Food Preparation Workers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Food Preparation Workers

Food Preparation Workers perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

Becoming One
Very Easy
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Food Preparation Workers perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.
  • Operate cash register, handle money, and give correct change.
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
  • Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.
Read more about what does a Food Preparation Worker really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$24830 per year

Average hourly wage
$12 per hour

Food Preparation Workers with little to no experience tend to make between $18040 and $20160 while the more experienced ones can earn over $28270 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $15 $31,510
WA $15 $30,340
MA $14 $29,980
RI $14 $29,730
AK $14 $29,550

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Food Preparation Worker is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Food Preparation Workers are DC, WA, MA, RI and AK.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Food Preparation Worker is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Food Preparation Workers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Read more about how to become a Food Preparation Worker and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Food Preparation Worker.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is very easy to get into this career. Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

61% of Food Preparation Workers said they were satisfied with their job and 44% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Food Preparation Workers

Summary (You are here)
Job Description

Related career information

Food Preparation Workers job description, Food Preparation Workers salary, Food Preparation Workers information, what is the job of a Food Preparation Worker like, pros and cons about Food Preparation Workers, colleges and universities for Food Preparation Workers, is Food Preparation Workers the right career for me, careers in Food and Hospitality

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