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Employment of food preparation and serving related occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, a gain of about 1.5 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 $23,070 in May 2018.

  OCCUPATION JOB SUMMARY ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2018 MEDIAN PAY Help
Bartenders

Bartenders

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

No formal educational credential $22,550
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.

High school diploma or equivalent $48,460
Cooks

Cooks

Cooks prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods.

See How to Become One $25,200
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 eating and drinking establishments.

No formal educational credential $21,750
Food preparation workers

Food Preparation Workers

Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

No formal educational credential $23,730
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 $21,780

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019