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Working As a Food Preparation Worker

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $18,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Food Preparation Worker Do

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. 

Duties

Food preparation workers typically do the following:

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, and dishes
  • Weigh or measure ingredients, such as meats and liquids
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables for cooking
  • Cut meats, poultry, and seafood and prepare them for cooking
  • Mix ingredients for salads
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage
  • Take and record the temperature of food and food storage areas
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service

Food preparation workers perform routine, repetitive tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. To help cooks and other kitchen staff, they prepare ingredients for dishes by slicing and dicing vegetables and by making salads and cold food items. Other common duties include keeping salad bars and buffet tables stocked and clean.

Food preparation workers retrieve pots and pans, clean and store kitchen equipment, and unload and store food supplies. When needed, they retrieve food and equipment for cooks and chefs. In some kitchens, food preparation workers use a variety of commercial kitchen equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, blenders, slicers, or grinders.

In restaurants, workers stock and use soda machines, coffeemakers, and espresso machines to prepare beverages for customers. In fast-food restaurants, food preparation workers may take customer orders and process payments.

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How To Become A Food Preparation Worker

Food preparation workers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food preparation worker.

Training

Most food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Trainees typically start by working under the supervision of an experienced worker, who teaches them basic kitchen duties. Training also may include basic sanitation and workplace safety regulations, as well as instructions on how to handle and prepare food.

Important Qualities

Dexterity. Food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives. They must have the ability to work quickly and safely with sharp objects.

Listening skills. Food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

Physical stamina. Food preparation workers stand on their feet for long periods while they prepare food, clean work areas, or lift heavy pots from the stove.

Physical strength. Food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities for food preparation workers depend on their training and work experience. Many food preparation workers advance to assistant or line cook positions as they learn basic cooking skills.

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Average Length of Employment
Kitchen Worker 1.8 years
Food Prep 1.7 years
Fast Food Worker 1.6 years
Food Preparer 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Food Preparation Worker
Cashier 28.3%
Cook 5.8%
Waitress 4.3%
Server 3.9%
Volunteer 3.2%
Janitor 2.4%
Line Cook 2.2%
Internship 2.2%
Top Careers After Food Preparation Worker
Cashier 20.0%
Cook 6.4%
Server 5.0%
Janitor 3.2%
Waitress 2.5%

Do you work as a Food Preparation Worker?

Average Yearly Salary
$18,000
Show Salaries
$14,000
Min 10%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$18,000
Median 50%
$22,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Buca di Beppo
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Food Preparation Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Food Preparation Worker in the United States is $18,072 per year or $9 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $14,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $22,000.

Real Food Preparation Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers, All Other Company Smile LLC New Orleans, LA May 01, 2015 $31,305
Food Preparation Workers Gurney's Inn Resort and Spa Ltd. Montauk, NY Apr 07, 2016 $29,218
Food Preparation and Server Worker I.V.A. Foods, Inc. D.B.A. Bazaar International Brookline, MA Jul 26, 2016 $27,131
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers Something, Inc. Nantucket, MA Apr 15, 2016 $26,922
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, INC Broken Wheel Farm, LLC Provincetown, MA Apr 04, 2016 $26,922
Food Preparation Worker Group 970 Vail, CO Nov 01, 2016 $26,797
Food Preparation Worker Shinnecock Hills Golf Club Southampton, NY Apr 12, 2015 $26,568
Food Preparation Workers Los Amigos, Inc. Kremmling, CO Apr 27, 2016 $26,484
Food Preparation Worker Group 970 CO Nov 01, 2015 $26,484
Food Preparation Workers Destination Hotels, Inc. Vail, CO Dec 01, 2016 $26,484
Food Preparation Worker Skoda Dining, Inc. Breckenridge, CO May 30, 2016 $26,484
Food Preparation Workers Destination Hotels, Inc. Vail, CO Dec 06, 2015 $26,484
Food Preparation Worker Vail Chop LLC Vail, CO Dec 29, 2015 $26,484
Food Preparation Worker WDLS LLC/Dba Winstons Bar and Grill East Hampton, NY Apr 01, 2016 $25,044
Food Preparation Worker Us Hotel ACS Ventures LLP Oacoma, SD Apr 01, 2015 $18,178
Food Preparation Worker Los Tres Amigos Lawton, OK Jan 01, 2015 $18,032
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers N and M Lopez, LLC Greensburg, KS Apr 21, 2016 $18,032
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker MUY Hamburger Partners, LLC Troy, OH Aug 26, 2016 $18,011
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker MUY Hamburger Partners, LLC Beavercreek, OH Aug 31, 2016 $18,011
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker MUY Hamburger Partners, LLC Dayton, OH Aug 31, 2016 $18,011
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker RTA Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Mar 17, 2016 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker Thesa Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Oct 16, 2015 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker St. Juste Management Corp Dba Goliad Foods Inc. San Antonio, TX Oct 27, 2015 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker RTA Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Oct 28, 2015 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker RTA Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX May 11, 2015 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker RTA Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Oct 11, 2015 $16,905
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Worker Thesa Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Oct 11, 2015 $16,905
Food Preparation and Serving Worker Thesa Restaurants Corp. San Antonio, TX Oct 11, 2015 $16,905

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Top Skills for A Food Preparation Worker

  1. Customer Service
  2. Storage Areas
  3. Food Preparation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Selected to fill bartender position which required the memorization of numerous beverage recipes to ensure accelerated customer service.
  • Selected requested food items from serving and storage areas and assembled items on serving tray or in a take-out bag.
  • Provided excellent customer service to each patron and answered any question they may have regarding food preparation or ingredients
  • Stock and organize goods, wash dishes, glassware or related utensils, while also maintaining clean rooms and work areas.
  • Cook or re-heat food items such as french fries, patties, pizza, soup and other food items.

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Top 10 Best States for Food Preparation Workers

  1. Alaska
  2. Rhode Island
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. Maine
  6. Massachusetts
  7. West Virginia
  8. Mississippi
  9. South Dakota
  10. New York
  • (19 jobs)
  • (46 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (23 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (337 jobs)

Food Preparation Worker Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,502 Food Preparation Worker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Food Preparation Worker Resume

View Resume Examples

Food Preparation Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

46.7%

Male

39.7%

Unknown

13.6%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.3%

French

7.3%

Arabic

6.3%

Mandarin

3.1%

German

3.1%

Polish

3.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Hmong

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Swahili

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Somali

1.0%

Armenian

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Kazakh

1.0%

Kurdish

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%
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Food Preparation Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.9%

Community College of Philadelphia

7.8%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

5.0%

Ashford University

5.0%

The Academy

5.0%

Bryant and Stratton College

5.0%

Central Piedmont Community College

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Monroe Community College

4.3%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.3%

Brevard Community College

3.5%

Tyler Junior College

3.5%

Florida State University

3.5%

Camden County College

3.5%

Fayetteville Technical Community College

3.5%

Santa Monica College

3.5%

Remington College

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Ball State University

3.5%

Wayne Community College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

18.5%

Culinary Arts

8.1%

Criminal Justice

7.4%

General Studies

7.0%

Medical Assisting Services

7.0%

Nursing

6.3%

Psychology

6.3%

Health Care Administration

6.2%

Accounting

4.0%

Computer Science

3.8%

Education

3.5%

Curriculum And Instruction

3.0%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Cosmetology

2.8%

Biology

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.2%

Management

2.2%

Hospitality Management

2.2%

Early Childhood Education

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

44.2%

Bachelors

22.5%

Associate

19.9%

Certificate

8.1%

Diploma

3.8%

Masters

0.9%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Updated May 19, 2020