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

  • $804 Weekly Pay
  • 124,500 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 17.5% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.8 hours Average full-time
  • 22 years Average age
  • 76.0% female Gender Share

The number of Waiters grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 124,500 in 2017 to 136,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 139,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Waiters work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (17.5%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunites to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.8 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 22 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (66.5%).
  • Gender: 76% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
2007104900
2008101100
2009112200
2010115300
2011113300
2012113400
2013112000
2014120500
2015115800
2016128300
2017124500
2022136500

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services93.2
Arts and Recreation Services2.7
Manufacturing1.0
Health Care and Social Assistance0.6
Other Industries2.5

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 2017, 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
NSW27.031.6
VIC29.126.2
QLD19.719.7
SA7.86.7
WA10.210.8
TAS3.02.0
NT0.61.1
ACT2.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-1933.7-5.25.2
20-2432.8-9.99.9
25-3418.8-23.623.6
35-447.7-21.721.7
45-543.9-20.820.8
55-591.5-8.88.8
60-641.0-6.06.0
65 and Over0.4-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Tourism, Travel and Hospitality VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-3031.00 - Waiters and Waitresses.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-3031.00 - Waiters and Waitresses.

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