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Food Preparation Worker

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What You Need to Know About 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?

  • Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Remove trash and clean kitchen garbage containers.
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.
  • Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
  • Stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals.
  • Assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and provide cooks with needed items.

Food Preparation Worker Required Skills

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

  • Kitchen Staff
  • Pantry Worker
  • Seafood Preparer
  • Dietary Aide
  • Nutrition Helper

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.


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.


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?

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

Are there Food Preparation Workers education requirements?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Food Preparation Worker?


Where Food Preparation Workers Are Employed


Food Preparation Workers work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

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

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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