How to Become a Dishwasher

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


The food service industry is a very popular field that provides a variety of services to many different customers. It is important for all glasses, dishes, and silverware to be cleaned and sanitized before serving food and beverages to customers. Dishwashers are workers that clean and sanitize a variety of kitchen equipment.

What does a dishwasher do?

Dishwashers clean and sanitize dishes, glasses, silverware, and kitchen equipment to be used to serve the public. They receive the dishes from other food service workers and they remove excess food, sort, and organize the dishes and either wash them by hand or load them into dishwashing machines. They remove the clean dishes and put them in convenient places for cooks, servers, and other staff. In large food service establishments there may be many dishwashers with each one performing one or two tasks. Dishwashers are also responsible for completing other cleaning tasks such as wiping down sinks, cabinets, and countertops, taking out the trash, and sweeping and mopping floors. Sometimes dishwashers assist with clearing tables.

What kind of training does a dishwasher need?

There are typically no minimum education requirements for dishwashers, but many employers prefer applicants with at least a high school diploma. Many employers hire dishwashers that are currently attending high school. Dishwashers that wish to work for upscale food establishments often need previous experience. Most dishwashers learn their skills through on the job training. They learn the necessary policies, expectations, and procedures as well as proper sanitation practices. Many employers provide instructional booklets, employee handbooks, and audiovisual presentations. Many new dishwashers start out by observing experienced workers. Some states require dishwashers to receive a health certificate that states the individual does have any communicable diseases.

What are the prospects for a career as a dishwasher?

Employment of dishwashers is expected to grow about as fast as average, increasing 12% through 2018. The growing population and expansion of the food service industry will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be excellent with keen competition for upscale food establishments. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace dishwashers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do dishwashers make?

As of 2015, dishwashers with less than 1 year experience earn average hourly rates between $7.11 and $8.47. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $7.19 and $8.65.

A career as a dishwasher is a great choice for people with a strong interest in food service and washing dishes for a variety of establishments. Dishwashers must have a solid understanding of the necessary cleaning and sanitation procedures of their employer. Patience, physical stamina, and ability to perform repetitive tasks are necessary characteristics. Dishwashers should have good communication skills and ability to interact with a variety of other food service workers. They must be able to work independently and as part of a team.

Take the Next Step…

To work in the culinary arts field, you will need the right skills and training.  Get your career to a great start. Decide what course you want to enroll in and gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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