Food Preparation and Serving Occupations

Employment of food preparation and serving related occupations is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, a gain of about 1.2 million jobs. Population and income growth are expected to result in greater consumer demand for food at a variety of dining places, including restaurants and grocery stores.

Food preparation and serving related occupations is the lowest paid occupational group, with a median annual wage of $21,910 in May 2017.

  OCCUPATION JOB SUMMARY ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2017 MEDIAN PAY Help
Bartenders

Bartenders

Bartenders mix drinks and serve them directly to customers or through wait staff.

No formal educational credential $21,690
Chefs and head cooks

Chefs and Head Cooks

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

High school diploma or equivalent $45,950
Cooks

Cooks

Cooks prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods, which may include soups, salads, entrees, and desserts.

See How to Become One $23,970
Food and beverage serving and related workers

Food and Beverage Serving and Related Workers

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

No formal educational credential $20,410
Food preparation workers

Food Preparation Workers

Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. Food preparation workers prepare cold foods, slice meat, peel and cut vegetables, brew coffee or tea, and perform many other food service tasks.

No formal educational credential $22,730
Waiters and waitresses

Waiters and Waitresses

Waiters and waitresses take orders and serve food and beverages to customers in dining establishments.

No formal educational credential $20,820

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 13, 2018