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Life As a Food Preparation Worker

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

Life As a Food Preparation Worker

  • Distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to customers.
  • Cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to prepare for cooking.
  • Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, or desserts, according to customers’ orders or supervisors’ instructions, following approved procedures.
  • Vacuum dining area and sweep and mop kitchen floor.
  • Stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals.
  • Carry food supplies, equipment, and utensils to and from storage and work areas.

Skills Needed to be a Food Preparation Worker

Below is a list of the skills most Food Preparation Workers say are important on the job.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

  • Slicer
  • Kitchen Clerk
  • Food Handler
  • Service Team Crew
  • Produce Production Team Member

Are There Job Opportunities for Food Preparation Workers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 871,100 jobs in the United States for Food Preparation Worker. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 68,600 new jobs for Food Preparation Worker by 2026. There will be an estimated 157,700 positions for Food Preparation Worker per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Food Preparation Workers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Food Preparation Worker are Arizona, Utah, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Ohio, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Food Preparation Worker Make?

The salary for Food Preparation Workers ranges between about $18,040 and $33,670 a year.

Salary Ranges for Food Preparation Workers

Food Preparation Workers who work in District of Columbia, Washington, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

How much do Food Preparation Workers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $22,010
Alaska $29,550
Arizona $25,000
Arkansas $22,810
California $27,910
Colorado $27,500
Connecticut $28,940
Delaware $22,360
District of Columbia $31,510
Florida $24,190
Georgia $21,550
Hawaii $28,660
Idaho $22,910
Illinois $25,200
Indiana $22,070
Iowa $22,930
Kansas $21,360
Kentucky $22,340
Louisiana $18,820
Maine $25,690
Maryland $25,530
Massachusetts $29,980
Michigan $24,080
Minnesota $27,450
Mississippi $19,310
Missouri $22,340
Montana $22,600
Nebraska $24,290
Nevada $28,910
New Hampshire $24,560
New Jersey $24,450
New Mexico $22,440
New York $28,520
North Carolina $22,490
North Dakota $26,160
Ohio $23,090
Oklahoma $20,750
Oregon $26,770
Pennsylvania $23,100
Rhode Island $29,730
South Carolina $23,400
South Dakota $22,710
Tennessee $22,160
Texas $23,540
Utah $24,520
Vermont $27,220
Virginia $22,200
Washington $30,340
West Virginia $22,060
Wisconsin $23,010
Wyoming $23,780

What Tools do Food Preparation Workers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Food Preparation Workers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • YouTube
  • Culinary Software Services ChefTec
  • ValuSoft MasterCook
  • iPro
  • Barrington Software CookenPro Commercial

Becoming a Food Preparation Worker

Education needed to be a Food Preparation Worker:

Food Preparation Worker Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Food Preparation Worker?

Food Preparation Worker Work Experience

Who Employs Food Preparation Workers?

Food Preparation Worker Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Food Preparation Workers employed by various industries.

Food Preparation Worker Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Food Preparation Worker might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as a Food Preparation Worker sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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