1. Home
  2. Career Explorer
  3. Line Cook
Content has loaded

What does a Line Cook do?

A line cook is one of the first steps you take to work in a kitchen setting. Restaurants of all types hire line cooks to prep, cook and plate food for their customers. A line cook works under a head chef or sous chef assigned to a specific area of the kitchen, such as the grill or vegetable preparation station. As a line cook, you will be tasked to prepare a specific portion of a dish in your own station.


Is this useful?

Get career advice

Our career coaches can help you make a plan.

Schedule coaching

Working as a Line Cook

With line cooks often serving as the backbone to all kitchens, they face a magnitude of tasks that vary day to day. These tasks may include the following:

  • Clean and prepare their work stations
  • Prepare food for food stations, including chopping fresh fruits and vegetables for salads
  • Make fresh pasta and precook pasta
  • Coordinate with other cooks and staff to get meals out promptly
  • Follow the instructions from the head chef or sous chef

To succeed as a line cook, you will need to be physically fit because you will be working on your feet for long periods of time. Additionally, you must be detail-oriented with the ability to follow the recipe precisely.

Is this useful?

How much does a Line Cook make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $17.29
Low $13.50
High $22.15
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a line cook is $17.29 per hour in the United States. 123.4k salaries reported, updated at October 1, 2023

Is this useful?

Where can a Line Cook earn more?

Compare salaries for Line Cooks in different locations
Explore Line Cook openings
Is this useful?

How much do similar professions get paid in United States?


Job openings

Average $15.82 per hour

Is this useful?

Common questions about for a Line Cook

What is the difference between a prep cook and a line cook?

A prep cook is an entry-level position that helps prepare and set up other cooks, while a line cook runs a specific station of the kitchen.

Was this answer helpful?

Where can I get a job as a line cook?

Line cooks are mainly employed at restaurants and other food establishments, such as hotels, fast food chains, school cafeterias and some private homes. However, line cooks are also staffed at hospitals, retirement centers and other health care facilities.

Was this answer helpful?

Do line cooks have a uniform or dress code?

The dress code may vary from establishment to establishment, but you should be prepared to wear long sleeves in the kitchen. You will also need nonslip shoes as you will continuously be on the move in the kitchen.

Was this answer helpful?

How many hours a week does a line cook work?

Career insights

Frequently searched careers

Registered Nurse

Police Officer

Software Engineer


Truck Driver

Administrative Assistant


Real Estate Agent

Nursing Assistant



Dental Hygienist