These workers make and provide food and drink to customers.
Overall employment in food preparation and serving occupations is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032. About 2.5 million openings are projected each year, on average, in these occupations due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupations permanently.
The median annual wage for this group was $29,640 in May 2022, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations of $46,310.
BLS employment projections, wage, and other data for related occupations not shown in the following table are available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page. Information highlighting physical demands, cognitive and mental requirements, and other qualifications for workers in this group are available in a BLS Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) profile.
|Image||OCCUPATION||JOB SUMMARY||ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION||2022 MEDIAN PAY|
Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.
|No formal educational credential||$29,380|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||
Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served.
|High school diploma or equivalent||$56,520|
Cooks season and prepare foods, including soups, salads, entrees, and desserts.
|See How to Become One||$30,910|
|Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers||
Food and beverage serving and related workers take and prepare orders, clear tables, and do other tasks associated with providing food and drink to customers.
|No formal educational credential||$28,130|
|Food Preparation Workers||
Food preparation workers perform a variety of tasks other than cooking, such as slicing meat and brewing coffee.
|No formal educational credential||$29,790|
|Waiters and Waitresses||
Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.
|No formal educational credential||$29,120|
The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.
Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2023