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Become A Food Service Worker

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Working As A Food Service 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

  • $21,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Food Service 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 Service 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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Food Service Worker Jobs

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Food Service Worker Career Paths

Food Service Worker
Warehouse Worker Merchandiser
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Front Desk Clerk Night Auditor Front Desk Supervisor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Dispatcher Operations Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Barista Office Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Homemaker Cafeteria Worker
Cafeteria Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Line Cook, Prep Cook Chef Dietary Manager
Certified Dietary Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Barista Chef
Chef Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Line Cook, Prep Cook Head Chef Kitchen Manager
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Custodian Security Officer Account Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Cleaner Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Front Desk Clerk Assistant General Manager Restaurant Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Service Technician Service Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Food Service Supervisor Food Service Director Clinical Dietitian
Nutrition Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Warehouse Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Driver Dispatcher
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Custodian Maintenance Technician Service Manager
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Operations Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Production Worker Production Supervisor Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Food Service Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

64.7%

Male

33.2%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.2%

French

7.9%

German

5.0%

Mandarin

3.7%

Chinese

3.7%

Japanese

3.0%

Russian

2.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Cantonese

1.2%

Korean

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Italian

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Hmong

0.8%

Swedish

0.7%

Swahili

0.7%

Malay

0.4%

Filipino

0.4%

Polish

0.4%
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Food Service Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.7%

Ashford University

7.4%

Liberty University

6.5%

Essex County College

5.3%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

4.8%

University of California - Davis

4.7%

Grand Canyon University

4.5%

Kaplan University

4.4%

Bowling Green State University

4.2%

Community College of Allegheny County

4.2%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

3.9%

Onondaga Community College

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Oregon

3.6%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.4%

Central Texas College

3.4%

Iowa State University

3.4%

Washington State University

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Camden County College

3.3%
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Majors

Business

17.9%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Psychology

7.6%

General Studies

7.0%

Medical Assisting Services

7.0%

Health Care Administration

6.7%

Nursing

6.7%

Culinary Arts

5.7%

Accounting

4.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Nursing Assistants

3.2%

Computer Science

2.9%

Education

2.9%

Biology

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Human Services

2.5%

Hospitality Management

2.4%

English

2.3%

Food And Nutrition

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

40.6%

Bachelors

27.9%

Associate

16.3%

Certificate

7.9%

Masters

3.3%

Diploma

3.1%

License

0.7%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Real Food Service Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Food Service Worker Alpine Country Club, Inc. Demarest, NJ May 17, 2016 $27,987
Food Prep Worker Frank's Pizza of Mt. Arlington, Inc. Mount Arlington, NJ Sep 16, 2016 $26,270
Food Prep Workers CRU Ack LLC Nantucket, MA May 05, 2015 $24,835
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Falmouth, MA Apr 01, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Falmouth, MA Apr 13, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. Falmouth, MA Apr 11, 2016 $23,354
Food Prep Workers Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc. MA Apr 01, 2015 $23,228
Food Prep Workers CRU Ack LLC Nantucket, MA May 11, 2016 $23,207
Food Prep Workers Fella's, Inc. Vineyard Haven, MA May 01, 2016 $22,894
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club Pocono Pines, PA May 15, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club Pocono Pines, PA May 17, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Lake Naomi Club Pocono Pines, PA May 01, 2016 $22,498
Food Service Worker Cattle-Ac Steakhouse Sidney, MT Dec 20, 2016 $22,206
Food Service Worker Sutton Bay Golf, LLC Agar, SD May 01, 2016 $17,677
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Southeast LLC Destin, FL Feb 19, 2016 $17,659
Food Service Worker Ocean City Donut Shops, Inc. Ocean City, MD Apr 01, 2016 $17,489
Food Service Worker El Portal, Inc. Marshalltown, IA Mar 01, 2015 $17,489
Food Service Worker Sutton Bay Golf, LLC Agar, SD Apr 21, 2015 $17,406
Food Service Worker Loma, Inc. Kingsport, TN Mar 02, 2015 $17,280
Food Service Worker Jalisco of Kingsport, Inc. Kingsport, TN Mar 02, 2015 $17,280
Food Service Worker Tres Rancheros Inc. AL Feb 01, 2015 $17,218
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Kenedy, TX Apr 04, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Southeast LLC Greensboro, NC Aug 12, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Houston, LLC Liberty, TX Aug 12, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Crystal City, TX Sep 29, 2015 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Houston, LLC Lake Jackson, TX Nov 16, 2016 $16,827
Food Service Worker MUY Pizza Tejas LLC Kerrville, TX Oct 26, 2016 $16,827

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Food Service Worker

Average Yearly Salary
$21,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$16,000
Min 10%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$21,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Samaritan Health Services
Highest Paying City
Medford, OR
Highest Paying State
Georgia
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Food Service Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Food Service Worker in the United States is $21,782 per year or $10 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $16,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $29,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Food Service Worker?

Have you worked as a Food Service Worker? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Food Service Worker.

Top Skills for A Food Service Worker

  1. Food Safety
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Required an understanding of food safety regulations and attention to detail around cleanliness and safety.
  • Perform regular maintenance on kitchen equipment as required by military sanitation codes.
  • Maintained high standards of customer service during high-volume, fast-paced operations.
  • Support government contractors and armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan with daily meal preparation and presentation.
  • Supervised production methods and techniques to ensure quality and safety standards.

How Would You Rate Working As a Food Service Worker?

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Top 10 Best States for Food Service Workers

  1. Vermont
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Alaska
  4. North Dakota
  5. Minnesota
  6. Massachusetts
  7. South Dakota
  8. California
  9. Nebraska
  10. Montana
  • (61 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (473 jobs)
  • (486 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (1,327 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)

Top Food Service Worker Employers

Jobs From Top Food Service Worker Employers

Food Service Worker Videos

Food Worker Training Video - English

Personal Habits of a Food Service Worker

A Day in the Life of a Cafeteria Worker

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