What do they do?

Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

Also known as:

Cafeteria Aide, Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk), Diet Aide, Dietary Aide, Dietary Assistant, Expo (Expeditor), Food Prep (Food Preparer), Food Preparation Worker, Food Service Aide, Food Service Worker, Kitchen Assistant, Kitchen Helper, Kitchen Worker, Nutrition Aide, Pantry Cook, Salad Maker, Sandwich Artist, Sandwich Maker, Slicer

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Food Preparation Workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 12.4%


    Ranks #29 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #18 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  (1%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (7%)
  • Associate's degree  (6%)
  • Some college, no degree  (20%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (42%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (24%)

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.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
  • Clean tableware.
  • Operate cash registers.
  • Process customer bills or payments.
  • Store supplies or goods in kitchens or storage areas.
  • Arrange food for serving.
  • Package food or supplies.
  • Assess equipment functioning.
  • Cook foods.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
  • Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
  • Clean food service areas.
  • Distribute resources to patrons or employees.
  • Cut cooked or raw foods.
  • Remove trash.
  • Measure ingredients.
  • Report information to managers or other personnel.
  • Assist chefs or caterers with food or drink preparation.
  • Present food or beverage information or menus to customers.
  • Prepare hot or cold beverages.
  • Mix ingredients.

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

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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