A colorful bowl of various vegetables  and legumes Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Perhaps a job in food preparation is the right choice for you!

  • Do you love food?

  • Do you like to cook?

  • Do you love restaurants?

  • Are you looking for a job?


No formal education is needed to become a food preparation worker. On-the-job training and experience are the best ways to learn.

However, different certifications for food safety are available such as ServSafe and NEHA in the United States. Culinary degrees and certificates are also available at vocational schools, universities, and colleges.

Decide Your Path

What kind of food do you love?

Search for restaurants or other food service organizations that make food you're passionate about.

Do You Want To Work In A Casual Or Fancy Restaurant?

Both fine and casual dining are fast-paced environments that focus on customer service, but there's a key difference between them.

A group of people enjoying food together in a casual restaurant Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


  • Customer experience focuses on efficiency and speed

A fancy plate of food being served Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash


  • The dining experience focuses on creating a relaxing atmosphere

Do You Want To Work In A Coffee Shop Or Grocery Store?

A cappuccino in a cup and saucer, served on a wooden table Photo by Jason Wong on Unsplash

Coffee Shop

  • A fast-paced job that can be thankless at times but you can make it if you're high energy and efficient!

A woman pushing a shopping cart down the aisle of a grocery store Photo by Hobi industri on Unsplash

Grocery Store

  • Prepared food sections at a grocery store usually have a more consistent routine through the week

Do You Want To Work In A Bakery Or A Factory?

Photo by sera on Unsplash Photo by sera on Unsplash


  • Focus on quality and uniqueness, and you can experiment more

  • Lots of interaction with local customers

Hungry Cbs GIF by Paramount+ Factory

  • Focus on speed and consistency

  • Usually considered more demanding but may not require a variety of skills

Do You Want To Work In A Cafeteria Or A Food Truck?

Cafeteria workers doing a dance routine with trays

  • These might be the most different from the above options

  • Consider the working hours, location, customers, and types of food made

A BBQ food truck under the text

A Day In The Life Of Food Preparation Workers

Watch this video and learn more about what food preparation workers do every day.

How much do food preparation workers earn?

In the U.S., food preparation workers earn an average of $11.55 per hour or $20,180 per year .

You might like being a food preparation worker if...

  • you can work in a fast-paced, physically demanding environment

  • you don't mind working weekends or holidays

  • you love food and cooking it for people

  • you're a team player

  • you'd like to be a chef

You might NOT like being a food preparation worker if...

  • you have problems standing for long periods of time

  • you prefer a 9-5 job or one with a more stable schedule

  • you don't enjoy cooking or working with kitchen equipment

  • you don't thrive under pressure


Food preparation workers need to...

Take Action

A person in a chef's outfit cooking over a stove

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