Becoming a Caterer via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Penn Foster Career School, one of the highest ranking online schools, is a US school (accredited) offering catering courses to train individuals to become top-notch caterers, professional caterers, food service managers, food service directors, food service supervisors, food and beverage managers, catering managers, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 11,218,260 people employed as food preparation and serving related employees alone in America, and their average annual salary is $20,880. Food service managers make on average $51,400 per year and there are about 190,250 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Penn Foster Career School that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Caterer
  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Resort
  • Wedding
  • Party
  • Lounge
  • Catering company
  • Cruise ship
  • Club
  • Cafe
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Caterer
  • Flexible work hours
  • Opportunity to own your own business
  • Meet new people
  • Market your services
  • Manage and supervise preparation of food
  • Plan menus
  • Work with variety of people
  • Exhibit artistic arrangement of food
  • Learn about specialty foods
  • Provide quality meals
Potential Drawbacks
  • Work weekends and holidays
  • Wear work uniform
  • Work odd hours
  • Travel for work
  • Manage wait staff
  • Constantly develop new menus
  • Deal with dietary restrictions or demands
  • Deal with unhappy customers
  • Buy new dishes and supplies on a regular basis
  • Compete with many caterers for a limited amount of jobs
Related Professions to Consider
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Executive Chef
  • General Manager
  • Expediter
  • Sous Chef
  • Bar Waiter
  • Bar Supervisor
  • Catering Associate
  • Senior Catering Manager
  • Event Planner
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Caterer
  • Do you have experience in a kitchen?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why should we recruit you?
  • How many other weddings will your company handle that same weekend?
  • How much time will you need for breaks and lunches?
  • How much time will you need for set-up and clean-up?
  • Do you have any culinary specialty?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Server
  • Cook
  • Busser
  • Sous Chef
  • Executive Chef
  • Bartender
  • Accountant
  • Manager
  • Server Assistant
  • Dishwasher
Caterer Training books Caterer (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Commercial Food Preparation
  • Food Science
  • Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Buffet Catering
  • Management of Food and Beverage Purchasing
  • Cost Control in Food Service
  • Food Safety and Sanitation
  • Baking and Pastry
  • Food Nutrition and Wellness
  • Menu Design and Marketing

Caterer Salary Information

Category: Food service managers

Total # Employed in the US 190,250
Average Hourly Wage: $24.71/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$14.33 $17.98 $22.7 $29.36 $37.94
Average Yearly Salary $51,400
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$29,810 $37,410 $47,210 $61,070 $78,910
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
10.1% 30.9% 26.3% 8.7% 20.3% 3.1% 0.7%
Food service managers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
District of Columbia $33.52/hr $69,720
North Dakota $31.82/hr $66,180
New York $30.44/hr $63,320
Missouri $29.47/hr $61,290
Virginia $28.34/hr $58,950
New Hampshire $27.56/hr $57,320
Oklahoma $27.19/hr $56,560
Connecticut $26.71/hr $55,560
Delaware $26.63/hr $55,390
Mississippi $26.45/hr $55,020
Hawaii $26.01/hr $54,110
Florida $25.98/hr $54,030
Wyoming $25.87/hr $53,810
Idaho $25.53/hr $53,100
Oregon $25.5/hr $53,050
Tennessee $24.92/hr $51,820
Utah $24.83/hr $51,650
North Carolina $24.66/hr $51,280
Montana $24.57/hr $51,110
Colorado $24.56/hr $51,090
Puerto Rico $24.38/hr $50,720
Alaska $24.35/hr $50,660
Nevada $24.25/hr $50,430
Indiana $24.22/hr $50,380
Washington $24.21/hr $50,350
Alabama $24.14/hr $50,220
Guam $24.03/hr $49,980
New Mexico $23.86/hr $49,640
Kansas $23.7/hr $49,300
Michigan $23.64/hr $49,180
Kentucky $23.39/hr $48,650
Ohio $23.21/hr $48,270
Arkansas $23.18/hr $48,220
South Carolina $22.48/hr $46,750
Massachusetts $22.33/hr $46,440
California $22.31/hr $46,400
West Virginia $22.17/hr $46,120
Maryland $21.98/hr $45,730
Nebraska $21.48/hr $44,680
Pennsylvania $21.29/hr $44,280
Louisiana $20.99/hr $43,670
Maine $20.88/hr $43,420
Wisconsin $20.01/hr $41,610
South Dakota $19.3/hr $40,150
New Jersey $19.13/hr $39,780
Iowa $18/hr $37,440


