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USA Careers: Food Preparation Workers

Food Preparation Workers
Food preparation workers typically learn their skills on the job from an experienced worker.

Quick Facts: Food Preparation Workers

2012 Median Pay
$19,300 per year
$9.28 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Less than high school

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
Short-term on-the-job training

Number of Jobs, 2012
807,800

Job Outlook, 2012-22
4% (Slower than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
28,900

What Food Preparation Workers 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.

Work Environment
Food preparation workers are employed in restaurants, hotels, and other places where food is served, such as cafeterias, grocery stores, hospitals, and schools. They often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, or holidays. Nearly half worked part time in 2012.

How to Become a Food Preparation Worker
Food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.

Pay
The median hourly wage for food preparation workers was $9.28 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of food preparation workers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be very good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation every year.

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