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Food Preparation Worker

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What Does it Take to Be a Food Preparation Worker?

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

What Do Food Preparation Workers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Use manual or electric appliances to clean, peel, slice, and trim foods.
  • Cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to prepare for cooking.
  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.
  • Keep records of the quantities of food used.
  • Vacuum dining area and sweep and mop kitchen floor.

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.

Types of Food Preparation Worker Jobs

  • Pie Cutter
  • Delicatessen Slicer
  • Pantry Worker
  • Service Team Member
  • Cafeteria Aide

Food Preparation Worker Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 871,100 jobs for Food Preparation Worker in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 157,700 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Food Preparation Worker Salary

Food Preparation Workers make between $18,040 and $33,670 a year.


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

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Food Preparation Workers in different U.S. states.

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 & Technology do Food Preparation Workers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Food Preparation Workers may use on a daily basis:

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

How do I Become a Food Preparation Worker?

Are there Food Preparation Workers education requirements?


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


Who Employs Food Preparation Workers?


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


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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