How Much Do Food Preparation Workers Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

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


Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$26820 per year
Hourly wage
$13 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$18,460 to $21,400 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$9 to $10 per hour

Entry-level Food Preparation Workers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $18,460 to $21,400 per year or $9 to $10 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Food Preparation Workers to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $18 $37,000
Senior (Top 25%) $15 $30,850
Middle (Mid 50%) $13 $26,070
Junior (Bottom 25%) $10 $21,400
No experience (Bottom 10%) $9 $18,460

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
DC $17 $35,950
WA $16 $34,280
MA $16 $32,930
NY $16 $32,530
HI $15 $32,020
AK $15 $31,980
RI $15 $31,820
CT $15 $31,790
CA $15 $31,680
CO $15 $31,520

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Food Preparation Worker is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at DC might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Food Preparation Workers are in the states of DC, WA, MA, NY and HI.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $37990 $18.26
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land $36460 $17.53
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $34600 $16.64
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $34520 $16.59
Spectator Sports $32670 $15.71
General Merchandise Stores $32430 $15.59
Management of Companies and Enterprises $32370 $15.56
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $32310 $15.53
Animal Slaughtering and Processing $32110 $15.44
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $32040 $15.40
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events $31430 $15.11
Rail Transportation $31410 $15.10
Warehousing and Storage $31270 $15.03
Technical and Trade Schools $31190 $15.00
Elementary and Secondary Schools $31070 $14.94
Vocational Rehabilitation Services $30910 $14.86
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores $30750 $14.78
Other Personal Services $30740 $14.78
Dairy Product Manufacturing $30620 $14.72
Other Schools and Instruction $30600 $14.71
Clothing Stores $30390 $14.61
Other Food Manufacturing $30310 $14.57
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $30140 $14.49
Traveler Accommodation $30130 $14.49
Rooming and Boarding Houses $30070 $14.46
Specialty Hospitals $29980 $14.42
Outpatient Care Centers $29830 $14.34
Local Government $29650 $14.25
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $29620 $14.24
Rental and Leasing Services $29490 $14.18

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