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Kitchen Helper and Food Assembler

Kitchen helpers and assemblers assist cooks in restaurants and institutions by keeping the kitchens clean and by performing a variety of food preparation tasks.

  • Avg. Salary $23,040.00
  • Avg. Wage $16.44
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 44,800
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Assembly Line Worker, Dishwasher, Dishwasher Attendant, Food Assembler, Food Preparer, Food Service Attendant, Salad / Sandwich Maker, Warewashing Attendant

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Kitchen Helpers (6641.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations (G961) 
  • 2011 NOC: Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (6711) 
  • 2016 NOC: Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (6711) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Kitchen Helper and Food Assembler is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Kitchen Helpers

Interest in handling to remove trash and clear kitchen garbage containers, and to unpack and store supplies in refrigerators, cupboards and other storage areas


Interest in comparing to wash and peel vegetables and fruit, clean work tables, cupboards and appliances, and sweep and mop floors


Interest in assisting cook and kitchen staff

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated May 19, 2021

Kitchen helpers keep the kitchens in food service establishments clean and tidy. In general, they:

  • Sweep and scrub floors
  • Remove garbage
  • Clean kitchen equipment
  • Scrape food from plates and wash food trays
  • Stack dishes in dishwashers
  • Clean flatware
  • Wash pots and pans
  • Store clean items

In some establishments, kitchen helpers also:

  • Receive and store supplies
  • Stock cupboards, refrigerators and salad bars
  • Clean food preparation and storage areas
  • Assist in basic food preparation

Food preparers prepare or cook partially prepared foods in restaurants. In general, they:

  • Prepare ingredients (for example, wash and slice vegetables)
  • Partially cook food in advance of orders
  • Assemble and measure ingredients to fill orders
  • Package take-out foods
  • Pass incomplete orders to other workers to finish
  • Help line cooks prepare food orders

Food preparers also may:

  • Bake or reheat some items and finish desserts
  • Clean food preparation and storage areas
  • Stock refrigerators and salad bars
  • Tell supervisors when supplies are getting low or equipment is not working properly

Sandwich, salad and dessert makers prepare salads, sandwiches and desserts in commercial eating establishments and institutions such as hospitals. In general, they:

  • Use manual or electric appliances to clean, peel, slice and trim foodstuffs to prepare sandwich fillings and salads, and desserts such as ice cream and fruit dishes
  • Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons
  • Keep records of the quantities of food used
  • Help other kitchen staff whenever necessary

Food assemblers often work on assembly lines putting food trays together in hospitals, cafeterias, airline kitchens and similar establishments. In general, they:

  • Portion food in consistent serving sizes in an appropriate, safe and attractive manner
  • Use tongs, forks and scoops to remove portions from containers (which may be heated or cooled) and place the food on plates
  • Add condiments, garnishes, cutlery and napkins to complete each food tray
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service or in refrigerated storage cabinets, if necessary
  • Deliver food trays and snacks to nursing units or directly to patients
  • Distribute menus and collect diet sheets
Working Conditions
Updated May 19, 2021

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers work shifts and often work weekends and holidays. They are on their feet most of their shift and may have to carry trays of food dishes and glassware weighing up to 20 kilograms. They may be exposed to:

  • Cool temperatures in refrigeration and freezer units
  • Heat from dishwashing and cooking equipment
  • Cleaning agents
  • Noise and slippery flooring (especially near dishwashers)

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers sometimes work under time pressures and must be careful to avoid cuts from sharp utensils and burns from hot appliances. They usually take their breaks between peak serving times.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated May 19, 2021

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers need:

  • An interest in food preparation
  • To be healthy
  • To be organized and able to multi-task
  • High standards of personal hygiene
  • A neat and tidy appearance
  • The ability to work steadily under pressure
  • The ability to work quickly and effectively as part of a team

They should enjoy handling food and equipment, having clear rules and methods for their work, and working with people.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
NOC code: 6711

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Sep 29, 2021 and Oct 19, 2021.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Clean and sanitize kitchen including work surfaces, cupboards, storage areas, appliances and equipment
Personal Suitability: Team player
Sweep, mop, wash and polish floors
Remove kitchen garbage and trash
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Portion and wrap foods
Package take-out food
Prepare, heat and finish simple food items
Receive, unpack and store supplies in refrigerators, freezers, cupboards and other storage areas
Wash, peel and cut vegetables and fruit
Educational Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021

There are no minimum education requirements for kitchen helpers and food assemblers. However, food safety training is a definite asset when looking for employment, and related education is generally required for advancement.

In Alberta, food safety courses are offered by:

Visit the Government of Alberta website or contact 780-427-7164 for a listing of approved food safety training options.

The Government of Alberta awards a Food Sanitation and Hygiene Certification to those who complete approved training and achieve at least 70% on a provincial exam. Food facilities generally employ at least 1 person who is certified. Where 6 or more people are working on site, at least 1 person present must be certified. Where fewer people are working on site, the certified person may be absent.

Food preparation is taught in some high school Career and Technology Studies courses and there is a formal apprenticeship program for cooks. In addition, post-secondary programs are designed to help people enter and progress in the field of food preparation.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Cypress College - Culinary Campus

Lethbridge College

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 19, 2021

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

However, Tourism HR Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council or CHHRC) offers voluntary certifications related to food services that are recognized across Canada. Certification training is accessible from the emerit website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 19, 2021

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers work in all types of restaurants from quick service (fast food) outlets and base camps to formal dining rooms. They also work in public institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. Part-time work is common.

Experienced kitchen helpers and food assemblers may advance to assistant cook and cook positions (for more information, see the Food Service Helper or Cook occupational profiles), or to supervisory positions. However, supervisory positions may be limited in number, and advancement is generally easier and faster for those who have a high school diploma and are willing to take further education.

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6711: Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the Accommodation and Food Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Accommodation and Food Services industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 6711: Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 1070 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 19, 2021

Kitchen helpers and food assemblers often are paid just above minimum wage. (As of June 26, 2019, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most workers. For more information, see Minimum Wage.) Salaries are generally highest in hospitals and nursing homes but advancement prospects are limited (for more information, see the Food Service Supervisor occupational profile).

Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $18.76 $15.44 $15.00
Overall $15.00 $23.08 $16.44 $15.33
Top $15.00 $31.26 $18.51 $16.90

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Retail Trade
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services
Accommodation & Food Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 19, 2021

Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals website:

emerit website:

National Restaurant Association [United States] website:

Restaurants Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated May 19, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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