Kitchen porter

Kitchen assistant

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help a chef to prepare meals so customers in a cafe or restaurant can enjoy their food. You’d keep the kitchen clean and safe.

You’d need to make sure that the chefs have everything they need. Kitchens are busy so you’d need to work quickly and competently, sometimes doing several things at once.

Kitchens are often divided into sections. For example, vegetables could be prepared in one area, and meat and fish in another area. As an assistant, you would often support the chef in a specific work section.

You would:

  • Prepare basic food
  • Wash, peel or skin, and chop vegetables and fruit, meat and fish ready for cooking
  • Unload deliveries from suppliers
  • Organise the storeroom
  • Wash kitchen appliances, pots, pans, work surfaces, floors and walls

You’d use a variety of kitchen equipment such as automatic mixers, chipping machines and special knives and cutters. You’d be responsible for keeping the kitchen clean. So you’d need to follow strict health and safety, and hygiene rules.

Working conditions


Your hours of work can vary, but will usually include shifts, evenings, weekends and public holidays. If you work for a catering company and you are based at a factory or business, your hours are likely to be more regular than in a restaurant. Part-time, casual or seasonal work may be available.


Your working environment will often be hot, busy and noisy. You may find this work unsuitable if you suffer from certain skin conditions. You will usually be provided with a uniform.

UK employment status



Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Working on your own
  • Working with your hands

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.


You do not need formal qualifications for this job but a good general education is useful.

Training is mainly on the job. Once in a job you may be able to work towards relevant qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Kitchen Services (SVQ level 2).

You will also need

Depending on where you work you may need to pass a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check for some jobs.

Helpful to have

  • Skills for Work Food and Drink (SCQF level 5)
  • Skills for Work Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5)