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Food Service Associate Careers

Feeding large groups of people, for example, at a university or catered event, is not as simple as whipping up a meal for a dinner party. These jobs require dedicated food industry professionals known as food associates.

Foodservice associates obviously need to be very good at preparing food, but that's not all that they do. They also help manage the logistical side of food preparation, such as keeping track of inventory, managing payments, and setting up for events. Foodservice associates also need to be sensitive and considerate of the needs of customers from diverse backgrounds.

Working as a food service associate doesn't require a bachelor's degree. This position does require a lot of physical stamina and excellent communication in order to work with the rest of the team that is working during service. A hard-working food service associate can work themselves up to the position of food service manager.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a food service associate. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.22 an hour? That's $29,586 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 69,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Food Service Associate Do

There are certain skills that many food service associates 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 dexterity, listening skills and physical strength.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a food service associate, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.2% of food service associates included kitchen equipment, while 9.8% of resumes included food trays, and 8.6% of resumes included sanitation standards. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the food service associate job title. But what industry to start with? Most food service associates actually find jobs in the health care and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Food Service Associate

If you're interested in becoming a food service associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 35.0% of food service associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.7% of food service associates have master's degrees. Even though some food service associates have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a food service associate. When we researched the most common majors for a food service associate, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on food service associate resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a food service associate. In fact, many food service associate jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many food service associates also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or customer service representative.

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Average Salary
$29,586
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
29,029
Job Openings

Food Service Associate Career Paths

Top Careers Before Food Service Associate

Cashier
19.4 %

Top Careers After Food Service Associate

Cashier
13.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Food Service Associate

Food Service Associates in America make an average salary of $29,586 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $34,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,586

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Salinas, CA
Salary Range25k - 35k$30k$30,371
University Place, WA
Salary Range26k - 33k$30k$29,828
Burnsville, MN
Salary Range25k - 32k$29k$29,109
Schaumburg, IL
Salary Range25k - 33k$29k$29,035
Dover, DE
Salary Range23k - 35k$29k$28,956
South Portland, ME
Salary Range27k - 30k$29k$28,705
$19k
$35k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Amazon Food Service Associate-at
Amazon Food Service Associate-at
Amazon
Amazon
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$31,30501/30/2021
$31,305
Overnight Grocery, Food Service, and Kitchen Associate-Bellevue/Factoria
Overnight Grocery, Food Service, and Kitchen Associate-Bellevue/Factoria
Amazon
Amazon
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$32,87001/30/2021
$32,870
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To
Panera Bread Co
Panera Bread Co
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$31,30501/28/2021
$31,305
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To, Up To S/Week
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To, Up To S/Week
Panera Bread Co
Panera Bread Co
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$29,21801/28/2021
$29,218
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To ! Line Associates & Bakery Openers Needed Weekdays & Weeken
Food Service Associate-Pay Up To ! Line Associates & Bakery Openers Needed Weekdays & Weeken
Panera Bread Co
Panera Bread Co
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$31,30501/28/2021
$31,305
See More Recent Salaries

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Food Service Associate Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Food Service Associate. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Food Service Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Food Service Associate 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.

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Food Service Associate Demographics

Gender

female

59.3 %

male

35.9 %

unknown

4.7 %

Ethnicity

White

64.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.7 %

Black or African American

10.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.0 %

French

11.3 %

Chinese

5.2 %
See More Demographics

Food Service Associate Education

Majors

Business
16.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

35.0 %

High School Diploma

33.2 %

Associate

18.1 %
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Food Service Associate

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, 12.2% of food service associates listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Food Service Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a food service associate. The best states for people in this position are Nevada, New York, Alaska, and Rhode Island. Food service associates make the most in Nevada with an average salary of $33,897. Whereas in New York and Alaska, they would average $33,403 and $32,546, respectively. While food service associates would only make an average of $31,875 in Rhode Island, 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. Alaska

Total Food Service Associate Jobs:
127
Highest 10% Earn:
$34,000
Location Quotient:
1.5
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Food Service Associate Jobs:
204
Highest 10% Earn:
$46,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New York

Total Food Service Associate Jobs:
1,277
Highest 10% Earn:
$44,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Food Service Associate Employers

1. Royal Farms
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$31,168
Food Service Associates Hired: 
74+
2. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$30,844
Food Service Associates Hired: 
70+
3. Panera Bread
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$30,751
Food Service Associates Hired: 
55+
4. McDonald's
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$28,777
Food Service Associates Hired: 
51+
5. Sodexo Operations LLC
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$30,997
Food Service Associates Hired: 
45+
6. Target
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$30,660
Food Service Associates Hired: 
38+
Updated October 2, 2020