Dishwashers: A Look Into the Job, Education, and Progression

Dishwashers: A Look Into the Job, Education, and Progression

If you’ve ever been to a restaurant, chances are you’ve seen a dishwasher in action. These unsung heroes work hard behind the scenes to keep dishes and utensils clean and ready for use. In this article, we take a closer look at the occupation of dishwashers, including examples of the job, education and training requirements, and career progression.

What is a Dishwasher?

A dishwasher is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing dishes, glassware, utensils, and other kitchen equipment. The job may also involve handling food waste and keeping the kitchen area clean and organized.

Dishwashers work in a variety of settings, including restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, schools, and catering companies. They may work in shifts, which may include early morning, evening, or weekends.

Examples of the Job

Some examples of the tasks a dishwasher may be responsible for include:

  • Unloading dirty dishes, utensils, and glassware from tables, carts, or trays and placing them in the dishwasher
  • Scraping, pre-rinsing, or soaking dishes to remove food and other debris
  • Operating the dishwashing machine, including adding detergent, setting the temperature, and monitoring the cycle
  • Emptying and organizing clean dishes, utensils, and glassware
  • Keeping the dishwashing area and kitchen clean and sanitized

Educational and Training Requirements

The good news is that becoming a dishwasher typically does not require a formal education or degree. Most employers provide on-the-job training, and the skills needed for the job can be learned through experience.

That being said, some employers may prefer candidates who have a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, any experience in the food service industry, such as working in a fast-food restaurant or cafeteria, can be beneficial for landing a dishwasher position.

Career Progression

While being a dishwasher may not be glamorous, it can be a stepping stone to other positions in the food service industry. With hard work and dedication, a dishwasher may move up to become a prep cook, line cook, or even a chef.

In addition to gaining experience and developing skills, there are also training and certification programs available for those who want to advance their careers. For example, the National Restaurant Association offers a ServSafe Food Handler certification program to help workers learn about food safety and handling.

Getting Started

If you’re interested in becoming a dishwasher, the best way to get started is to apply directly to restaurants and other food service establishments. Emphasize your willingness to learn and work hard, and be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder. With perseverance and dedication, it’s possible to move up and achieve your career goals.

Occupation Location Unionization Job Level Salary (average) Salary (median)
Dishwashers US Nonunion All levels $28,766.40 $25,126.40
Dishwashers US Union All levels $45,780.80 $41,392.00
Dishwashers Colorado Union All levels $45,427.20 $39,020.80
Dishwashers Mississippi Nonunion All levels $21,507.20 $20,155.20

Dishwashers typically fall under Level 01 or 02 in terms of job level, with an average national salary of $28,184.00 and $31,740.80, respectively. The entry-level and experienced dishwashers earn an average national salary of $28,184.00 and $31,948.80, respectively. Full-time dishwashers earn an average national salary of $30,388.80, whereas part-time dishwashers earn $29,016.00. Time-based pay dishwashers earn an average national salary of $29,556.80.

Unionization has a significant impact on the salaries of dishwashers, with an average national salary of $45,780.80 for unionized workers compared to $28,766.40 for non-unionized workers.

Colorado is the state with the highest average salary for unionized dishwashers, with an average salary of $45,427.20. In contrast, Mississippi has the lowest average salary for non-unionized dishwashers, with an average salary of $21,507.20.