Food Preparation & Serving

Employment of food preparation and serving related occupations is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations, a gain of about 1.2 million jobs. Population and income growth are expected to result in greater consumer demand for food at a variety of dining places, including restaurants and grocery stores.

Food preparation and serving related occupations is the lowest paid occupational group, with a median annual wage of $21,910 in May 2017.

OccupationEntry-Level Education2017 MEDIAN PAY
BartendersNo formal educational credential$21,690
Chefs and Head CooksHigh school diploma or equivalent$45,950
Food and Beverage Serving and Related WorkersNo formal educational credential$20,410
Food Preparation WorkersNo formal educational credential$22,730
Waiters and WaitressesNo formal educational credential$20,820
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Food Preparation and Serving Occupations, on the Internet at