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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

35-2021 Food Preparation Workers

Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.


National estimates for Food Preparation Workers
Industry profile for Food Preparation Workers
Geographic profile for Food Preparation Workers

National estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
783,350 1.7 % $ 13.85 $ 28,810 0.5 %

Percentile wage estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 9.39 $ 11.31 $ 13.84 $ 15.07 $ 18.30
Annual Wage (2) $ 19,520 $ 23,520 $ 28,780 $ 31,340 $ 38,060


Industry profile for Food Preparation Workers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Food Preparation Workers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Food Preparation Workers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 392,330 4.16 $ 13.20 $ 27,450
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 176,760 5.98 $ 14.43 $ 30,010
Special Food Services 38,850 8.20 $ 14.26 $ 29,650
General Merchandise Stores 22,180 0.72 $ 17.14 $ 35,660
Elementary and Secondary Schools 20,500 0.25 $ 15.27 $ 31,770

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Special Food Services 38,850 8.20 $ 14.26 $ 29,650
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 176,760 5.98 $ 14.43 $ 30,010
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 392,330 4.16 $ 13.20 $ 27,450
Vending Machine Operators 770 2.61 $ 13.97 $ 29,060
Other Food Manufacturing 5,600 2.39 $ 15.69 $ 32,620

Top paying industries for Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation (8) (8) $ 25.15 $ 52,320
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 30 0.01 $ 19.96 $ 41,520
Dairy Product Manufacturing 320 0.21 $ 18.86 $ 39,220
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 30 (7) $ 18.46 $ 38,400
Management of Companies and Enterprises 560 0.02 $ 18.41 $ 38,280


Geographic profile for Food Preparation Workers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Food Preparation Workers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Food Preparation Workers, see the Create Customized Tables function.



Map of employment of food preparation workers by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 80,850 4.89 0.88 $ 16.70 $ 34,730
Florida 63,260 7.35 1.32 $ 13.68 $ 28,450
Texas 57,250 4.68 0.84 $ 13.32 $ 27,710
New York 43,160 4.98 0.90 $ 16.62 $ 34,560
Illinois 41,840 7.45 1.34 $ 13.87 $ 28,850


Map of location quotient of food preparation workers by state, May 2021


States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Louisiana 29,010 16.18 2.91 $ 9.88 $ 20,560
Maine 6,940 11.72 2.11 $ 15.00 $ 31,210
Alaska 2,970 10.04 1.81 $ 15.59 $ 32,430
Alabama 18,840 9.77 1.76 $ 10.56 $ 21,970
Nevada 11,890 9.23 1.66 $ 14.05 $ 29,230


Map of annual mean wages of food preparation workers by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 2,650 4.01 0.72 $ 17.72 $ 36,850
Washington 14,370 4.48 0.81 $ 17.61 $ 36,630
Hawaii 4,800 8.76 1.57 $ 16.76 $ 34,860
California 80,850 4.89 0.88 $ 16.70 $ 34,730
New York 43,160 4.98 0.90 $ 16.62 $ 34,560



Map of employment of food preparation workers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Food Preparation Workers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 42,550 4.90 0.88 $ 16.76 $ 34,860
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 32,470 5.68 1.02 $ 16.32 $ 33,950
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 32,140 7.59 1.37 $ 14.35 $ 29,840
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 17,580 6.80 1.22 $ 13.06 $ 27,160
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 15,450 6.30 1.13 $ 14.12 $ 29,380
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 14,990 5.18 0.93 $ 13.83 $ 28,760
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 12,840 4.38 0.79 $ 15.54 $ 32,330
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 12,730 4.92 0.89 $ 16.72 $ 34,780
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 11,730 3.27 0.59 $ 13.44 $ 27,960
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 11,260 6.18 1.11 $ 15.51 $ 32,260


Map of location quotient of food preparation workers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Food Preparation Workers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Monroe, LA 1,390 19.08 3.43 $ 9.29 $ 19,330
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 3,030 18.70 3.36 $ 9.64 $ 20,060
Lafayette, LA 3,460 18.52 3.33 $ 9.61 $ 19,990
Hammond, LA 790 17.87 3.21 $ 9.57 $ 19,900
Baton Rouge, LA 6,170 16.80 3.02 $ 10.14 $ 21,100
Alexandria, LA 960 16.49 2.97 $ 9.53 $ 19,820
Houma-Thibodaux, LA 1,280 16.10 2.90 $ 10.01 $ 20,810
Lake Charles, LA 1,390 15.36 2.76 $ 10.07 $ 20,940
Ocean City, NJ 600 15.28 2.75 $ 13.32 $ 27,700
Lewiston-Auburn, ME 720 15.14 2.72 $ 14.23 $ 29,590