Reading through the following article provides insight into some of the duties that dishwashers have on a daily basis, as well as the dishwasher job description and the average working hours. A dishwasher is someone who works in a professional kitchen and handles the washing of the dishes, utensils, glasses, and other things used by customers.
They also clean the pots, pans, and other equipment that chefs and other kitchen workers use on a daily basis. Dishwashers have the chance to move up through the ranks and into different positions in the kitchen. Some also do light prep work when needed.
Job Overview: What Does a Dishwasher Do?
The duties of a dishwasher include washing dishes and other utensils in the kitchen. They can either wash them by hand or use commercial appliances. There are few qualifications for the job other than a high school diploma, but dishwashers often work set hours and earn a wage based on the number of hours they work.
Dishwasher Job Duties
- Handle the regular cleaning of dishes, utensils, cookware, and other things that come through the kitchen.
- Perform light cleaning around the kitchen based on posted or described steps.
- Maintain a positive attitude when working with different groups of people.
- Keep on track during busy hours to ensure that workers and customers have the equipment they need.
- Assist with light prep work during busier shifts.
- Wipe down any wet spots during shifts to keep the floor safe for workers.
- Set up and take down the dishwasher before beginning a shift and at the end of a shift.
- Remove clean dishes and move those dishes to the proper spots in the kitchen.
- Check the cleanliness of each dish.
- Carry heavy racks filled with dishes to and from the kitchen.
Dishwasher Job Essential Skills
Physical fitness. Dishwashers must be in good physical shape because they transport large racks and heavy dishes all across the kitchen.
Communication skills. Professional kitchens are quite loud and house a large number of people. Dishwashers and other people working in those kitchens must have strong communication skills and the ability to talk to other workers.
Good stamina. Stamina is a must-have in the dishwasher job description because they often work shifts of six to eight hours or longer, and spend those shifts on their feet without many breaks.
Quick to adapt. Dishwashers who are quick to adapt do better because they workers can step into other positions when workers call in sick or do not show up to work.
Becoming a Dishwasher
A dishwasher does not need any special skills or an advanced degree, though many restaurants prefer workers who are familiar with professional or commercial kitchens. The only real requirement for the job is a high school diploma or the equivalent of that diploma. Those with a GED can work as a dishwasher as well.
Qualifications and Training
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts all food and beverage workers, including dishwashers, under the same category listing. The listing shows that there are no formal education requirements for those who want to work in this field. Most states limit workers under the age of 18 and how long they can work in a single shift. Dishwashers only need a high school diploma or a GED.
One benefit of taking a job as a dishwasher is that employees can then work their way up to other positions like a line chef or a station cook. Those workers need to get certifications that show they can safely handle food.
Though there is no certificate or degree needed to work as a dishwasher, most will go through some on-the-job training. A dishwasher with more experience will show a new dishwasher how to handle the machine, what to do with the dishes, and other duties.
Washing dishes is one of several restaurant jobs that applicants can get without any training. Some facilities hire people to wash dishes by hand with just soap, water, sponges, and other cleaning tools, but most professional kitchens have large dishwashers that allow workers to put the dishes and pans inside for fast cleaning. The dishwasher job description says includes the removal of as much food as possible from the dishes that go into the machine, to help each one come out cleaner. As dishwashers do not need a college degree, they will not gain experience in the restaurant industry while in college. They can gain experience working in kitchens in nursing homes and other facilities though.
Restaurants hire dishwashers to work shifts ranging from four hours to eight hours or more. Full-time workers generally work five eight-hour shifts each week, according to the dishwasher job description. They can work opening shifts earlier in the day, closing shifts later in the day, or shifts that run in the middle of the day. As most restaurants pay dishwashers an hourly rate, there is a chance that they may earn more for working overtime. Restaurant managers keep track of the labor hours available each week and the number of hours worked to determine if a dishwasher should receive any overtime shifts.
Job Outlook and Advancement Opportunities
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average hourly wage of dishwashers at $10.22, and the average annual wage at $21,260. Those who receive more overtime have the chance to earn more. Glassdoor found that the average salary for dishwashers is $18,000, but that this position has a total salary of between $16,000 and $22,000 a year.
While the job itself pays less than other restaurant positions, it does provide workers with an opening into the restaurant industry. Dishwashers can move from working with dishes to prepping food and cooking for customers, after proving that they can handle working regular shifts and handle the stress of working in a professional kitchen.
There isn’t as much competition for dishwasher positions as there is for jobs as servers, bartenders, or chefs. Once workers spend a few months washing dishes, they have the chance to move into one of those other jobs. While the pay isn’t great, there is a high change of advancement.
Working as a dishwasher is how many professional chefs got their start. While according to the dishwasher job description, this position doesn’t pay a lot of money, it does give workers the chance to move up through the kitchen and develop skills working other stations around that kitchen. There is a high need for dishwashers, because not so many people want to work in this area, and it does not require any formal training or college.