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

  • $865 Weekly Pay
  • 137,800 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 21.2% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 37.8 hours Average full-time
  • 24 years Average age
  • 54.3% female Gender Share

The number of Kitchenhands 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 2017.
  • Location: Kitchenhands work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Accommodation and Food Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Retail Trade.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (21.2%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 37.8 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 24 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (50.3%).
  • Gender: 54.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

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
2016125600
2017135000
2018137800
2023153900

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services72.6
Health Care and Social Assistance18.3
Retail Trade2.3
Manufacturing1.4
Other Industries5.4

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 2017, 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
NSW26.731.6
VIC24.826.2
QLD23.419.7
SA6.86.7
WA12.410.8
TAS2.92.0
NT1.31.1
ACT1.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-1932.3-5.25.2
20-2418.0-9.99.9
25-3414.7-23.623.6
35-447.6-21.721.7
45-5414.3-20.820.8
55-597.2-8.88.8
60-643.9-6.06.0
65 and Over1.9-4.04.0

Education Level

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 & 1028-17.717.7
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.

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

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • 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.

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.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-9021.00 - Dishwashers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-9021.00 - Dishwashers.

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