The major responsibility of food prep is to ensure kitchen care and prepare food under the guidance of supervisors, chefs, or cooks. As a food prep, you can work in numerous companies or firms that are associated with food.

In addition to your responsibilities, you will largely concentrate on doing easy to modest tasks such as tidying up the kitchen, disinfecting the appliances, making ready the needed ingredients, and confirming their Integrity and quantity. You will also need to oversee food preservation, assist by carrying out simple cooking jobs, closely observe checkout stations for proper employment, and make sure enough money is available.

As a food prep, you must have good communication and customer service skills and physical strength. You don't necessarily need to have a college education, but you must possess at most a high school diploma or at least a bachelor's degree. A food prep earns an average yearly salary of $23,694 or $11.39 per hour.

What Does a Food Prep Do

There are certain skills that many food preps 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 Food Prep does

How To Become a Food Prep

If you're interested in becoming a food prep, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 16.5% of food preps have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.9% of food preps have master's degrees. Even though some food preps have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Food Prep

Food Prep Career Paths

Average Salary for a Food Prep

Food Preps in America make an average salary of $25,840 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $19,000 per year.
Average Food Prep Salary
$25,840 Yearly
$12.42 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Food Prep

The role of a food prep includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general food prep responsibilities:

  • You enjoy people and providing friendly, accurate service to customers as well as your teammates
  • Prepare all food items according to recipe cards
  • Create high quality sushi including cooking rice, rolling sushi, temperature recording, cutting, packaging, labeling

There are several types of food prep, including:

Prep Cook


Under the direction of a head chef, you'll know exactly what to prepare for as a prep cook. It is essentially your job to make sure the food and kitchen area is prepped for the creation of delicious meals.

Typically, this is a part-time job. But you might be able to find a full-time position somewhere. In your position, you'll be working in a restaurant, hotel, or another establishment that serves food.

As a prep cook, you won't need much education to get by. In fact, the position doesn't require any formal education, but you will need to go through some training, once you're hired. And when we say training, we mean several weeks of on-the-job training. By the end of it, you'll be a sharp prep cook, ready to slice and dice.

  • Average Salary: $32,292
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Food Service Worker


Food service workers are employed in restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, and any other institution that offers dining services, such as schools, hospitals, or prisons. If you want to learn everything about food preparation and what it takes to be a restaurant manager or a top-notch chef, taking on a job as a food service worker is a great place to start.

Your job will be to assist kitchen staff in preparing meals. Your responsibilities include helping to keep the kitchen spotless, prepping ingredients, slicing, dicing, rinsing, and peeling while making sure all safety regulations are respected.

No experience is needed to be hired as a food service worker; you just have to be attentive and organized and respect the authority of your superiors, which in this case is basically everyone in the kitchen.

  • Average Salary: $28,753
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Food Server


The sky is the limit for food servers. In this career, there are so many opportunities that your head will be spinning from which job you decide to take. Maybe you're a high-school student looking for a reliable paycheck. You might decide to go work for a fast-food restaurant.

Or maybe you're a professional in the food industry. In this case, you might become a food server for a high-end sit-down restaurant. Whichever direction you choose to take, the tips you'll earn will be more than enough to pay the bills.

Food servers can even find work at sports arenas or through catering services. There's always a spot for a food server wherever food can be served. The best part of this job is that you'll be able to choose your hours. Whenever you want to work, you'll be able to.

  • Average Salary: $25,209
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Food Prep Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Food Prep Jobs By State

Food Prep Education

Food Prep Majors

17.5 %

Food Prep Degrees

High School Diploma

48.4 %


16.5 %


16.4 %

Top Skills For a Food Prep

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, 17.4% of food preps listed food service on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and customer-service skills are important as well.

  • Food Service, 17.4%
  • Food Handling, 13.3%
  • Taking Care, 12.2%
  • Cleanliness, 9.4%
  • Good Communication, 5.7%
  • Other Skills, 42.0%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Food Prep Resume templates

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

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Food Prep diversity

Food Prep Gender Distribution


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

  • Among food preps, 48.9% of them are women, while 51.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among food preps is White, which makes up 57.5% of all food preps.

  • The most common foreign language among food preps is Spanish at 69.4%.

Online Courses For Food Prep That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  

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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...

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Best States For a Food Prep

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food prep. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Food preps make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $32,244. Whereas in Vermont and New Hampshire, they would average $30,421 and $29,604, respectively. While food preps would only make an average of $29,298 in Maine, 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. New Jersey

Total Food Prep Jobs: 1,138
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total Food Prep Jobs: 173
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Massachusetts

Total Food Prep Jobs: 1,038
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Food Preps

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Top Food Prep Employers

Most Common Employers For Food Prep

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Whole Foods Market$31,578$15.18118
3Chipotle Mexican Grill$26,446$12.71284
4Panera Bread$25,655$12.33265
6Little Caesars$25,134$12.08254
7Papa John's International$25,004$12.02202
8Steak 'n Shake$24,425$11.74123
10Six Flags$24,389$11.73116

Food Prep Videos

Becoming a Food Prep FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Food Prep?

It takes one year or less to become a food prep. That is the time it takes to learn specific food prep skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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