- The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on wages and employment in the restaurant industry.
- Many restaurant jobs tend to be low-paying, although top management positions pay above the national median wage.
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The restaurant industry is one of the biggest employers in the US, but many of the biggest jobs in the industry are fairly low-wage.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program offers data on employment and wages across different occupations and industries.
According to that report, there were about 10.7 million Americans employed in the restaurant industry in May 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.
Restaurant jobs tend to be lower-paying than average. The median annual wage for an employee in the restaurant industry was just $22,590, well below the overall median wage of $38,640.
Here are all the occupations for which at least 2% of restaurant-industry establishments reported having employees, ranked from lowest- to highest-wage, along with their median annual pay and the number of people in that occupation:
22. Delivery drivers earn a median of $20,530 a year, and there are 203,160 employed in the restaurant industry.
Flickr / Bruno Cordioli
21. Combined food preparation and serving workers earn a median of $20,720 a year, and there are 2,991,520 employed in the restaurant industry.
20. Cashiers earn a median of $21,320 a year, and there are 337,030 employed in the restaurant industry.
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