School Food Service Job Descriptions
School food service jobs encompass many different descriptions, from management to preparation. Every school district is diverse in the way the district approaches its food production and service. Some school food is made in house at the school and varies by school, made up from menus created by a school district dietitian with donated or purchased foods. Other school districts hire outside management companies to oversee food service and production in the schools. (Salary ranges for the positions listed above were gathered from the Clark County School District, one of the largest school districts in the nation.)
Food Service Supervisor
The food service supervisor is responsible for supervising food being prepared to specifications at both the schools and central kitchen. The supervisor is generally in charge of working with various vendors and testing the foods prepared in the kitchen. Supervisors sometimes are in charge of training other food service employees, working with the USDA to obtain commodity foods or ensure nutritional standards are met and procuring supplies and food products. The salary range for this position is $29,000 to $57,000.
Food Service Worker
Food service workers are on-site employees responsible for the preparation, service and sale of food products. This position is generally responsible for making sure foods are sufficient and available for service in a timely manner. Some food service workers may be accountable for inventory and recording sales; rectifying complaints from students and parents, ensuring proper sanitation and disposal, and ordering food products. Annual salary for this position ranges from $23,000 to $31,000.
Food Service Warehouse Positions
Employees in these positions work at a central location where the food is stored for distribution to the schools, as needed. People working in the warehouse may operate machinery, conduct inventory, pack/unpack products being received or distributed, and conduct inspections and quality control. Warehouse workers must ensure food is being kept, organized, and distributed properly for quick and sanitary operations. A warehouser can earn from $28,000 to $42,000 a year. Annual salary for a warehouse supervisor is between $59,000 and $78,000.
Food Service Equipment Positions
Food needs to be frozen, refrigerated, prepared, kept at appropriate temperature and served. In order to do this, several positions may be responsible solely for equipment maintenance and repair. Engineers and technicians are needed to check, maintain, troubleshoot, repair, install, replace and operate equipment in a safe and effective manner. Equipment systems usually associated with food service include refrigerators, freezers, compressed air systems, heat lamps, thermostats, fryers, grills, tray dispensers and hoppers, ovens, kettles, conveyors, cookers, food pumps, heat sealers and steam tables. $44,000 to $58,000 is the salary range for a food service technician.
School food service is a very broad industry with many positions. Some other positions may be a combination of several positions listed above or completely different like a food transporter or accountant. Depending on the school district, food service operations may vary widely. For more information, contact the local school district's human resources to determine what positions may be available or if food services are contracted out to private management companies. Many school districts have a list of position descriptions available on their websites.
National Food Service Management Institute
Whitsons School Nutrition