WAITERS/WAITRESSES help customers from the time they are seated until the moment they have paid their check. They are responsible for greeting customers, taking food and drink orders, and serving food in a pleasant and courteous manner. Specific duties of waiters/waitresses vary considerably, depending on where they work. They may provide meal suggestions or give more detailed information about the menu item. When customers have finished their meal, waiters/waitresses prepare an itemized check, give the check to the customer, and may accept payment.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $24,000 average per year ($11.50 per hour)
- A very large occupation (2,244,500 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.6% per year)
There are no specific educational requirements for waiters/waitresses, although many employers prefer to hire WAITERS/WAITRESSES who are high school graduates. Wait staff learn their skills on the job from experienced workers. For many people, a job as a waiter/waitress is a source of immediate income, rather than a career. Waiter/waitress jobs are a major source of part-time employment for high school and college students. Waiters and waitresses need no licensing or certification.