Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2006

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 this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
State profile for this occupation
Metropolitan area profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
871,470 1.3 % $8.88 $18,480 0.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $6.34 $7.17 $8.37 $10.21 $12.47
Annual Wage (2) $13,190 $14,920 $17,410 $21,230 $25,940

Industry profile for this occupation: Top

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

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Full-Service Restaurants 210,960 $8.65 $17,990
Limited-Service Eating Places 187,550 $7.77 $16,160
Grocery Stores 117,930 $9.79 $20,350
Elementary and Secondary Schools 67,610 $9.78 $20,340
Nursing Care Facilities 48,090 $8.88 $18,470

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Facilities Support Services 230 $12.71 $26,440
Legal Services 70 $12.57 $26,150
Outpatient Care Centers 210 $10.85 $22,580
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 4,550 $10.77 $22,410
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 1,780 $10.59 $22,030

State profile for this occupation: Top

States with the highest published employment concentrations and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all States with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment
Mississippi 14,580 $7.00 $14,570 1.310%
Louisiana 22,160 $6.83 $14,200 1.247%
South Dakota 4,160 $7.76 $16,140 1.091%
New York 86,470 $9.71 $20,190 1.031%
Maine 5,410 $9.32 $19,380 0.906%

Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment
Alaska 2,050 $11.66 $24,250 0.675%
Connecticut 13,660 $10.45 $21,730 0.823%
Nevada 7,840 $10.34 $21,500 0.623%
Washington 12,570 $10.30 $21,430 0.459%
Massachusetts 25,040 $10.22 $21,250 0.790%

Metropolitan area profile for this occupation: Top

Metropolitan areas with the highest published employment concentrations and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all Metropolitan areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA 1,420 $6.49 $13,500 1.645%
Gulfport-Biloxi, MS 1,490 $6.96 $14,480 1.591%
Baton Rouge, LA 5,410 $6.70 $13,930 1.520%
Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner, MA 760 $10.29 $21,400 1.513%
Battle Creek, MI 860 $7.87 $16,370 1.489%

Top paying Metropolitan areas for this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Florence, SC 970 $14.15 $29,430 1.152%
Fairbanks, AK 160 $12.28 $25,550 0.432%
Framingham, MA NECTA Division 930 $11.86 $24,670 0.602%
Waterbury, CT 560 $10.96 $22,790 0.809%
Danbury, CT 600 $10.94 $22,750 0.865%

About May 2006 National, State, Metropolitan, and nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia. The top five employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable Excel files (XLS).

Percentile wage estimates show the percentage of workers in an occupation that earn less than a given wage and the percentage that earn more. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

Other OES estimates and related information:

May 2006 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2006 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2006 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2006 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2006 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped Excel files

Technical notes

Last Modified Date: December 6, 2007

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