Food Preparation Workers

risk level
Based on 61 votes
by year 2032
or $15.59 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

77% (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:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Social Perceptiveness

User poll

70% 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 77% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

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


Slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Food Preparation Workers' job openings is expected to rise 2.2% 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 'Food Preparation Workers' was $32,420, or $15 per hour

'Food Preparation Workers' were paid 32.5% 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 879,610 people employed as 'Food Preparation Workers' within the United States.

This represents around 0.6% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 172 people are employed as 'Food Preparation Workers'.

Job description

Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

SOC Code: 35-2021.00


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Nick (Highly likely) says
When factories can do this more hygienic and in larger scale, more logistics will be in place less prepping for human beings.
Dec 11, 2023 at 09:36 AM
Tyler Fortnite Ninja Blevins (No chance) says
Saying a job is going to be taken by robots is such a weak mindset.
Nov 16, 2020 at 10:35 AM
Erin Clay says
I voted high because one can pretty much take a Raspberry Pi and a camera today and get a few robot arms and sensors (if they have the skills and know how, of course) and automate the process with some relays and programmable logic controllers (PLCs)...sooo by using a sensor network. But good food quality testing would have to be in place as well.
Mar 31, 2019 at 10:12 PM

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