3. Physically close to people

    80% Important

    Work physically close to other people.

  4. Health and safety of others

    79% Important

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  5. Time pressure

    79% Important

    Work to strict deadlines.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-2021.00 - Food Preparation Workers.

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