Food preparation workers

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Total Workforce
1.05M
Average Age
31.9
Average Salary
$15,138
Average Male Salary
$16,093
Average Female Salary
$14,483

About

Food preparation workers are most often employed by the Restaurants & Food Services industry. The average yearly wage for Food preparation workers was $15,138 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Food preparation workers by wage are Cashiers, Other entertainment attendants and related workers, and Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Food preparation workers are Missoula City PUMA, MT, Kalamazoo & Portage Cities Area PUMA, MI, and Iowa City PUMA, IA. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Food preparation workers are Kalamazoo & Portage Cities Area PUMA, MI, Boise (North & West) & Garden City Cities PUMA, ID, and Billings City PUMA, MT.

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 General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals. Food preparation workers are paid most in Pittsburg & Concord (North & East) Cities PUMA, CA but are relatively concentrated in Kalamazoo & Portage Cities Area PUMA, MI.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$15,138
AVERAGE SALARY
± $432

In 2018, Food preparation workers earned an average of $15,138, $38,750 less than than the average national salary of $53,888.

Cashiers 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

0.399
WAGE GINI

In 2018, Food preparation workers had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.399, which is lower than than the national average of 0.479. 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

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

Most Common

The most common industries employing Food preparation workers, by number of employees, are Restaurants & Food Services, Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores, and Elementary & secondary schools.

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Industries by Share

1.05M
2018 Workforce
± 25,080
-2.4%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 3.44%

The number of people employed as Food preparation workers has been declining at a rate of -2.4%, from 1,076,817 people in 2017 to 1,050,925 people in 2018.

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  71.8%, followed by Supermarkets and Other Grocery (except Convenience) Stores with 8.38% and Elementary & secondary schools with 3.84%.

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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 29.6 and of female Food preparation workers is 33.5, and the most common race/ethnicity for Food preparation workers is White (Non-Hispanic).

Gender Composition

428k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 16,034
623k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 19,341

59.3% of Food preparation workers are Female, making them the more common gender in the occupation. This chart shows the gender 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)

51.7% of Food preparation workers are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 14.6% 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 Gender

29.6
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 0.508
33.5
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.484

The median age of Food preparation workers is 31.9, and Male employees are generally 3.92 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 degree-majorss. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree-majors 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 Quality Control Analysis.

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