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Food Preparation Workers

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What is a Food Preparation Worker?

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

A Day in the Life of a Food Preparation Worker

  • Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, or desserts, according to customers’ orders or supervisors’ instructions, following approved procedures.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Make special dressings and sauces as condiments for sandwiches.
  • Keep records of the quantities of food used.
  • Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.
  • Add cutlery, napkins, food, and other items to trays on assembly lines in hospitals, cafeterias, airline kitchens, and similar establishments.

What Every Food Preparation Worker Should Know

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

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.

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

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Cafeteria Aide
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Service Team Crew
  • Pantry Worker
  • Culinary Worker

Job Demand for Food Preparation Workers

There were about 871,100 jobs for Food Preparation Workers in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.9% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 68,600 new jobs for Food Preparation Workers by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 157,700 job openings in this field each year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Food Preparation Workers are Texas, California, and New York.

Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Food Preparation Worker Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Food Preparation Workers is somewhere between $18,040 and $33,670. The median salary for this occupation is $23,730.

Salary Ranges for Food Preparation Workers

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$31,510

Washington

$30,340

Massachusetts

$29,980

Rhode Island

$29,730

Alaska

$29,550

Connecticut

$28,940

Nevada

$28,910

Hawaii

$28,660

New York

$28,520

California

$27,910

Colorado

$27,500

Minnesota

$27,450

Vermont

$27,220

Oregon

$26,770

North Dakota

$26,160

Maine

$25,690

Maryland

$25,530

Illinois

$25,200

Arizona

$25,000

New Hampshire

$24,560

Utah

$24,520

New Jersey

$24,450

Nebraska

$24,290

Florida

$24,190

Michigan

$24,080

Wyoming

$23,780

Texas

$23,540

South Carolina

$23,400

Pennsylvania

$23,100

Ohio

$23,090

Wisconsin

$23,010

Iowa

$22,930

Idaho

$22,910

Arkansas

$22,810

South Dakota

$22,710

Montana

$22,600

North Carolina

$22,490

New Mexico

$22,440

Delaware

$22,360

Missouri

$22,340

Kentucky

$22,340

Virginia

$22,200

Tennessee

$22,160

Indiana

$22,070

West Virginia

$22,060

Alabama

$22,010

Georgia

$21,550

Kansas

$21,360

Oklahoma

$20,750

Mississippi

$19,310

Louisiana

$18,820

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 Office
  • Microsoft Excel
  • YouTube

How to Become a Food Preparation Worker

What education is needed to be a Food Preparation Worker?

Food Preparation Worker Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Food Preparation Worker Work Experience

Where Food Preparation Workers Work

Food Preparation Worker Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Food Preparation Worker may also be interested in:

  • Packers and Packagers, Hand

Those who work as Food Preparation Workers sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Waiters and Waitresses
  • Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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