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Food Preparation Worker

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What is a Food Preparation Worker?

Food Preparation Worker Example 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

  • Stir and strain soups and sauces.
  • Distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to customers.
  • Carry food supplies, equipment, and utensils to and from storage and work areas.
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
  • Distribute menus to hospital patients, collect diet sheets, and deliver food trays and snacks to nursing units or directly to patients.
  • Inform supervisors when equipment is not working properly and when food and supplies are getting low, and order needed items.

Things a Food Preparation Worker Should Know How to Do

Food Preparation Workers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Food Preparation Worker
  • Slicer
  • Service Team Crew
  • Cold Meat Cook
  • Line Server

What Kind of Food Preparation Worker Job Opportunities Are There?

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. The BLS estimates 157,700 yearly job openings in this field.


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?

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.

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

What Tools 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?

Individuals working as a Food Preparation Worker have obtained the following education levels:


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


Where Food Preparation Workers Are Employed


Food Preparation Workers work in the following industries:


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

Are you already one of the many Food Preparation Worker in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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