Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Caitriona Jackman from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Caitriona Jackman

Planetary Scientist

Smart Futures

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  Caitriona Jackman
If you are considering full-time scientific research, try to get a work placement in a university department so you can see first hand what it’s like. It’s a relatively relaxed, flexible environment, but there is a certain degree of self-motivation needed. 

So I would say you need to be able to push  yourself and be proactive in terms of setting up collaborations with other scientists etc.

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Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Occupation Details

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Kitchen Assistant

Job Zone

Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

€18k > 90 
Kitchen Staff
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 90 
Related Information:
Executive Head Chef: 50 - 90
Head Chef: 35 - 60
Sous Chef: 30 - 45
Pastry Chef: 26 - 35
Chef de Partie: 22 - 28
Demi Chef: 20 - 24
Commis Chef: 17.5 - 22
Kitchen Porter: 8.65-10 p/hour
Data Source(s):
RecruitIreland (2014)

Last Updated: July, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Occupational Category

Kitchen & Catering Assistants

Also included in this category:

Catering and kitchen assistants; kitchen porters, crew members (fast food outlet)

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 50%
Aged over 55: 10%
Male / Female: 39 / 61%
Non-Nationals: 43%
With Third Level: 21%
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At a Glance... header image

Works in a kitchen helping a chef or cook with the day to day cleaning and preparation duties.

The Work header image

Kitchen assistants help chefs and cooks with the simpler, routine jobs in the kitchen. They may help to prepare food for example chopping, slicing, peeling and making sandwiches.  
Keeping the kitchen clean is a large part of the job. This includes washing up the crockery and cutlery used by the customers. Some of the washing up may be done in a dishwasher, but the pots and pans are usually done by hand.  
Kitchen assistants also have responsibility for disposing of the rubbish in a hygienic way. In some kitchens, the assistant might also help with basic cooking.  
The range of jobs a kitchen assistant does is likely to depend on the size of kitchen they work in. In a small kitchen with fewer staff, they might do things like polishing glass and silverware, and helping to unload food deliveries and put them away in a store room.  
Kitchen assistants, who work in a factory or office block, may take round a trolley serving tea, coffee and snacks to the staff. This may mean handling cash and giving change.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.


Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.


Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, desserts, according to customers' orders or supervisors' instructions, following approved procedures.


Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas such as refrigerators and freezers.


Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.


Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.


Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.


Weigh or measure ingredients.


Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.


Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others:  Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


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.


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.


Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


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.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.


Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You need to be fit and have a lot of stamina - you'll spend a lot of time standing, lifting and carrying. Kitchens are often hot, steamy and noisy, so you must not mind this.  
You'll need to cope with messy and repetitive jobs, but be flexible enough to do whatever you are asked to do. Personal hygiene is very important because the job involves handling food.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Kitchen Assistant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Kitchen Assistant - from:  iCould [UK] Video
Go..Kitchen Porter - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Fáilte Ireland
  Address: Amiens Street, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 884 7700
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: National Employment Rights Authority
  Address: Information Services, Government Buildings, O'Brien Road, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 8990 Locall: 1890 80 80 90
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Tourism & Hospitality

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