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Food Preparation Worker

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Life As a Food Preparation Worker

Position 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.

Life As a Food Preparation Worker

  • Package take-out foods or serve food to customers.
  • Add cutlery, napkins, food, and other items to trays on assembly lines in hospitals, cafeterias, airline kitchens, and similar establishments.
  • Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
  • Make special dressings and sauces as condiments for sandwiches.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.

What a Food Preparation Worker Should Know

When polled, Food Preparation Workers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

  • Coffee Maker
  • Pastry Cook Helper
  • Pantry Goods Worker
  • Lineman
  • Nutrition Helper

Food Preparation Worker Job Outlook

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

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 typical yearly salary for Food Preparation Workers is somewhere between $18,040 and $33,670.

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 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

Tools & Technologies Used by Food Preparation Workers

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

How to Become 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

Food Preparation Workers Sector

Food Preparation Worker Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Food Preparation Worker Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

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


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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