hourly pay for Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers
do Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers make a lot of money

Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers

Other names for this job might include Cafe Worker, Car Hop, Cashier, Caterer’s Aide, Caterers Helper, Catering Assistant, Cook, Cook and Waitress/Waiter, Counter Attendant, Crew Member

  • $20460
  • 46%
    Job satisfaction
  • Very Easy
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Fast Food Workers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Worker will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$20460 per year
Hourly wage
$9.840 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Fast Food Workers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Fast Food Workers is $20460. Their salary can also be as low as $16810 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $25330 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $9.840 and can range from $8.080 to $12.180 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Fast Food Worker will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Fast Food Worker to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Fast Food Workers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of D.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$12.180$25330
Senior (Top 25%)$10.650$22160
Middle (Mid 50%)$9.350$19440
Junior (Bottom 25%)$8.670$18030
No experience (Bottom 10%)$8.080$16810

Entry-level Fast Food Workers who starts out at $18030 can expect to make $19440 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $8.080 per hour while the top 10% makes over $12.180 per hour.

While the median wage is $19440 per annum or $9.350 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Rail Transportation20.9543570
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation16.2933870
Water Transportation15.8432950
Elementary and Secondary Schools, State government owned15.6332510
Federal Executive Branch15.2431700
Federal government, including the US Postal Service15.2431700
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, State government owned14.0729260
Federal, State, and Local Government13.6428380
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service13.6428380
Other schools and instruction, Privately owned13.528070
Other Schools and Instruction (including private, state, and local government schools)13.4728010
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals13.1927440
Legal Services13.1327300
Transportation and Warehousing13.0927230
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned12.8826780
Hospitals, State government owned12.7826580
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, State government owned12.7426500
Other General Merchandise Stores12.6126220
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)12.3725740
Air Transportation12.2825550
State government, including schools and hospitals12.2125400
Scheduled Air Transportation12.0625090
Junior colleges, State government owned12.0325020
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals12.0124970
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)11.8324610
Finance and Insurance11.6724280
Insurance Carriers11.6324180
Educational Services, State government owned11.5924110
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities11.5323990
Outpatient Care Centers11.5323980
Social Advocacy Organizations11.5223970
Ambulatory Health Care Services11.4323770
Furniture Stores11.4223750
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)11.3823670
Casino Hotels11.3723650
Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers11.3523600
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned11.3123520
Offices of Physicians11.2823470
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)11.2423380
Hospitals, Privately owned11.2123310
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned11.1823240
Technical and trade schools, Privately owned11.1323150
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service11.1223120
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)11.1123110
Technical and Trade Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)11.1123100
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)11.0823050
Traveler Accommodation11.0823040
General Merchandise Stores11.0522980
Rooming and Boarding Houses11.0222920
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services1122880
Performing Arts Companies10.9422750
Oil and Gas Extraction10.9322730
Facilities Support Services10.9222720
Educational Services, Privately owned10.8822640
Grocery Stores10.8722610
Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging10.8622600
Local government, including schools and hospitals10.822470
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)10.822460
Hospitals, Local government owned10.7722400
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned10.7722400
Food and Beverage Stores10.7622390
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)10.7622390
Educational Services, Local government owned10.7522370
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned10.7522360
Animal Slaughtering and Processing10.7422340
Activities Related to Real Estate10.7222290
Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing10.7122280
Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers10.7122270
Sporting Goods Stores10.6922230
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Privately owned10.6922230
Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities10.6822220
Specialty hospitals, State government owned10.6822210
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores10.6722200
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned10.6722190
Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing10.6122060
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services10.5721990
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, Privately owned10.5621970
Junior colleges, Local government owned10.5521950
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)10.5521940
Personal and Laundry Services10.5321900
Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores10.5221890
Retail Trade10.5221880
Vocational Rehabilitation Services10.5121860
Religious Organizations10.4521740
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters10.4321690
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores10.3921620
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)10.3921610
Scientific Research and Development Services10.3421500
