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Summary Report for:
35-2021.00 - 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Dietary Aide, Prep Cook (Preparation Cook), Food Service Worker, Diet Aide, Food Service Aide, Dietary Assistant, Nutrition Aide, Food Preparer, Pantry Cook, Slicer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
  • Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, desserts, according to customers' orders or supervisors' instructions, following approved procedures.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.
  • Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.
  • Weigh or measure ingredients.
  • Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
  • Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Cappuccino or espresso machines — Cappuccino machines; Espresso machines
Commercial use blenders — Blenders
Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Choppers; Dicers
Commercial use food slicers — Bread slicers; Electric meat and cheese slicers; Tomato slicers
Commercial use food warmers — Steam tables
Commercial use ovens — Brick ovens; Ovens
Commercial use popcorn machines — Popcorn machines
Commercial use scales — Combination slicers/electronic portion scales; Food scales; Point of sale POS interface scales; Thermal label printing scales
Soft serve machines — Frozen custard machines; Soft-serve ice cream machines

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — CBORD NetRecipe; Culinary Software Services ChefTec; MicroBlast Recipe Wizard for Windows; ValuSoft MasterCook

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Knowledge

Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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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.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Abilities

Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
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.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

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Work Activities

Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Work Context

Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Spend Time Walking and Running — How much does this job require walking and running?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter and rental clerks, construction laborers, continuous mining machine operators, and waiters/waitresses.
SVP Range (Below 4.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
54   Less than high school diploma
30   High school diploma or equivalent Help
  Doctoral degree

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Interests

Interest code: RC

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

35-2011.00 Cooks, Fast Food Bright Outlook
35-2014.00 Cooks, Restaurant Bright Outlook
35-2015.00 Cooks, Short Order
35-3021.00 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food Bright Outlook
35-3031.00 Waiters and Waitresses Bright Outlook
35-3041.00 Food Servers, Nonrestaurant   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
35-9011.00 Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers Bright Outlook
37-2011.00 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners Bright Outlook
37-2012.00 Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners Bright Outlook
51-3022.00 Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $9.28 hourly, $19,300 annual
Employment (2012) 808,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 260,500
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Food Preparation Workers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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