What do they do?

Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

Also known as:

Banquet Server, Buffet Server, Cocktail Server, Cocktail Waitress, Food Runner, Food Server, Restaurant Server, Server, Waiter, Waitress, Waitstaff

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Waiters and Waitresses is projected to grow 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 21%


    Ranks #36 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #17 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  (14%)
  • Associate's degree  (9%)
  • Some college, no degree  (28%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (34%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (13%)

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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.
  • 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.

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.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Take customer orders.
  • Communicate with customers to resolve complaints or ensure satisfaction.
  • Enforce rules or regulations.
  • Process customer bills or payments.
  • Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel.
  • Present food or beverage information or menus to customers.
  • Collect dirty dishes or other tableware.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Cook foods.
  • Clean food service areas.
  • Arrange tables or dining areas.
  • Schedule dining reservations.
  • Assist customers with seating arrangements.
  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
  • Prepare hot or cold beverages.
  • Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
  • Add garnishes to food.
  • Provide customers with general information or assistance.

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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