Food Preparation Worker Career

food-prep-worker-500Food preparation workers typically work with head chefs, cooks or other kitchen management personnel. Generally, food preparation workers will “prep” ingredients that go into recipes or brew beverages necessary for the cooks to create meals. Most often food preparation workers are hired to work in kitchens of places that serve a large base of customers.

Depending on which company you work for you may receive great pay, benefits and work hours that pave the way for a lot of opportunities for growth. As a food preparation worker, you have the potential to build on your career and seek other higher paying positions when you’ve gained experience in your field of work.

Food Preparation Worker Career Snapshot

Food preparation employees may be hired for work in restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, hospitals and schools among many other scenarios. Most often you would be working early morning, late afternoon with weekends and some holidays included.

Further details on a career as a food preparation worker are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual pay for food preparation workers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have less than a High school diploma while 30% have a High school diploma or equivalent.

Food Prep Worker Education

Most often food preparation workers receive the majority of their experience through on-the-job training within a few short weeks. Normally you will need no formal education or experience depending on your company.

Food Prep Worker Job Duties

As a food preparation worker, you could be responsible for preparing meats, vegetables or other small ingredients. Sometimes this involves washing, peeling and cutting food to be served or used in recipes and also labeling food correctly for storage to follow food safety guidelines. You may also be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing cooking equipment and dishes used by customers.

Food Prep Worker Salaries

An average salary per year is around $21,440 at $10.31 per hour according to May 2016 reports. Depending on whether you have more experience or added formal culinary education, your earnings could meet up to around $29,860 a year.

Food Prep Worker Job Outlook

The projected growth of the food preparation worker career is expected to grow 6 percent in the next 6 years as of 2017. This is due to the need to replace workers who leave their job every year.

Food Preparation Worker Skills & Traits

Food Prep Worker Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Food Prep Workers:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Monitoring
• Information Ordering
• Speech Recognition
• Arm-Hand Steadiness
• Deductive Reasoning
• Cappuccino or espresso machines
• Commercial use food choppers
• Commercial use food slicers
• Commercial use scales
• Performing General Physical Activities
• Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates

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