In this article, you will find details about the responsibilities, working hours, and other aspects of the job of a dishwasher.
A dishwasher is a person working in a professional kitchen who handles the washing of different items used by customers, such as dishes, glasses, utensils, etc.
They also clean the equipment used by chefs and kitchen workers, such as pots and pans.
Dishwashers can move up the ranks and obtain different positions in the kitchen.
When they are required, some of them also do some prep work.
Article Table of Contents
Job Overview of a Dishwasher
Dishwashers are responsible for washing dishes and other kitchen utensils.
They wash them by hand or with the help of some commercial appliances.
Additionally to the high school diploma, the dishwashers need some qualifications for the job.
However, they have a set schedule and earn their wages for the number of hours they work.
- Regularly clean the dishes, cookware, utensils, and other items coming through the kitchen.
- Carry out light cleaning in the kitchen according to the posted or described steps.
- Stay positive while working with different people.
- Keep on track during busy hours to ensure that workers and customers have the equipment they need.
- Assist with prep work during busy hours.
- Clean up wet spots to keep the floor safe for workers.
- At the beginning and the end of the shift, set up and take down the dishwasher.
- Move the clean dishes to the appropriate areas in the kitchen.
- Check each dish for cleanliness.
- Carry heavy racks filled with dishes to and from the kitchen.
Dishwashers must be physically fit and strong as they have to carry large racks and heavy dishes across the kitchen.
There is usually a large number of people in professional kitchens and it’s quite loud.
The workers in those kitchens, including dishwashers, should have good communication skills and be able to talk to the others.
Stamina is extremely important for the dishwashers because most of their shift they work on their feet with few breaks.
The shifts can last for six to eight hours.
Quick to adapt:
Dishwashers who can adapt quickly can do a better job.
If other workers call in sick or are absent for some other reason, dishwashers can step in to fill in for them.
How to Become a Dishwasher
Dishwashers don’t need to have an advanced degree or possess some special skills.
However, many restaurants choose to hire employees who are familiar with commercial kitchens.
The only requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent, such as GED.
Training and Qualifications
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all the food and beverage workers are listed under the same category.
It states that no formal education is required for the workers in this field.
In most states, there’s a limitation for the workers under 18 years old and how long they can work one shift.
So, dishwashers only need a high school diploma or an equivalent.
The position of a dishwasher has one great advantage.
The workers can advance to other positions such as a station cook or a line chef.
For this, they need to acquire certifications proving they can handle food safely.
Even though dishwashers don’t need a degree or certification, most often they will undergo some on-the-job training.
A more experienced dishwasher will teach a new worker how to handle the machine, where the dishes go, and other things.
Dishwashers can get a job without any prior training.
At some facilities, dishwashers clean the dishes by hand using soap, water, sponges, and other cleaning items.
Others use large dishwashers where the workers can put the dishes and pans for fast cleaning.
In this case, the dishwasher has to remove as much leftover food from the dishes as possible before putting them into the machine.
Since dishwashers don’t need to have a college degree, they won’t obtain experience in the restaurant industry while attending college.
Otherwise, they can gain experience through work in the kitchens in various facilities such as nursing homes.
The shifts of dishwashers can range from four to eight hours or more.
Full-time employees typically get eight-hour shifts five days a week.
The shifts include opening in early mornings, closing in late days, or shifts in the middle of the day.
Since dishwashers receive payment hourly, by working overtime, they can increase their income.
Restaurant managers track the availability of labor hours and how many hours were worked to determine whether the workers can receive overtime.
According to the BLS, the average hourly rate of dishwashers is $10.22 with $21,260 on average annually.
Those who work overtime shifts can earn more.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary is $18,000 with a total between $16,000 and $22,000.
While the salary for this position is lower than in the other positions at a restaurant, this is a great opportunity to enter the restaurant industry.
Dishwashers can later switch to prepping food and cooking after they prove that they are reliable workers and can handle the stress of the work in a kitchen.
The competition for this position isn’t as it is for servers, chefs, or bartenders.
After a few months of work, the workers can move to another position.
Even though the pay is low, there is a lot of room for advancement.
The dishwasher position was a start for many professional chefs.
While the pay isn’t very high, the workers have a chance to move up to different positions and develop their skills.
Dishwashers are in high demand since there’s not a lot of competition.
Also, the position doesn’t require much training or a degree.