There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a cafeteria helper. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.73 an hour? That's $30,641 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 775,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Cafeteria Helper Do

There are certain skills that many cafeteria helpers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, customer-service skills and physical strength.

Learn more about what a Cafeteria Helper does

How To Become a Cafeteria Helper

If you're interested in becoming a cafeteria helper, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 11.2% of cafeteria helpers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.7% of cafeteria helpers have master's degrees. Even though some cafeteria helpers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Cafeteria Helper Career Paths

Average Salary for a Cafeteria Helper

Cafeteria Helpers in America make an average salary of $30,641 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $36,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Cafeteria Helper Salary
$30,641 Yearly
$14.73 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Cafeteria Helper

There are several types of cafeteria helper, including:



A helper gives a hand with domestic chores. Your employer might have a demanding job or one too many children to take care of, or perhaps they do not have the physical strength to keep an organized home.

You could be asked to work in the garden or maintain the lawn, but most of your tasks will revolve around housekeeping. Cooking, cleaning, and running various errands will be on your to-do list, like grocery shopping, picking up kids from school, cleaning the pool, whatever your employer might think of, really. As long as it is legal, you should be up for it.

You will be coming in and out of other people's homes sharing their personal space, sometimes even in a live-in arrangement, so being friendly, clean, and reliable is a must. You need to build a good relationship with the family you help and, as usual, building trust takes time. Just make sure your working hours are respected, and you get the amount of free time you had agreed upon. Painting an image of what an overworked and cranky helper might do will definitely set the grounds for negotiation.

  • Average Salary: $31,331
  • Degree: High School Diploma



While being a busser may not mean you get to drive a bus all the time, at least you don't have to deal with customers! At least, for the most part anyways. Instead, a busser's job is to set tables, keep beverage glasses full, and to keep areas clean and sanitized.

Typically, bussers work at restaurants, but some find work at special events. Really the only requirements for this job is being able to work with a team. That, and being quick/on top of things.
  • Average Salary: $24,111
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Bus Boy


Busboys are employed in restaurants and catering companies to support other staff. They remove used dishes and utensils between meal courses. They clean and clear the table to prepare for the next diners. Oftentimes, they help the servers deliver food and assist with refills. Furthermore, they ensure clean dishes, flatware, glasses, straws, napkins, and other dining materials are available. Asides from that, they carry used tableware to the dishwasher to be cleaned and help maintain the restaurant's sanitation standards

To become a busboy, you need a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must have previous experience in a similar role. You must possess customer service, dexterity, attention to detail, teamwork, and communication skills. Also, you must be able to work evenings, weekends, or even holidays. Depending on the employer, busboys can earn as high as $82,000. They earn an average annual salary of $31,445 with a low of $12,000.

  • Average Salary: $24,432
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Cafeteria Helper Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active cafeteria helper jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where cafeteria helpers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Cafeteria Helper Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4North Carolina208$28,996
8New York157$38,143
12New Jersey144$27,814
14South Carolina106$26,359
36New Hampshire28$33,854
42New Mexico18$27,728
43West Virginia16$29,216
45North Dakota14$31,142
46Rhode Island14$32,359
48South Dakota12$24,784

Cafeteria Helper Education

Cafeteria Helper Majors

14.7 %

Cafeteria Helper Degrees

High School Diploma

50.0 %


19.4 %


13.4 %

Top Skills For a Cafeteria Helper

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 32.1% of cafeteria helpers listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Cafeteria Helper Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Cafeteria Helper templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Cafeteria Helper resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Cafeteria Helper Demographics

Cafeteria Helper Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among cafeteria helpers, 71.1% of them are women, while 28.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among cafeteria helpers is White, which makes up 51.8% of all cafeteria helpers.

  • The most common foreign language among cafeteria helpers is Spanish at 62.5%.

Online Courses For Cafeteria Helper That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  

1. Setting the Stage for Success: An Eye on Safety Culture and Teamwork (Patient Safety II)


Safety culture is a facet of organizational culture that captures attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and values about safety. A culture of safety is essential in high reliability organizations and is a critical mechanism for the delivery of safe and high-quality care. It requires a strong commitment from leadership and staff. In this course, a safe culture is promoted through the use of identifying and reporting patient safety hazards, accountability and transparency, involvement with patients...

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2. Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety


Ensuring patient safety and healthcare quality is critical and should be a key focus of everyone in healthcare practice. This course provides healthcare practitioners and others with an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to lead patient safety and quality improvement initiatives at the micro and macro levels. Participants will explore the foundations of health care quality and the science underlying patient safety and quality improvement, design and select effective health care...

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3. Fun food safety and sanitation course


The food safety course will help prepare you for safely working in a kitchen and food handler tests like Servesafe...

See More on Udemy
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Best States For a Cafeteria Helper

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a cafeteria helper. The best states for people in this position are Maine, Washington, Idaho, and New York. Cafeteria helpers make the most in Maine with an average salary of $40,459. Whereas in Washington and Idaho, they would average $39,231 and $38,490, respectively. While cafeteria helpers would only make an average of $38,143 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Cafeteria Helper Jobs: 43
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Vermont

Total Cafeteria Helper Jobs: 14
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Cafeteria Helper Jobs: 96
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Cafeteria Helpers

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Top Cafeteria Helper Employers

Most Common Employers For Cafeteria Helper

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Huntingdon College$36,353$17.482
2Los Angeles Unified School District$34,159$16.427
3Worcester Public Schools$33,078$15.902
4Cumberland County Schools$31,634$15.212
5Lennox School District$31,495$15.143
6Merced City School District$31,315$15.063
7Fairview Park City Schools$31,214$15.012
9Appalachian Regional Healthcare System$30,900$14.862
10Kankakee High School$30,182$14.512