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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020

35-2021 Food Preparation Workers

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


National estimates for Food Preparation Workers
Industry profile for Food Preparation Workers
Geographic profile for Food Preparation Workers

National estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
793,590 1.5 % $ 12.90 $ 26,820 0.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for Food Preparation Workers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 8.88 $ 10.29 $ 12.53 $ 14.83 $ 17.79
Annual Wage (2) $ 18,460 $ 21,400 $ 26,070 $ 30,850 $ 37,000


Industry profile for Food Preparation Workers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Food Preparation Workers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Food Preparation Workers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 388,630 4.31 $ 12.20 $ 25,380
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 191,010 6.57 $ 13.38 $ 27,830
Special Food Services 40,280 7.22 $ 13.67 $ 28,430
Elementary and Secondary Schools 22,560 0.27 $ 14.94 $ 31,070
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) 17,610 1.15 $ 12.24 $ 25,450

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Special Food Services 40,280 7.22 $ 13.67 $ 28,430
Food and Beverage Stores (4451 and 4452 only) 191,010 6.57 $ 13.38 $ 27,830
Restaurants and Other Eating Places 388,630 4.31 $ 12.20 $ 25,380
Vending Machine Operators 1,330 3.94 $ 12.76 $ 26,540
Other Food Manufacturing 6,370 2.80 $ 14.57 $ 30,310

Top paying industries for Food Preparation Workers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 40 (7) $ 18.26 $ 37,990
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land (8) (8) $ 17.53 $ 36,460
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,870 0.09 $ 16.64 $ 34,600
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services 60 0.03 $ 16.59 $ 34,520
Spectator Sports (8) (8) $ 15.71 $ 32,670


Geographic profile for Food Preparation Workers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Food Preparation Workers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Food Preparation Workers, see the Create Customized Tables function.





States with the highest employment level in Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 90,230 5.49 0.96 $ 15.23 $ 31,680
Florida 61,930 7.34 1.29 $ 12.73 $ 26,470
Texas 61,340 5.07 0.89 $ 11.89 $ 24,740
New York 46,530 5.35 0.94 $ 15.64 $ 32,530
Tennessee 39,530 13.61 2.39 $ 10.37 $ 21,560




States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Louisiana 31,430 17.45 3.06 $ 9.30 $ 19,340
Hawaii 7,920 13.79 2.42 $ 15.40 $ 32,020
Tennessee 39,530 13.61 2.39 $ 10.37 $ 21,560
Alaska 3,600 12.15 2.13 $ 15.38 $ 31,980
Maine 6,540 11.37 1.99 $ 14.14 $ 29,410




Top paying states for Food Preparation Workers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 2,800 4.07 0.71 $ 17.29 $ 35,950
Washington 13,970 4.37 0.77 $ 16.48 $ 34,280
Massachusetts 15,040 4.49 0.79 $ 15.83 $ 32,930
New York 46,530 5.35 0.94 $ 15.64 $ 32,530
Hawaii 7,920 13.79 2.42 $ 15.40 $ 32,020





Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Food Preparation Workers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 61,770 6.99 1.23 $ 14.99 $ 31,180
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 34,580 5.94 1.04 $ 14.53 $ 30,210
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 22,860 5.24 0.92 $ 13.63 $ 28,360
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 19,730 7.49 1.31 $ 11.67 $ 24,270
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 19,350 7.71 1.35 $ 13.13 $ 27,300
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 18,750 6.32 1.11 $ 11.51 $ 23,950
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 13,140 4.35 0.76 $ 13.99 $ 29,100
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN 12,710 13.16 2.31 $ 11.12 $ 23,120
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 12,010 5.15 0.90 $ 16.74 $ 34,820
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 11,480 4.26 0.75 $ 12.49 $ 25,980




Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Food Preparation Workers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Lafayette, LA 4,540 24.02 4.21 $ 9.15 $ 19,030
Lake Charles, LA 2,170 21.30 3.73 $ 9.65 $ 20,080
Monroe, LA 1,540 21.27 3.73 $ 9.14 $ 19,010
Hammond, LA 870 20.74 3.63 $ 8.79 $ 18,290
Morristown, TN 840 19.30 3.38 $ 8.92 $ 18,550
Flagstaff, AZ 1,060 18.67 3.27 $ 13.98 $ 29,090
Alexandria, LA 1,050 18.41 3.23 $ 9.19 $ 19,120
Enid, OK 400 17.57 3.08 $ 9.94 $ 20,670
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 2,860 17.43 3.05 $ 9.40 $ 19,550
Houma-Thibodaux, LA 1,390 17.07 2.99 $ 9.30 $ 19,340