Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

The job description of a dish washer

A dish washer is an employee whose primary job is to clean dirty dishes in restaurants and other facilities that prepare food.

A dish washer is generally an entry level position that is ideal for those new to the workforce. Dish washing positions can be used as a starting point for those interested in the food service industry.

Job Duties

The job duties of a dish washer generally consists of loading dishes into a dish washing machine and operating and unloading the machine. Hand washing of dishes in commercial food service is rare but does still happen. Dish washers might be assigned to scrape larger portions of food from dishes before loading into the dish washing machine, stack dishes for wait staff, and assist with general kitchen clean up.

Job Requirements

Most dish washers learn their specific job duties on the job from an experienced employee.

Dish washers in most jurisdictions need to acquire a food handler certification before starting work. The requirement that a dish washer has a high school diploma or GED is becoming more common as well. The ability to interact well with others, especially while under stress, is an important skill for a dish washer.

Earnings and Benefits

As dish washers are entry level positions, the position is not well compensated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in May 2008 the average hourly wage of a dishwasher was £5.3. Most dish washers work part-time and are not often offered benefits such as health insurance or vacation and sick leave. One benefit of working as a dish washer is that work schedules are often flexible allowing an employee to work around another job or to attend school.


Dish washers are commonly employed by restaurants but dish washers might work in a wide variety of settings. Hospitals, nursing homes, casinos, bars, convention centres and other businesses that prepare food for patrons are possible employers of dish washers. Many dish washers and other service staff at large facilities, such as sports stadiums and vacation resorts, will be directly employed by a vendor under contract with the facility.

Advancement Potential

While the chances of greatly increasing earnings as a dish washer are not great, a dish washer can often use the position to advance within a company. Dish washers often will observe and at times assist with food preparation enabling them to learn new skills. Kitchen staff generally experience a high level of turnover and a hard working dish washer who gains new skills can expect to move up to positions with greater responsibility and pay.