Category: Meeting and convention planners

Total # Employed in the US 51,530
Average Hourly Wage: $23.11/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$13.25 $16.72 $21.53 $27.95 $36.14
Average Yearly Salary $48,060
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$27,550 $34,770 $44,780 $58,140 $75,160
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
1.0% 10.4% 19.7% 10.2% 48.8% 8.8% 1.2%
Meeting and convention planners — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $26.52/hr $55,170
Delaware $26.45/hr $55,020
Oklahoma $26.33/hr $54,760
Missouri $25.71/hr $53,470
Mississippi $25.58/hr $53,200
North Dakota $25.48/hr $53,000
Kansas $24.88/hr $51,750
Colorado $24.72/hr $51,410
Indiana $24.51/hr $50,980
Wisconsin $23.33/hr $48,530
Connecticut $23.32/hr $48,500
New York $23.3/hr $48,470
Alaska $23.29/hr $48,440
Virginia $23.23/hr $48,320
District of Columbia $23.13/hr $48,120
Idaho $22.72/hr $47,260
Arkansas $22.31/hr $46,400
Wyoming $22.29/hr $46,370
Nebraska $21.72/hr $45,180
New Hampshire $21.68/hr $45,100
Utah $21.47/hr $44,660
Guam $21.12/hr $43,930
Louisiana $21/hr $43,670
North Carolina $20.75/hr $43,170
Hawaii $20.31/hr $42,250
Nevada $20.26/hr $42,140
Oregon $20.21/hr $42,030
Montana $20.17/hr $41,960
Tennessee $20.01/hr $41,630
Alabama $19.77/hr $41,130
Kentucky $19.7/hr $40,970
Michigan $19.62/hr $40,800
Maine $19.48/hr $40,510
Massachusetts $19.29/hr $40,130
South Carolina $19.21/hr $39,960
Washington $19.03/hr $39,580
Ohio $18.88/hr $39,260
Puerto Rico $18.71/hr $38,920
Maryland $18.62/hr $38,730
Iowa $18.4/hr $38,280
New Mexico $18.17/hr $37,790
New Jersey $17.22/hr $35,820
California $17.19/hr $35,760
South Dakota $16.4/hr $34,100
Pennsylvania $15.38/hr $31,980
West Virginia $13.79/hr $28,680


Category: Cooks, short order

Total # Employed in the US 166,140
Average Hourly Wage: $9.94/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$7.38 $8.04 $9.38 $11.34 $13.62
Average Yearly Salary $20,670
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$15,340 $16,730 $19,520 $23,580 $28,340
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
33.4% 43.0% 14.5% 4.2% 4.0% 0.5% 0.2%
Cooks, short order — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $13.2/hr $27,450
Indiana $12.28/hr $25,540
New York $12.2/hr $25,380
Alaska $12.15/hr $25,280
Delaware $12.13/hr $25,220
Oklahoma $11.85/hr $24,650
Puerto Rico $11.77/hr $24,490
Missouri $11.59/hr $24,100
Colorado $11.18/hr $23,260
North Dakota $11.02/hr $22,920
Michigan $10.64/hr $22,120
Mississippi $10.48/hr $21,790
Connecticut $10.29/hr $21,400
Tennessee $10.27/hr $21,370
Nebraska $10.25/hr $21,310
Arkansas $10.23/hr $21,270
Ohio $10.17/hr $21,140
Utah $10.08/hr $20,960
New Jersey $10.08/hr $20,970
Virginia $10.07/hr $20,940
District of Columbia $9.97/hr $20,730
Kansas $9.95/hr $20,690
Montana $9.77/hr $20,310
North Carolina $9.76/hr $20,290
Idaho $9.65/hr $20,070
New Mexico $9.62/hr $20,010
Pennsylvania $9.53/hr $19,830
Hawaii $9.4/hr $19,560
Oregon $9.34/hr $19,420
Louisiana $9.23/hr $19,190
South Carolina $9.15/hr $19,030
New Hampshire $9.08/hr $18,880
Iowa $9/hr $18,730
Guam $8.95/hr $18,610
Kentucky $8.95/hr $18,620
Wyoming $8.92/hr $18,560
California $8.87/hr $18,440
West Virginia $8.85/hr $18,410
Washington $8.76/hr $18,220
Maine $8.6/hr $17,880
South Dakota $8.58/hr $17,850
Massachusetts $8.45/hr $17,570
Alabama $8.32/hr $17,310
Nevada $8.14/hr $16,930
Wisconsin $8.07/hr $16,780
Maryland $7.89/hr $16,420


Category: Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

Total # Employed in the US 2,695,740
Average Hourly Wage: $8.71/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$7.13 $7.55 $8.28 $9.26 $11.02
Average Yearly Salary $18,120
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$14,820 $15,710 $17,220 $19,270 $22,920
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
24.4% 47.0% 18.5% 4.8% 4.7% 0.6% 0.2%
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $11.37/hr $23,650
Puerto Rico $9.88/hr $20,550
Delaware $9.87/hr $20,520
Indiana $9.72/hr $20,220
New York $9.64/hr $20,050
Missouri $9.64/hr $20,040
Colorado $9.63/hr $20,040
Tennessee $9.57/hr $19,900
North Dakota $9.38/hr $19,520
North Carolina $9.28/hr $19,300
Alaska $9.25/hr $19,240
Utah $9.24/hr $19,220
Virginia $9.09/hr $18,910
Connecticut $9.07/hr $18,870
Montana $8.97/hr $18,650
Arkansas $8.86/hr $18,420
Oklahoma $8.85/hr $18,410
New Jersey $8.85/hr $18,400
Kansas $8.84/hr $18,380
Mississippi $8.83/hr $18,370
Michigan $8.72/hr $18,130
Nebraska $8.67/hr $18,020
Hawaii $8.66/hr $18,010
Louisiana $8.61/hr $17,910
District of Columbia $8.54/hr $17,770
Iowa $8.47/hr $17,610
New Hampshire $8.38/hr $17,420
Guam $8.38/hr $17,430
Pennsylvania $8.32/hr $17,300
South Carolina $8.31/hr $17,290
Ohio $8.22/hr $17,100
Wyoming $8.19/hr $17,020
Maine $8.19/hr $17,040
Oregon $8.19/hr $17,040
New Mexico $8.17/hr $16,990
Washington $8.12/hr $16,880
Idaho $8.12/hr $16,890
Nevada $8.08/hr $16,800
Kentucky $8.07/hr $16,790
Wisconsin $8.04/hr $16,720
Massachusetts $7.99/hr $16,620
West Virginia $7.95/hr $16,530
South Dakota $7.9/hr $16,430
Maryland $7.87/hr $16,360
Alabama $7.76/hr $16,140
California $7.64/hr $15,890


Catering Programs by State & City