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Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Major

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Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant

14 Associates's Degrees Annually
#206 in Popularity (Associate's)
$30,360 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 1,013
Undergraduate Certificate 183
Associate’s Degree 14

What Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills for Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Majors

A major in food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant student include the following:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

What Can You Do With a Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Major?

People with a food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Cooks 9.0% $28,650
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria 7.7% $26,860
Cooks, Private Household 5.2% $37,590

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant?

14 Associate's Degrees Annually
79% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 79% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 0
Black or African American 1
Hispanic or Latino 3
White 10
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 0

How Much Do Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $28,290 to $41,240 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Major  ( 28290 to 41240 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 2.9%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 58.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 22.2%
Some College Courses 10.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 4.5%

Online Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 84 schools offered some type of food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 57 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 30 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 4 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 57 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Worth It?

The median salary for a food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant grad is $30,360 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant.

Major Number of Grads
Culinary Arts/Chef Training 12,205
Baking & Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef 4,964
General Cooking & Related Culinary Arts 4,765
Restaurant, Culinary, & Catering Management/Manager 1,802
Other Culinary Arts & Related Services 734
Bartending/Bartender 289
Culinary Science/Culinology 225
Institutional Food Workers 193
Wine Steward/Sommelier 112
Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager 98
Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter 46

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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