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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: Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk), Diet Aide, Dietary Aide, Dietary Assistant, Food Preparer, Food Service Aide, Food Service Worker, Nutrition Aide, Pantry Cook, Slicer

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  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.
  • Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.
  • Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
  • Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, or desserts, according to customers' orders or supervisors' instructions, following approved procedures.
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.
  • Package take-out foods or serve food to customers.
  • Stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals.
  • Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Carry food supplies, equipment, and utensils to and from storage and work areas.
  • Distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to customers.
  • Cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to prepare for cooking.
  • Remove trash and clean kitchen garbage containers.
  • Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.
  • Weigh or measure ingredients.
  • Inform supervisors when equipment is not working properly and when food and supplies are getting low, and order needed items.
  • Assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and provide cooks with needed items.
  • Add cutlery, napkins, food, and other items to trays on assembly lines in hospitals, cafeterias, airline kitchens, and similar establishments.
  • Use manual or electric appliances to clean, peel, slice, and trim foods.
  • Scrape leftovers from dishes into garbage containers.
  • Load dishes, glasses, and tableware into dishwashing machines.
  • Make special dressings and sauces as condiments for sandwiches.
  • Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
  • Operate cash register, handle money, and give correct change.
  • Keep records of the quantities of food used.
  • Vacuum dining area and sweep and mop kitchen floor.
  • Assemble meal trays with foods in accordance with patients' diets.
  • Distribute menus to hospital patients, collect diet sheets, and deliver food trays and snacks to nursing units or directly to patients.
  • Stir and strain soups and sauces.
  • Butcher and clean fowl, fish, poultry, and shellfish to prepare for cooking or serving.
  • Prepare and serve a variety of beverages such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

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Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software — CBORD NetRecipe; Culinary Software Services ChefTec; MicroBlast Recipe Wizard for Windows; ValuSoft MasterCook (see all 11 examples)
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Belt conveyors
  • Cappuccino or espresso machines — Cappuccino machines; Espresso machines
  • Carbonated beverage dispenser — Soda machines
  • Commercial use blenders — Blenders
  • Commercial use broilers — Charbroilers
  • Commercial use coffee grinders — Coffee grinders
  • Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers — Coffee brewing machines
  • Commercial use cotton candy machines or accessories — Cotton candy machines
  • Commercial use cutlery — Knives
  • Commercial use deep fryers — Electric fryers
  • Commercial use dishwashers — Commercial dishwashers; Dishwashing machines
  • Commercial use dough machines — Dough mixers
  • Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Choppers; Dicers
  • Commercial use food grinders — Electric meat grinders
  • Commercial use food processors — Food processors
  • Commercial use food slicers — Bread slicers; Electric meat and cheese slicers; Tomato slicers
  • Commercial use food warmers — Steam tables
  • Commercial use griddles — Griddles
  • Commercial use grills — Grills
  • Commercial use measuring cups — Measuring utensils
  • Commercial use microwave ovens — Commercial microwave ovens
  • Commercial use mixers — Commercial stand mixers; Mixing machines
  • Commercial use ovens — Brick ovens; Commercial cooking ovens
  • Commercial use pizza ovens — Pizza ovens
  • Commercial use popcorn machines — Popcorn machines
  • Commercial use ranges — Commercial ranges
  • Commercial use rotisseries — Electronic chicken rotisseries
  • Commercial use scales — Combination slicers/electronic portion scales; Food scales; Point of sale POS interface scales; Thermal label printing scales
  • Commercial use steamers — Pressureless steamers
  • Commercial use toasters — Toasters
  • Commercial use woks — Oriental ranges
  • Ice dispensers — Ice machines
  • Ice shaver machines or accessories — Snow cone machines
  • Milkshake machines — Milkshake and smoothie machines
  • Non carbonated beverage dispenser — Drink dispensers
  • Personal computers
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS systems
  • Roasting machinery — Roasting equipment
  • Slush machines — Frozen drink machines
  • Soft serve machines — Frozen custard machines; Soft-serve ice cream machines

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • 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 Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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

  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • 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.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Detailed Work 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.
  • Cook foods.
  • Assess equipment functioning.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
  • Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
  • Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
  • Clean food service areas.
  • Cut cooked or raw foods.
  • Remove trash.
  • Measure ingredients.
  • 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.

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing — 76% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 76% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 52% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 41% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Telephone — 40% responded “Every day.”

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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 counter and rental clerks, dishwashers, cashiers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range (Below 4.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
45   High school diploma or equivalent Help
38   Less than high school diploma
13   Post-master's certificate Help

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Credentials

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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

  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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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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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $10.31 hourly, $21,440 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 874,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 298,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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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