There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a preparator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.82 an hour? That's $47,473 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 Preparator Do

There are certain skills that many preparators 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.

Learn more about what a Preparator does

How To Become a Preparator

If you're interested in becoming a preparator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 78.1% of preparators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.8% of preparators have master's degrees. Even though most preparators have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Preparator

Preparator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Preparator

Preparators in America make an average salary of $47,473 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Preparator Salary
$47,473 Yearly
$22.82 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Preparator

There are several types of preparator, including:

Sandwich Artist


Look out Jared the Subway Guy, there's a new sandwich artist in town (we're talking about you!) This position welcomes creativity, and requires you know your way around a sandwich. I mean, you obviously want to put the lettuce first to prevent your bread from getting soggy from the sauce.

Seriously though, don't forget the sauce. No one enjoys a dry sandwich. Unless you have no tastebuds. Or are a picky child. Nonetheless, the majority of your customers are going to want a beautiful sandwich creation. From the meats to the cheeses, and even the veggies, you're allowed to be creative and show off your sandwich making skills.

The majority of sandwich artists only work part-time, but there are quite a few full-time positions open. Also, there are other sandwich places to work for, aside from Subway, so you have options. Or you could go your own route and open your own sandwich artistry shop. Or food truck. Whichever fits your creative side.

  • Average Salary: $23,564
  • 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

Deli Clerk


Working at a deli, whether it's located in a grocery store or just in a stand-alone shop, takes a lot of patience. As a deli clerk, you'll be dealing with customers throughout your shift. It doesn't matter if they come in with a really big order that takes forever to fill or they're rude to you, your employer will be impressed as long as you wear a smile the entire time.

But good customer service isn't the end-all be-all for this position. Not every order is going to suck and not every customer is going to take patience. You might even develop a friendly relationship with those who become your "regulars." It's those orders and customers that make your job fun.

Deli clerks receive training after they're hired so that they understand how to measure deli items and price them correctly. Depending on where you're working you may even have to help customers check-out.

  • Average Salary: $32,240
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Preparator Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Preparator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
7New York8$80,658
10North Carolina8$38,763
20New Mexico3$31,684
26South Dakota1$34,041
30Rhode Island0$75,260
34New Hampshire0$56,551
35New Jersey0$57,294
39West Virginia0$41,615
40North Dakota0$37,338
41South Carolina0$36,348

Preparator Education

Preparator Majors

58.1 %

Preparator Degrees


78.1 %


13.8 %


4.9 %

Top Skills For a Preparator

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, 21.4% of preparators listed exhibition design on their resume, but soft skills such as dexterity and listening skills are important as well.

  • Exhibition Design, 21.4%
  • Hand Tools, 14.4%
  • AV, 10.2%
  • Museum Exhibits, 7.5%
  • Artifact, 6.4%
  • Other Skills, 40.1%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Preparator Resume templates

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

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Preparator diversity

Preparator Gender Distribution


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

  • Among preparators, 24.5% of them are women, while 75.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among preparators is White, which makes up 50.6% of all preparators.

  • The most common foreign language among preparators is Spanish at 30.0%.

Online Courses For Preparator That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  

1. Art & Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies For Your Classroom


Explore how to integrate works of art into your classroom with inquiry-based teaching methods originally developed for in-gallery museum education...

2. Art Gallery, Exhibition Curating and Artist Management


A complete guide to Art Gallery Management and Exhibition Design...

3. Photoshop and Photography Digital Art Compositing Course


Learn Adobe Photoshop CC and photography by designing levitation digital art composites from four photoshoots...

Show More Online Courses For Preparator
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Best States For a Preparator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a preparator. The best states for people in this position are New York, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Connecticut. Preparators make the most in New York with an average salary of $80,658. Whereas in Rhode Island and Alaska, they would average $75,260 and $67,285, respectively. While preparators would only make an average of $61,783 in Connecticut, 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 Preparator Jobs: 5
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total Preparator Jobs: 4
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New York

Total Preparator Jobs: 8
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Preparators

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Top Preparator Employers

Most Common Employers For Preparator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Skirball Cultural Center$82,018$39.431
2Pérez Art Museum Miami$73,380$35.282
3Frazier History Museum$69,766$33.542
5Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami$66,737$32.093
6Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland MOCA$61,469$29.552
7Columbia College$60,294$28.992
9Getty Realty$49,771$23.931
10Saint Louis Art Museum$46,636$22.422