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The Five Highest Paying Careers in Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations

By Edited Jun 29, 2016 2 2

Here is some helpful information on the top five paying careers in the field of Food Preparation and Serving Related occupations, according to the United States Department of Labor Statistics, May 2009 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States.  

These estimates were calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia.  The estimates do not include self-employed workers. Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hour’s 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. Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.

According to the United States Department of Labor Statistics, the following five jobs averaged the highest salaries in the field of Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations. These estimates were calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia. Each statistic includes an annual mean wage estimate.

Chefs and Head Cooks $44,240

Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. Employees may participate in cooking.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Full-Service Restaurants: $41,750
Traveler Accommodation: $50,880
Special Food Services: $45,340
Limited-Service Eating Places: $33,850
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries: $53,120

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Management of Companies and Enterprises: $67,070
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation): $63,310
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services: $62,740
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations: $57,050
Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers: $56,280

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation: 

Nevada: $45,630
Idaho: $25,060
Alaska: $46,490
New Hampshire: $39,370
Hawaii: $49,830

Top paying States for this occupation and the annual mean wage:

New Jersey: $59,120
Rhode Island: $56,120
Connecticut: $54,480
Delaware: $52,040
Virginia: $51,730

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

Las Vegas-Paradise, NV: $46,050
Brunswick, GA: $28,450
Barnstable Town, MA: $52,130
Anchorage, AK: $50,830
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ: $58,750

Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation: 

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division: $80,940
Ithaca, NY: $67,990
Naples-Marco Island, FL: $61,380
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division: $59,500
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: $59,310

 

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers $31,460

Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Limited-Service Eating Places: $28,160
Full-Service Restaurants: $34,220
Elementary and Secondary Schools: $30,380
Special Food Services: $34,530
Grocery Stores: $34,620

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation): $73,330
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation: $44,220
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations: $41,990
State Government (OES Designation): $40,880
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation: $40,590

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

Kentucky: $27,490
Hawaii: $35,310
Mississippi: $27,340
Nevada:  $35,740
Wyoming: $28,320

Top paying States for this occupation:

District of Columbia: $39,470
New Jersey: $38,550
Alaska: $38,450
Massachusetts: $37,590
Washington: $36,620

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

Lubbock, TX: $33,710
Lawrence, KS: $26,610
Hot Springs, AR: $29,150
Anniston-Oxford, AL: $27,230
Ocean City, NJ: $34,690

Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation: 

Taunton-Norton-Raynham, MA NECTA Division: $41,990
Norwich-New London, CT-RI: $40,790
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division: $40,050 
Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD Metropolitan Division: $39,730
Yakima, WA: $39,300

 

Cooks, Private Household $27,720

Prepare meals in private homes.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Religious Organizations: $25,820
Rooming and Boarding Houses: $21,750

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Religious Organizations: $25,820
Rooming and Boarding Houses: $21,750

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

Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division: $22,260

Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation: 

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division: $26,670 
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division: $22,260

 

Cooks, All Other $24,730

All cooks not listed separately.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Special Food Services: $25,790
Grocery Stores: $25,120
Traveler Accommodation: $25,710
Limited-Service Eating Places: $20,670
Child Day Care Services: $21,230

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Other Residential Care Facilities: $41,280
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $32,670
Vocational Rehabilitation Services: $32,050
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $31,890
Other Food Manufacturing: $31,050

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Louisiana: $19,420
Washington: $26,620
New Hampshire: $24,270
Alaska: $31,480
Illinois: $25,860

Top paying States for this occupation and the annual mean wage: 

 Alaska: $31,480
New York: $30,650
Oregon: $29,670
Nevada: $29,560
Virginia: $29,330

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA: $24,660
Lafayette, LA: $20,020
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA: $19,740
Champaign-Urbana, IL: $33,030
Missoula, MT: $18,930

Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division: $49,550
Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division: $43,000
Trenton-Ewing, NJ: $40,670 
Richmond, VA: $33,250
Champaign-Urbana, IL: $33,030

 

Institution and Cafeteria $23,870

Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Elementary and Secondary Schools: $22,290
Nursing Care Facilities: $23,490
Special Food Services: $24,990
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $26,620
Community Care Facilities for the Elderly: $23,870

Top paying industries for this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation): $39,760
Deep Sea, Coastal, and Great Lakes Water Transportation: $34,850
Grocery and Related Product Merchant Wholesalers: $33,220
Inland Water Transportation: $32,850
State Government (OES Designation): $31,960

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation and the annual mean wage: 

West Virginia: $19,710
Louisiana: $18,050
Kentucky: $21,950
Arkansas: $18,860
South Dakota: $22,350

Top paying States for this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Alaska: $35,030
Hawaii: $34,010
Rhode Island: $32,590
Connecticut: $31,970
Massachusetts: $31,130

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation and the annual mean wage:

Morristown, TN: $17,680
Hinesville-Fort Stewart, GA: $25,710
Cleveland, TN: $19,840
Jackson, TN: $18,840
Brunswick, GA: $17,810

Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation and the annual mean wage:

New Haven, CT: $36,640
Hanford-Corcoran, CA: $36,240
Danbury, CT: $35,630
Anchorage, AK: $35,400
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division: $34,530

 

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Copyright Information: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a Federal government agency and everything that we publish, both in hard copy and electronically, is in the public domain, except for previously copyrighted photographs and illustrations. You are free to use our public domain material without specific permission, although we do ask that you cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the source.”  

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Comments

May 16, 2011 6:57pm
Deborah-Diane
This is fascinating information. I always enjoy knowing what types of jobs are available, and how much they pay. I work with high school kids, and I'll pass some of this information on.
May 28, 2011 10:04pm
Introspective
Great! Thanks Deb!!
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