Food preparation workers

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
989k
Average Age
32.7
Estimated Job Growth
−1.07%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$15,576
Average Male Salary
$16,391
Average Female Salary
$15,014

About

Food preparation workers are most often employed by the Restaurants & Food Services industry. The average yearly wage for Food preparation workers was $15,576 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Food preparation workers by wage are Residential advisors, Cashiers, and Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Food preparation workers are Maui, Kalawao & Kauai Counties PUMA, HI, Washington Heights, Inwood & Marble Hill PUMA, NY, and Spring Valley & Summerlin South PUMA, NV. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Food preparation workers are Las Vegas City (Southeast) PUMA, NV, New Orleans City (Central) PUMA, LA, and Chinatown & Lower East Side PUMA, NY.

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Food preparation workers and on wages and locations for those in the field. Restaurants & Food Services is the industry that employs the most Food preparation workers, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Food preparation workers, by average wage, is Air transportation. Food preparation workers are paid most in Greater Yakima City PUMA, WA but are relatively concentrated in Las Vegas City (Southeast) PUMA, NV.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$15,576
AVERAGE SALARY
± $435

In 2020, Food preparation workers earned an average of $15,576, $40,378 less than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Residential advisors make somewhat more than Food preparation workers while Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Food preparation workers as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.389
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Food preparation workers had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.389, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Food preparation workers (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Food preparation workers.

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Spatial Concentration

PUMAs with a Relatively High Concentration of Food preparation workers

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Food preparation workers.

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Industries

Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Food preparation workers, by average wage, are Air transportation, Beer, wine, & liquor stores , and Sporting goods, and hobby & toy stores .

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Industries by Share

989k
2020 Workforce
± 24,333
−3.66%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 3.58%

The number of people employed as Food preparation workers has been declining at a rate of −3.66%, from 1,026,462 people in 2019 to 988,908 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Food preparation workers employed by various industries. Restaurants & Food Services employs the largest share of Food preparation workers at  68.6%, followed by Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores with 9.74% and Elementary & secondary schools with 4.5%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Food preparation workers in the US. The average age of male Food preparation workers in the workforce is 29.7 and of female Food preparation workers is 34.7, and the most common race/ethnicity for Food preparation workers is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

404k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 15,581
585k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 18,742

59.2% of Food preparation workers are Female, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex breakdown of Food preparation workers.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Food preparation workers
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. White (Hispanic)
  3. Black (Non-Hispanic)

50.6% of Food preparation workers are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 13.9% of Food preparation workers, White (Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Food preparation workers.

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Age by Sex

29.7
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 0.527
34.7
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.516

The median age of Food preparation workers is 32.7, and Male employees are generally 5.03 years younger than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Food preparation workers from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Food preparation workers is Business but a relatively high number of Food preparation workers hold a major in Personal & Culinary Services.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Food preparation workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food preparation workers need many skills, but most especially Active Listening, Time Management, and Speaking. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Food preparation workers need more than the average amount of Service Orientation, Time Management, and Social Perceptiveness.

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Bar Chart

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Projections

Projections on job growth for Food Preparation Workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10-year national workforce is projected to grow 3.71%, but Food Preparation Workers are expected to see a growth of −1.07% over the same period. This occupation is expected to grow less than the national average.

Job Growth

−1.07%
Estimated Job Growth
10-year Projection
3.71%
National Growth
10-year Projection

This line chart shows the projected 10-year growth in the number of jobs for Food Preparation Workers. This profession is expected to grow less than than 3.71%, the average rate of national job growth.

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