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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 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 767
Undergraduate Certificate 153
Associate Degree 12

What Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

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

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant:

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?

12 Associate's Degrees Annually
67% Percent Women
50% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 67% of the recent graduates in this field are 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 1
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 1
White 6
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 0

How Much Do Food Preparation/Kitchen Assistant Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $28,290 to $41,240 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant. 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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250K
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. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant have obtained the following education levels.

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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 2019-2020, 71 schools offered a food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant program of some type. 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 28 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 4 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 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 10,007
Baking & Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef 4,190
General Cooking & Related Culinary Arts 3,763
Restaurant, Culinary, & Catering Management/Manager 1,673
Other Culinary Arts & Related Services 510
Bartending/Bartender 247
Institutional Food Workers 174
Culinary Science/Culinology 158
Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager 122
Wine Steward/Sommelier 99
Meat Cutting/Meat Cutter 31

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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