What Are Some Jobs in the Food and Beverage Industry?

Professionals in the food and beverage industry are passionate about customer service and the dining experience. Continue reading to learn about some available jobs in this field. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Food and Beverage Industry

The food and beverage industry contains a wide variety of jobs, including those that need little-to-no training, such as cashiers and servers, and those that need extensive training or a degree, such as head chefs or restaurant managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for these careers will see either little to no change or will grow about as fast as average over the 2014-2024 decade.

Important Facts About Jobs in the Food and Beverage Industry

Chefs Food and Beverage Servers Food Scientists
Required Education High school diploma, or equivalent; however, postsecondary diploma is preferred No formal education is required Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Creativity; manual dexterity; time management; clear communication Clear speaking; close listening; physical endurance; customer focused Critical thinking; strong mathematical foundation; observation; meticulous inspection
Work Environment Restaurants and other eating places; special food services; traveler accommodations Restaurants and other eating places; drinking places; traveler accommodations Food manufacturing; research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences;
Similar Occupations Bakers; food preparation workers; food service managers Bartenders; retail sales workers; cashiers Agricultural and food science technicians; farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers; microbiologists


As a chef, you can work for restaurants or other food service companies and prepare meals, oversee kitchen staff and manage quality standards. Your job duties might include creating original recipes or making sure your staff follows a standard menu determined by your place of employment. To become a chef, you can acquire on-the-job training by working in food preparation or as a fry cook. You can also find hospitality training programs at culinary institutes or colleges.

Job Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a faster than average employment growth of nine percent was projected from 2014-2024, job opportunities are favorable for chefs (www.bls.gov). The job outlook is good due to the need to replace the many workers who leave this field. In May 2014, chefs earned a median hourly wage of $20.01, according to the BLS. Chefs in the top ten percent made upwards of $73,720 a year.

Food and Beverage Servers

Servers, also known as waiters and waitresses, are the main point of contact for restaurant customers. As a server, you will take care of the customer, receive and fill in food and beverage orders, prepare the check and process the client's payment. A server makes conversation with the customer and helps to resolve any customer service issues that arise. Your training for this position generally takes place after you are hired, but some companies may require previous experience.

Job Outlook and Salary

Slower than average growth was expected for employment of waiters and waitresses, with an increase of 3% projected from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Job opportunities were expected to be excellent due to the turnover for many positions. Competition can be expected for positions at upscale restaurants. The top ten percent of food servers made $15.35 or more an hour in May 2014, the BLS reported. The median annual income was $18,730.

Food Scientist

As a food scientist, you can perform research, create new food or beverage items, improve food processing methods or inspect food processing companies. You might also analyze products to discover the amount of sugar, proteins, vitamins and fat in them. You can focus on a specific area, like preserving, packaging or storing.

Job Outlook and Salary

The BLS reported that employment opportunities for food scientists and technologists were expected to grow 3% for the period from 2014-2024, which is slower than average compared to other occupations. The median annual salary for food scientists and technologists was $61,480 in May 2014, according to the BLS.

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