Dishwasher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Dishwasher, or Kitchen Helper, is responsible for cleaning dishes in a food service environment to ensure that the kitchen has a steady supply of clean plates, bowls, silverware, pots, pans and glasses. Their duties include prioritizing loads of different types of crockery and kitchenware, hand-washing dishes, loading the dishwasher and placing dishes to dry.

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Dishwasher Duties and Responsibilities 

Washing dishes at a professional level is different than in your own kitchen. Many restaurants and facilities have large, commercial quality washers able to wash several trays of dishes quickly. Dishwashers unload the cutlery and dishes brought to the kitchen by Bussers while loading and organizing them into trays for the washer. Commercial dishwashers are not always able to accommodate larger pans and pots so they may occasionally need to be washed by hand. 

In addition, they may be asked to assist with: 

  • Prep work
  • Taking garbage and trash to dumpster area
  • Washing work areas, refrigerators, cooking equipment, walls and floors
  • Assembling, maintaining and breaking down the dish machine
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Dishwasher Job Description Examples

What Does a Dishwasher Do? 

Dishwashers work in kitchens at restaurants, hotels and cafes to clean and sanitize dishes so that Cooks and Servers have the supplies they need to prepare food and serve it to customers. Dishwashers follow thorough dishwashing procedures to fully sanitize each dish according to health and safety standards. They sort dishes in the dish pit into different categories, spray down each tray of dishes and either scrub them by hand or place them into an industrial dishwasher. Dishwashers are in charge of changing each load of dishes at the right time to efficiently wash multiple loads of dishes.

Dishwasher Skills and Qualifications

Skills and qualifications associated with the role of a Dishwasher include: 

  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds several times a day
  • Ability to place cases, pans, utensils and plates on both low and high shelves
  • Ability to work in hot and damp environments
  • Ability to respond to emergency situations to avoid endangering themselves or others

Dishwasher Salary Expectations 

The average salary for a Dishwasher is $11.28 per hour. Salary estimates and ranges are based on 26,736 anonymously submitted information to Indeed from Dishwasher employees, Indeed users and current and past job advertisements placed on Indeed the last 36 months.  

Dishwasher Education and Training Requirements 

 A Dishwasher position is often the first job for high school students, especially those looking to get into the restaurant industry. While a GED or a high school diploma isn’t required, they are often preferred. 

Dishwasher Experience Requirements 

Securing a job as a Dishwasher is an ideal way to enter the restaurant or culinary industry. Many Restaurant Owners, Cooks and Head Chefs start out as Dishwashers and move up int he industry. 

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions 

If you aren’t looking to hire a Dishwasher, other careers with similar duties, responsibilities and qualifications include: 

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Frequently asked questions about Dishwashers


What are the qualities of a good Dishwasher?

Good Dishwashers are hardworking and can communicate easily with others. They are agile and flexible, able to respond to different priorities and quickly rearrange their workflow to immediately get kitchen staff and Servers the right type of dishes they need. Successful Dishwashers have good stamina that allows them to perform repetitive tasks and stand on their feet all day without getting too tired.


What is the difference between a Dishwasher and a Busser?

A Dishwasher washes all of the dishes produced in a kitchen while Bussers mostly bring dishes back from the dining room to the dish pit. Dishwashers exclusively work in the back of the house, while Bussers might support Servers and Bartenders with delivering food and beverages or refilling waters. Bussers are responsible for keeping tables clean and tidy while Dishwashers clean customer dishes and the tools of the kitchen staff. Dishwashers and Bussers often work together when sorting dishes into different bins for future washing.


What are the daily duties of a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers generally work long shifts to meet the demands of multiple meal services. They begin the day by wiping down and pots, pans and containers that are necessary for initial food prep. Dishwashers scrub kitchen instruments, cutting boards and knives between each order so that Line Cooks have sanitary instruments to prepare meals. Once customers finish eating, Dishwashers wash the dishes, set up the drying rack and place the dishes in their designated area to make it easy for Cooks to plate meals. At the end of the day, they wipe down the dish pit and spray the floor mats.


What should you look for on a Dishwasher's resume?

When hiring a Dishwasher, look for resumes that reflect each candidate’s ability to learn new systems quickly and work hard. Even candidates that don’t have experience as a Dishwasher can be excellent employees if their resume shows that they have worked in another fast-paced environment doing physical labor. A strong Dishwasher’s resume should highlight their ability to focus and balance multiple tasks at once according to deadlines, demonstrating that they can keep up with a high volume of dishes in a commercial kitchen environment.

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