risk level
Based on 93 votes
by year 2032
or $14.20 per hour
as of 2023

Employment data isn't available specifically for this occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so we are using the data from Fast Food and Counter Workers.


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Automation risk

74% (High Risk)

High Risk (61-80%): Jobs in this category face a significant threat from automation, as many of their tasks can be easily automated using current or near-future technologies.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

64% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted that it's probable this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 74% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Baristas will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Fast Food and Counter Workers' job openings is expected to rise 7.6% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Very low paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Fast Food and Counter Workers' was $29,540, or $14 per hour

'Fast Food and Counter Workers' were paid 38.5% lower than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 3,676,580 people employed as 'Fast Food and Counter Workers' within the United States.

This represents around 2.4% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 41 people are employed as 'Fast Food and Counter Workers'.

Job description

Prepare or serve specialty coffee or other beverages. Serve food such as baked goods or sandwiches to patrons.

SOC Code: 35-3023.01


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kendall (Uncertain) says
Making coffee can be, and is already, made by machines. However, one thing that will be harder to automate is the human connection aspect. Sure there are people that just want a cup of coffee and to leave, however there are a lot of people that want the cafe experience.
Mar 27, 2024 at 10:54 PM
Eden (Highly likely) says
the robots are coming for you, baristas
Oct 03, 2022 at 08:15 PM
Ben (Uncertain) says
I think jobs with tasks that are completed using specific software are likely to be automated. For example, cashiers are likely to be replaced.

However, for fast food and restaurant workers, it depends on the future ability of robots to mimic and improve upon human dexterity. It also hinges on whether it is cheaper to use human labor or automation.

I think it’s possible those workers could be replaced, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. The cashier machine has already replaced humans at McDonald’s and Taco Bell, but the people making the food are still human.

I think it will continue that way for a bit longer.
Aug 31, 2022 at 09:13 AM
James (Highly likely) says
Current Starbucks barista here, every change by management leans away from social interaction with customers and more into robot-like efficiency and speed.
Sep 11, 2021 at 05:26 PM

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