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

Also known as: Food and Beverage Attendant.

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

You can work as a Waiter without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

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

All Waiters

  • $975 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
  • 138,300 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 16% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 22 years Average age
  • 76% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Waiters (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 138,300 in 2018 to 160,100 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 168,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 33,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
  • Location: Waiters work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $975 per week (lower than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (16%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 22 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (63%).
  • Gender: 76% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
2008101000
2009112100
2010115400
2011113200
2012113500
2013113400
2014121100
2015117200
2016129400
2017131200
2018138300
2023160100

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings9751460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Accommodation and Food Services90.5
Arts and Recreation Services3.4
Retail Trade1.2
Manufacturing1.1
Other Industries3.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateWaitersAll Jobs Average
NSW30.331.6
VIC28.025.6
QLD19.520.0
SA7.37.0
WA9.510.8
TAS2.52.0
NT0.71.0
ACT2.31.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketWaitersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1930.1-5.05.0
20-2432.5-9.39.3
25-3421.3-22.922.9
35-447.2-22.022.0
45-545.1-21.621.6
55-591.9-9.09.0
60-641.1-6.06.0
65 and Over0.6-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationWaitersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.6-10.110.1
Bachelor degree13.3-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma8.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV10.0-21.121.1
Year 1244.3-18.118.1
Year 118.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below13.2-12.512.5

You can work as a Waiter without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. Training is also available through VET (Vocational Education and Training).

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • responsible service of alcohol (RSA) certificate

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    59% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Food Production

    44% Skill level

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

  3. English Language

    41% Skill level

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

  4. Sales and Marketing

    39% Skill level

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  5. Education and Training

    33% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Contact With Others

    99% Important

    How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

  2. Face-to-Face Discussions

    95% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  3. Spend Time Walking and Running

    94% Important

    How much time do you spend walking and running?

  4. Spend Time Standing

    93% Important

    How much time do you spend standing?

  5. Work With Work Group or Team

    90% Important

    How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

go to top