Detailed Guide forDishwashers in California
May also be called: Bus Person Dishwashers; Dishwashing Machine Operators; Kitchen Cleaners; Kitchen Helpers; Kitchen Stewards; and Pan Washers
What Would I Do?
Dishwashers clean cookware, cooking utensils, dishware, glassware, and silverware. Some workers operate a dishwashing machine while others wash dishes by hand. When using a dishwashing machine, workers prepare tableware and cookware by rinsing and removing all food scraps before placing into the machine. After the dishwashing machine is loaded, soap is added, the correct wash and dry cycles are selected, and the machine is started. Whether the items are washed in a dishwashing machine or hand washed they must be clean and dry before being put away in their appropriate places.
Dishwashers’ duties may vary depending on the establishment. At times they may need to help in other areas of the restaurant. This includes setup, cleanup, and breakdown of tables and food preparation areas; preparing food for large events; bussing tables; and maintaining kitchen equipment when necessary. Dishwashers may also help stock supplies, such as fresh food and other food products in cupboards, refrigerators, and serving stations.
Dishwashers maintain a sanitary environment by keeping work areas and equipment clean and organized. They sweep and mop floors; remove and dispose of garbage; and clean countertops, display cases, refrigerators, and stoves. Dishwashers are constantly maintaining the health and safety standards of the businesses where they work.
Tools and Technology
Dishwashers use a variety of tools in the course of their work, including brooms, commercial dishwashers, dish drainers, hand trucks, mops, and trash compactors.
Important Tasks and Related Skills
Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.
|View the skill definitions|
|Task||Skill Used in this Task|
|Wash dishes, glassware, flatware, pots, or pans, using dishwashers or by hand.||Finger Dexterity|
|Place clean dishes, utensils, or cooking equipment in storage areas.||Static Strength|
|Maintain kitchen work areas, equipment, or utensils in clean and orderly condition.||Multilimb Coordination|
|Stock supplies, such as food or utensils, in serving stations, cupboards, refrigerators, or salad bars.||Trunk Strength|
|Sweep or scrub floors.||Arm-Hand Steadiness|
|Sort and remove trash, placing it in designated pickup areas.||Manual Dexterity|
Below is a definition for each skill.
|View the tasks to skills list|
|Finger Dexterity||The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.|
|Static Strength||The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.|
|Multilimb Coordination||The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.|
|Trunk Strength||The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.|
|Arm-Hand Steadiness||The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.|
|Manual Dexterity||The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.|
Dishwashers work in a variety of businesses including bars, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and retirement homes. Much of their work involves bending, lifting, reaching, standing, and twisting. Dishwashers should also be able to work in a fast-paced environment and lift more than 20 pounds. They may risk suffering injuries from hot water or sharp utensils; however, they can minimize the risk by following proper safety procedures. Some work 40 hours a week, while others may only work part-time. To meet business demand, flexible work hours may be required.
Most Dishwashers are not unionized. However, in some large restaurants and hotels, Dishwashers may belong to unions, such as Unite HERE and the Service Employees International Union.
Will This Job Fit Me?
The job of Dishwasher may appeal to those who enjoy tackling practical hands-on problems and solutions while keeping a clean and safe work environment. In addition, this occupation may also be a good choice for an individual who is task and detailed oriented. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is helpful.
What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?
The median wage in 2016 for Dishwashers in California was $20,232 annually, or $9.73 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.
Benefits vary widely by employer, but are usually only available to full-time employees. These benefits may include medical insurance, sick leave, and vacation. Some employers may offer reduced-price meals or furnish uniforms.
What is the Job Outlook?
As a result of more individuals eating out there should be increased job opportunities for Dishwashers. However, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to fluctuations in the economy.
Projections of Employment
In California, the number of Dishwashers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Dishwashers are expected to increase by 12.5 percent, or 10,100 jobs between 2014 and 2024.
|Estimated Employment and Projected Growth|
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Due to Net
|View Projected Growth for All Areas|
Annual Job Openings
In California, an average of 1,020 new job openings per year is expected for Dishwashers, plus an additional 3,490 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 4,500 job openings.
|Estimated Average Annual Job Openings|
|Jobs From Growth||Jobs Due to|
|View Data for All Areas|
How Do I Qualify?
Education, Training, and Other Requirements
While there are no specific educational requirements for Dishwashers, most employers prefer at least a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED). New employees usually receive on-the-job training. Some employers may also require a California Food Handler Card. This card shows that the employee has been trained in food safety practices to reduce foodborne illness.
The amount of experience required varies by employer. Entry-level positions usually require little or no previous work experience.
Early Career Planning
High school students planning to become Dishwashers should take courses in basic mathematics, computers, English, and foreign language.
Some Regional Occupational Programs (ROP) offer introductory courses in food service and restaurant careers. To find an ROP program near you, go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs Web site.
Where Would I Work?
The largest industries employing Dishwashers are as follows:
|Industry Title||Percent of Total Employment for Occupation in California|
|Full-Service Restaurants ||78.7%|
|Special Food Services ||2.9%|
|Community Care Facility for the Elderly ||2.1%|
|Other Amusement & Recreation Industries ||1.4%|
Finding a Job
Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. Newspaper classified ads, Internet job listings, and word of mouth may also provide job leads. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at www.jobcentral.com and CalJOBSSM at www.caljobs.ca.gov.
To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).
Yellow Page Headings
You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Dishwashers.
- Fast Food Restaurants
Find Possible Employers
To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:
- Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
- Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
- Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
- Contact the employer for possible employment.
Where Could This Job Lead?
Promotional opportunities for Dishwashers in most food and beverage service establishments are limited. However, experienced Dishwashers may become prep cooks or food servers. With additional education and training from vocational or culinary schools, Dishwashers may become sous, pastry, or master chefs.
Below is a list of occupations related to Dishwashers with links to more information.
|Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers||Profile|
|Packers and Packagers, Hand||Guide|
|Waiters and Waitresses||Guide|
These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.
For the Career Professional
The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.