Restaurant Cooks: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Restaurant Cooks

Restaurant Cooks prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Restaurant Cooks prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

  • Inspect and clean food preparation areas, such as equipment and work surfaces, or serving areas to ensure safe and sanitary food-handling practices.
  • Ensure freshness of food and ingredients by checking for quality, keeping track of old and new items, and rotating stock.
  • Ensure food is stored and cooked at correct temperature by regulating temperature of ovens, broilers, grills, and roasters.
  • Season and cook food according to recipes or personal judgment and experience.
Read more about what does a Restaurant Cook really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$27580 per year

Average hourly wage
$13 per hour

Restaurant Cooks with little to no experience tend to make between $19420 and $22460 while the more experienced ones can earn over $31240 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
HI $17 $34,330
DC $16 $33,840
NJ $16 $33,200
MA $16 $32,430
WA $16 $32,370

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Restaurant Cook is to move to a higher paying state like HI. Right now, the highest paying states for Restaurant Cooks are HI, DC, NJ, MA and WA.

However, a higher pay at HI doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at HI might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Restaurant Cook is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Restaurant Cooks what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Read more about how to become a Restaurant Cook and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Restaurant Cook.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

51% of Restaurant Cooks said they were satisfied with their job and 33% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Learn more about Restaurant Cooks

Summary (You are here)
Job Description

Related career information

Restaurant Cooks job description, Restaurant Cooks salary, Restaurant Cooks information, what is the job of a Restaurant Cook like, pros and cons about Restaurant Cooks, colleges and universities for Restaurant Cooks, is Restaurant Cooks the right career for me, careers in Food and Hospitality

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