Foodservice workers are workers who prepare food or serve food. Foodservice workers may prepare all of the dishes served to a customer, or they may make one dish or prepare food used as ingredients in a dish made by other food service staff.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that food preparation workers earned a median annual income of $26,070 in 2020, while wait staff took him median annual incomes of $23,740 the same year. Although some food service jobs don’t offer substantial salaries, there are food service professions with room for advancement, offering robust salaries to qualified staff. Read on to learn about great career options for food service workers.
While food preparation workers don’t need formal education and learn from on-the-job training, chefs may advance through the ranks, acquire skills in the workplace, or complete training at a culinary arts school. The BLS reported that chefs took home median incomes of $53,380 per year in 2020, more than double the median salary food preparation workers earned. The BLS also noted that the job growth rate for chefs is expected to be six percent from 2019 to 2029, which is higher than the anticipated four percent average job growth rate for all occupations during the same period. Chefs oversee food preparation. They direct food preparation staff and create recipes. Chefs also supervise kitchen staff to ensure food is prepared correctly. Chefs may work for exclusive restaurants that offer specialized cuisine or unique dishes. They may also work for casinos or other entertainment facilities, or for hotel restaurants.
Cooks may attend a vocational program or learn through on-the-job training. Cooks prepare foods. They follow recipes and ensure food is cooked correctly. The BLS reported that cooks took home median incomes of $27,250 per year in 2020. According to the BLS, cooks can expect to see jobs increase by ten percent between 2019 and 2029, ensuring plenty of opportunities for individuals who enjoy creating food.
Cooks who make pizza may spend much of their time working at pizza prep tables. They prepare and assemble pizzas. Their tasks may include stocking the prep table with ingredients, cutting toppings, and placing pizzas on food pans. Cooks may also prepare other dishes, such as salads. Their duties include storing supplies in the refrigerator, obtaining items from the fridge or freezer drawers and shelves, and ensuring dishes are cooked correctly.
Although some bakers attend culinary school, it’s possible to become a baker with on-the-job training and experience. Bakers assemble ingredients to make baked goods, such as bread, pastries, and desserts. Like cooks, bakers may store and remove items from their refrigerator or freezer. They may work at stainless steel prep tables where they chop vegetables or fruits on cutting boards, measure ingredients, and roll dough. Bakers may work in bakeries, restaurants, or grocery stores. The median annual income for bakers in 2020 was $29,400 per the BLS. The BLS also indicated bakers should see job growth of five percent from 2019 to 2029. While many chefs and cooks work evening and weekend hours, bakers often work early hours to prepare baked goods before restaurants and grocery stores open, making this an ideal food preparation career for early risers.
Grocery Delivery Staff
Thanks to Instacart jobs, it’s possible to pursue a career in food preparation as a grocery shopper and delivery person. People who perform these tasks gather items to complete grocery orders for customers. They locate and bag each item, bill the client, and deliver the groceries to their home. Grocery delivery offers customers a convenient way to obtain the items they need when they aren’t able to shop themselves. People who are busy with their careers and family obligations may take advantage of grocery delivery services, such as Instacart. Grocery delivery also became popular during the coronavirus pandemic because it enabled high-risk consumers to access groceries without entering stores. Grocery delivery staff learn through on-the-job training. Pay rates for grocery shoppers and delivery staff vary based on the tasks they perform and their employer.
Butchers cut meat. Their job involves trimming and preparing meat that’s sold in grocery stores. Butchers can acquire the skills they need through on-the-job training. Most butchers work in grocery stores, while some work in slaughtering and processing facilities. The BLS reported that butchers earned median annual incomes of $32,900 in 2020.
There are multiple opportunities for food preparation workers. Some of the best options include training to become a chef, cook, baker, grocery delivery staff, or butcher. Many food preparation workers learn through on-the-job training, although it’s possible to increase your career opportunities by completing culinary school or a vocational program.