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences10.3421500
Lessors of Real Estate10.2821380
Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers10.2621330
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities10.2621330
Social Assistance10.2121230
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing10.1921190
Beverage Manufacturing10.1921190
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities10.1821180
Real Estate10.1721160
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores10.1621140
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events10.1421090
Gambling Industries10.1321070
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services10.1221040
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation10.1121030
Other Residential Care Facilities10.121000
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing10.0820960
Specialty Food Stores10.0720950
Management of Companies and Enterprises10.0520890
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries10.0420890
Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers10.0320870
Special Food Services9.9920790
Individual and Family Services9.9720750
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities9.9620720
Used Merchandise Stores9.9520690
Book Stores and News Dealers9.9220630
Health and Personal Care Stores9.9120620
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)9.8820560
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations9.8820560
Miscellaneous Store Retailers9.8820550
Department Stores9.8820540
Vending Machine Operators9.8520480
Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores9.8320440
Support Activities for Air Transportation9.820390
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly9.820380
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations9.7820350
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services9.7420250
Administrative and Support Services9.7420250
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services9.7320230
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods9.7220220
Support Activities for Transportation9.6920160
Personal Care Services9.6920160
Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities9.6820140
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods9.6720110
Wholesale Trade9.6720100
Grantmaking and Giving Services9.6720100
Nonstore Retailers9.6620090
Home Furnishings Stores9.6420040
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions9.6320030
Miscellaneous Manufacturing9.6320020
Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing9.6320020
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)9.6320020
Spectator Sports9.6119990
Pharmacies and Drug Stores9.5919950
Food Manufacturing9.5819930
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing9.5819930
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries9.5819930
Motion Picture and Video Industries9.5819930
Civic and Social Organizations9.5619880
Dairy Product Manufacturing9.5419840
Employment Services9.5319820
Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation9.4719710
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation9.4719710
Repair and Maintenance9.4619670
Automotive Repair and Maintenance9.4619670
Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance9.4619670
Child Day Care Services9.4519660
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation9.4419640
RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks and Recreational Camps9.4319600
Drycleaning and Laundry Services9.4119570
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries9.3819520
Electronics and Appliance Stores9.3819500
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries9.3719480
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water9.3519450
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers9.319340
Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers9.2719280
Motion Picture and Video Exhibition9.2619250
Gasoline Stations9.2319200
Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers9.2319200
Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing9.219140
All industries9.1919110
Automobile Dealers9.1919110
Other Food Manufacturing9.1819100
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers9.1819090
Direct Selling Establishments9.0918900
All industries, private ownership only9.0818880
Rental and Leasing Services9.0618850
Amusement Parks and Arcades9.0518820
Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works)9.0318790
Publishing Industries (except Internet)9.0118750
Full-Service Restaurants9.0218750
Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers918710
Accommodation and Food Services8.9318570
Food Services and Drinking Places8.9118540
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers8.8918500
Restaurants and Other Eating Places8.8618430
Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers8.7318160
Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers8.3417350
Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores8.1717000

Not all industries pay the same for Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Fast Food Worker is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at DC may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Fast Food Workers are in the states of DC, VT, AK, CT and WA. The average salary in DC is $23820.

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Rank: D
Salary: $19030

They prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
Rank: D
Salary: $21640

They take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.
Rank: D
Salary: $19820

They serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.
Rank: D
Salary: $21430

They prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.
Rank: D
Salary: $25380

They receive, store, and issue sales floor merchandise. Stock shelves, racks, cases, bins, and tables with merchandise and arrange merchandise displays to attract customers. May periodically take physical count of stock or check and mark merchandise.

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Career type

Food and Hospitality Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services

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Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers salary, how much do Fast Food Workers earn, Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers hourly wage, Fast Food Food Preparation and Serving Workers annual pay, highest paying industries for Fast Food Workers, which states pay the highest for Fast Food Workers

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