Food servers are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, food servers rate their career happiness 2.4 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 3% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy food servers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Restaurant cook
2.5
$22k
Underwriter
2.5
$68k
Teller
2.5
$29k
Host and hostess
2.5
$22k
Correctional officer
2.4
$42k
Food server
2.4
$27k
Postal service worker
2.4
$39k
Garbage collector
2.4
$38k
Vehicle cleaner
2.4
$26k
Food preparation worker
2.3
$23k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are food servers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do food servers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as food servers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are food server’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are food servers making the best use of their abilities?

Are food servers happy with their salary?