Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. Food preparation workers prepare cold foods, slice meat, peel and cut vegetables, brew coffee or tea, and perform many other food service tasks.
Food preparation workers are employed in restaurants, hotels, and other places where food is served, such as cafeterias, grocery stores, hospitals, and schools. They often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, or holidays. About 1 in 2 worked part time in 2014.
Food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. No formal education or previous work experience is required.
The median hourly wage for food preparation workers was $9.70 in May 2015.
Employment of food preparation workers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be very good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation every year.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for food preparation workers.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of food preparation workers with similar occupations.
Learn more about food preparation workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.