Waiters serve food and beverages in hotels, restaurants, clubs and dining establishments.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Around half of workers have Year 12 has their highest level of education. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • setting and arranging tables
  • greeting customers and presenting them with menus and beverage lists
  • taking orders and relaying them to kitchen and bar staff
  • serving food and beverages
  • opening bottles and pouring beverages
  • clearing tables and returning dishes and cutlery to kitchen
  • removing empty bottles and used glasses from tables, and refilling and replacing glasses
  • collecting payments for sales and operating point of sales machines and cash registers
  • may recommend wines to complement food

Job Titles

  • Waiter
  • Waiter (also called Food and Beverage Attendant)

    Specialisations: Drink Waiter, Formal Service Waiter, Silver Service Waiter, Sommelier, Wine Steward

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $804 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    120000
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    21.6%
  • Female Share

    78.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    17.9%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 120,000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Waiters work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $804 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 21 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 7 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200594800
200699100
2007100600
2008103700
2009115600
2010119000
2011112200
2012115300
2013112100
2014117600
2015120000
2020139000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsWaitersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings8041230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryWaitersAll Jobs Average
Full-time17.968.4
Part-time82.131.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.940

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Accommodation and Food Services92.5
Arts and Recreation Services3.2
Manufacturing0.9
Retail Trade0.7
Other Industries2.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateWaitersAll Jobs Average
NSW32.431.8
VIC28.825.5
QLD15.619.8
SA6.96.8
WA1111.2
TAS2.52
NT0.81.1
ACT2.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketWaitersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1934.4-5.45.4
20-2432-9.99.9
25-3421.1-23.423.4
35-446.3-21.721.7
45-543.4-21.121.1
55-591.8-8.78.7
60-640.9-5.95.9
65 and Over0.2-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryWaitersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males21.6Males53.6
Females78.4Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job.
Around half of workers have Year 12 has their highest level of education. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Waiters who connect with others, provide good customer service and are well presented and reliable.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    83% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Food Production

    66% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  3. English Language

    64% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Sales and Marketing

    57% Important

    Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  5. Public Safety and Security

    52% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

Occupational Information Network Waiters and Waitresses Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    85% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  2. Performing General Physical Activities

    72% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  3. Getting Information

    70% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Selling or Influencing Others

    68% Important

    Convincing people to buy something or to change their minds or actions.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    67% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Waiters and Waitresses Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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