What do they do?

Perform duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serve customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.

Also known as:

Cafe Server, Cafeteria Server, Concession Cashier, Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk), Deli Worker (Delicatessen Worker), Fast Food Cashier, Food Server, Food Service Aide, Food Service Assistant, Food Service Worker, Prep Cook (Preparation Cook), Sandwich Artist, School Cafeteria Cook, Snack Bar Attendant

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Fast Food and Counter Workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 15.3%


    Ranks #40 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #16 in net job growth

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (2%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (13%)
  • Associate's degree  (8%)
  • Some college, no degree  (26%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (36%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (13%)

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Communicate with customers to resolve complaints or ensure satisfaction.
  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
  • Clean tableware.
  • Process customer bills or payments.
  • Take customer orders.
  • Balance receipts.
  • Operate cash registers.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Cook foods.
  • Clean food service areas.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Prepare hot or cold beverages.
  • Collect dirty dishes or other tableware.
  • Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
  • Arrange tables or dining areas.
  • Add garnishes to food.
  • Package food or supplies.
  • Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel.
  • Arrange food for serving.
  • Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
  • Deliver items.
  • Prepare foods or meals.
  • Manage preparation of special meals or diets.
  • Train food preparation or food service personnel.
  • Schedule dining reservations.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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