Waiter and Waitress School and Training Program Information

Waiters and waitresses can find hospitality training at vocational schools and community colleges. However, training is more commonly provided by employers, including classroom and on-the-job training. View article »

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  • 0:04 Educational Requirements
  • 0:39 Higher Education Options
  • 1:18 Job Description

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Video Transcript

Educational Requirements

Educational options for waiters and waitresses include certificate programs and adult education courses. However, no formal education is required to complete the tasks that are necessary in this job.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there are no educational requirements for waiters and waitresses. Employers prefer to hire applicants with a high school diploma, while fast food restaurants may not have such requirements. Many fast food restaurant chains offer training to new employees through audio and visual presentations.

Higher Education Options

Waiters and waitresses can pursue a hospitality service certificate through community colleges and trade schools. Though such a certificate is rarely required, it may give job seekers an edge in the market. The programs are typically about 36 credit hours. The programs focus on topics like customer service, food training, sanitation, knowledge of spirits and beer and wine service.

Adult education classes can also provide training for waiters and waitresses in a variety of relevant areas, including food safety and customer service. They typically take place over several classes with a flexible attendance schedule.

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Job Description

Waiters and waitresses work in the food and beverage industry. They are trained to provide excellent customer service and handle food safely. Some of their main job duties include greeting customers and escorting them to the table, setting out menus and beverage lists, taking customer orders, preparing drink orders and food garnishes, carrying food to the table, preparing and delivering customers' checks, taking payments for food and drink orders, and cleaning and sanitizing tables and chairs after customers leave.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for waiters and waitresses are expected to increase by 3% from 2014-2024, which is slower than the national average. The mean annual wage for these workers was $24,410, as of May 2016.

Although no formal education is required for waiters and waitresses, there are a few relevant programs and courses that may help boost job prospects and prepare these workers for professional success.

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