5 Of The Best Careers In Food

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“You are Top Chef!” While it would be a dream come true to hear Padma Lakshmi tell you that winning a contest is not the only way to have a great career in foodservice. With over 1 million restaurants in the United States and almost 10 million employees, there is a job for everyone who wants one.

If you like food and people, restaurants or other food service jobs may be the place for you. There are more than just chefs and wait staff in foodservice–and there’s probably something for you.

Getting a high paying career in food is competitive. Think about it like this: you’re selling the company on a major investment in you, so you need to do everything you can to get an edge. Investing a little money to have a professional resume writing service polish up your resume can be the edge you need. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services to get started today.

If you are ready to get a career in food, start your search on ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers and you can upload your resume to their resume database so that employers and recruiters can find you!

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5 Of Best Careers In Food

1. Chef or Head Cook

Median National Salary: $50,160 per year

Education Required: Culinary school or on-the-job training.

Number of Jobs: 110,700

Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 25% (Much faster than average)

Job Duties: Chefs design menus, create new recipes, and manage the kitchen. There are several different levels of chefs in some fine dining establishments. Some chefs have formal training, while others start as line cooks, work their way up through the ranks, and become chefs.

2. Food Service Managers

Median National Salary: $59,440 per year

Education Required: High school diploma or equivalent

Number of Jobs: 309,800

Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 15% (Faster than average)

Job Duties: Foodservice managers handle the business and management side of restaurants, cafeterias, and catering services. A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, finance, or business may help establish you in this career.

3. Baker

Median National Salary: $29,750 per year

Education Required: No formal education, but apprenticeships can be helpful.

Number of Jobs: 193,400

Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 10% (As fast as average)

Job Duties: Bakers make bread, rolls, pastries, and other baked goods. Some specialized bakers also have dedicated pastry chefs focusing on desserts.

4. Agricultural and Food Scientists

Median National Salary: $74,160 per year

Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree

Number of Jobs: 37,400

Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 9% (As fast as average)

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Job Duties: These scientists work on making food better, fit specific nutritional needs, or create new products altogether. Agricultural scientists focus on the farm part of the food chain.

5. Wait Staff

Median National Salary: $26,000 per year

Education Required: No formal education is required

Number of Jobs: 2,023,200

Job Growth 2020 – 2030: 20% (Much faster than average)

Job Duties: Waitresses and Waiters take customer orders, communicate with the kitchen staff, bring food to patrons, and generally act as a liaison between customers and the kitchen.

Types Of Food Careers

You’re undoubtedly familiar with many food service jobs and may think that cooking is not for you, but there’s a lot more to food than cooking. Here are some of the types of food careers.

Customer-Facing Roles

From the wait staff to hostesses to front-of-the-house people, these people may not make any food, but they play an essential role in foodservice. Restaurants don’t function without customer service people.

Chefs, Line Cooks, Etc.

Also known as “back of the house” people, they make the food. Depending on the job, it may involve creating recipes or cooking things according to a strict recipe.

Butchers, Bakers, and Pastry Chefs

Where does that cut of meat come from? What about the bread? And what would you like for dessert? All these things come from this type of food service worker. They differ from cooks and chefs because they rarely create something at the moment. A pastry chef may work all morning on desserts that the restaurant will serve after they are in bed. A butcher may never come into contact with the ultimate diner.

Nutritionists and Dietitians

It’s not just about taste–it’s about calories and nutrition in some situations. And it’s about allergies in all cases.

Food Scientists

Do you love gluten-free bread? Food scientists help create new dishes to meet nutrition guidelines or fulfill allergy requirements. Do you wonder why the bread you bake at home goes stale rapidly while the loaf you buy at the store lasts for a week? Thank a food scientist.


Running a restaurant, cafeteria, or catering company requires more than just the ability to make delicious food. You’ve got to have someone to handle the business end of things.

Where To Find Careers In Food

Food jobs are everywhere! There are some great places to find jobs at all sorts of food establishments.


ZipRecruiter brings together job postings from all over and will give you a complete look at jobs in your area. You can also upload your resume to ZipRecruiter’s resume database so that your resume is searchable by recruiters and employers who use ZipRecruiter.

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Restaurant Websites

Chain websites, especially, have online applications you can fill out. Even small, independent restaurants may have their jobs posted on their website. This is a great option if you have a specific restaurant in mind that you would like to work for.


The “H” in HCareers stands for hospitality. It is a job board focused on hospitality jobs, including food service jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the highest-paying food jobs?

Like any career, managers make more than individual contributors. You’ll find executive chefs, food service managers, and regional directors make more money than other positions.

What job should I do if I love food?

If you love working with food, a job as a chef may be in the cards!

How do you become a professional foodie?

This is something that isn’t easy to do. You’ll have to build a brand and gain a following. If you want people to respect your opinion about food, you’ll need to learn a lot about food and provide real value to your followers.

Do food bloggers make money?

Yes, and no. Some of the top bloggers make a substantial amount of money. But, many never see more than a few dollars in advertising or sponsorship.

The Bottom Line

If you like food and people, perhaps a job in food service may be the place for you. There will always be restaurants in need of people. Take a look at ZipRecruiter and start applying.