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

Food Preparation Workers

Other names for this job might include Assistant Cook, Baker, Baker Helper, Bakery Helper, Cafeteria Aide, Cafeteria Worker, Cartperson, Carver, Caterer, Caterer Helper

  • $22920
  • 61%
    Job satisfaction
  • Very Easy
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
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How Much Do Food Preparation Workers Make In 2018

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

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

Average salary

Annual salary
$22920 per year
Hourly wage
$11.020 per hour

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

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Food Preparation Workers is $22920. Their salary can also be as low as $17420 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $31040 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $11.020 and can range from $8.370 to $14.930 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Food Preparation 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 Food Preparation 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 Food Preparation Workers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of D.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$14.930$31040
Senior (Top 25%)$12.190$25360
Middle (Mid 50%)$10.310$21440
Junior (Bottom 25%)$9.120$18960
No experience (Bottom 10%)$8.370$17420

Entry-level Food Preparation Workers who starts out at $18960 can expect to make $21440 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $8.370 per hour while the top 10% makes over $14.930 per hour.

While the median wage is $21440 per annum or $10.310 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
Specialty hospitals, State government owned16.3333970
Elementary and Secondary Schools, State government owned15.8833020
Office Administrative Services15.0531310
Casino Hotels14.4930130
Hospitals, State government owned14.0929310
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, State government owned13.6428370
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services13.6328340
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, State government owned13.628280
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers13.5528180
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned13.2127470
Department Stores13.1627380
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)13.1227280
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)12.9426910
Home Health Care Services12.8526730
State government, including schools and hospitals12.8526730
Computer Systems Design and Related Services12.826630
Dairy Product Manufacturing12.826620
Animal Slaughtering and Processing12.626220
Scientific Research and Development Services12.5526110
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences12.5526110
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services12.4925970
Educational Services, State government owned12.4925970
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)12.4525890
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing12.4225820
Chemical Manufacturing12.3825760
Educational Services, Privately owned12.3825750
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals12.3225630
Technical and trade schools, Privately owned12.0825120
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned12.0124990
Traveler Accommodation12.0124970
General Merchandise Stores1224960
Hospitals, Privately owned1224960
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned1224950
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations1224950
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)11.9424830
Other General Merchandise Stores11.924750
Technical and Trade Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)11.8924720
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)11.8424630
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)11.824540
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)11.7824500
Furniture Stores11.7324390
Educational Services, Local government owned11.7224370
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned11.7224370
Finance and Insurance11.724330
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, Privately owned11.6824300
Management of Companies and Enterprises11.6524240
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service11.6124140
Ambulatory Health Care Services11.5223960
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned11.523920
Insurance Carriers11.4823870
Offices of Physicians11.4523820
Local government, including schools and hospitals11.4523810
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities11.4323770
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Privately owned11.4223750
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land11.3723640
Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing11.3623620
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services11.3423590
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities11.3323560
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation11.323510
Depository Credit Intermediation11.2923490
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water11.2723440
Other Schools and Instruction (including private, state, and local government schools)11.2723440
Other schools and instruction, Privately owned11.2723440
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events11.2523400
Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists11.2123330
Federal, State, and Local Government11.1923280
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service11.1923280
Facilities Support Services11.1823260
Junior colleges, Local government owned11.1323150
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers11.1223130
Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores11.1123100
Civic and Social Organizations11.0823050
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations11.0122890
Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores1122870
Religious Organizations10.9922850
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing10.9622790
Beverage Manufacturing10.9622790
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals10.9522770
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)10.9422760
Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores10.8622580
Clothing Stores10.8622580
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)10.8422540
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores10.8322530
Outpatient Care Centers10.8222510
Offices of Other Health Practitioners10.8222500
Home Furnishings Stores10.8122480
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries10.8122480
Social Advocacy Organizations10.7222300
Other Food Manufacturing10.6822220
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods10.6822220
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services10.6722200
Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities10.6722190
Food Manufacturing10.6622180
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries10.6422130
Vocational Rehabilitation Services10.6322110
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services10.6222100
Special Food Services10.6122060
Grocery Stores10.622040
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses10.5922030
Vending Machine Operators10.5922030
Sporting Goods Stores10.5922020
Nonstore Retailers10.5822000
Transportation and Warehousing10.5822000
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)10.5721990
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries10.5721980
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation10.5621970
Food and Beverage Stores10.5521940
Hospitals, Local government owned10.5421930
Spectator Sports10.5421920
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned10.5221880
Retail Trade10.5121860
Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing10.5121850
Activities Related to Real Estate10.521840
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities10.4821790
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers10.4521740
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores10.4321690
Direct Selling Establishments10.4221680
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing10.4121660
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)10.3921610
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)10.3821590
Real Estate10.3621550
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services10.3421500
Administrative and Support Services10.3421500
Wholesale Trade10.3321490
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing10.3321490
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods10.3321480
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities10.3121450
Rooming and Boarding Houses10.2921400
Social Assistance10.2821380
All industries10.2621340
Miscellaneous Store Retailers10.2621340
Lessors of Real Estate10.2521310
Full-Service Restaurants10.2321270
Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers10.2121240
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries10.221220
Motion Picture and Video Industries10.221220
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities10.221210
Child Day Care Services10.221210
All industries, private ownership only10.1621130
Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers10.1521120
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions10.1421090
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores10.1321070
Employment Services10.1321060
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly10.121000
Other Residential Care Facilities10.0520910
Used Merchandise Stores10.0320870
Individual and Family Services10.0220840
Specialty Food Stores10.0120820
Motion Picture and Video Exhibition9.9920770
Warehousing and Storage9.9720740
Grantmaking and Giving Services9.9620730
Performing Arts Companies9.9320640
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters9.920590
Accommodation and Food Services9.8920560
Pharmacies and Drug Stores9.8620500
Book Stores and News Dealers9.8320440
Food Services and Drinking Places9.8220420
Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities9.7920360
Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging9.7820350
Educational Support Services (including private, state, and local government schools)9.7720320
Educational Support Services, Privately owned9.7720320
Restaurants and Other Eating Places9.7120200
Health and Personal Care Stores9.6620100
Other Personal Services9.6220010
Junior colleges, State government owned9.6220000
Personal Care Services9.6119980
Other Support Services9.3519450
Gasoline Stations9.2519240
RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks and Recreational Camps9.1419020
Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers8.4717610

Not all industries pay the same for Food Preparation 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 Food Preparation Worker is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like AK doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at AK may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Food Preparation Workers are in the states of AK, WA, DC, CT and NV. The average salary in AK is $27540.

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Rank: D
Salary: $22510

They serve food to individuals outside of a restaurant environment, such as in hotel rooms, hospital rooms, residential care facilities, or cars.
Rank: D
Salary: $20510

They facilitate food service. Clean tables, remove dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.
Rank: D
Salary: $22500

They perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.
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: $24190

They use hand or hand tools to perform routine cutting and trimming of meat, poultry, and seafood.

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Career type

Food and Hospitality Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services

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