Food & Drink

Food-Service Jobs That Make You Surprisingly Rich

03/31/2016 10:31am ET | Updated December 6, 2017

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Credit: Kamira/Shutterstock

Jobs in the service and food industry are generally viewed as stepping stones to future careers, or as a second-choice fallback for careers that haven't panned out. The reality is, there are surprising jobs out there in the food world that garner a salary that would otherwise require multiple degrees and a whole lot of corporate butt-kissin'. And we aren't talking about private chefs, or celebrity dietitians.

If you don't do one of these jobs already, it may be time to re-think some things.

Trader Joe's Captain
Annual base salary average:
$104,357
"Captain" is Trader Joe's speak for manager, in case you were wondering if any maritime experience was required. A captain is always promoted within (one step up from mate), and in addition to standard store management, they are required and encouraged to jump on the register, and chat with customers regularly. Insert your own "I am de captain now" joke here.

Whole Foods manager
Average annual base salary:
$107,813
Like TJ's, Whole Foods aims to acquire and keep talent with pay far above industry minimum. In this case, senior managers can even approach $150k. I wonder if they have to help out with the orange peeling?

Hot dog vendor
Potential annual earnings:
$100k+
This is surprisingly feasible -- especially in high traffic areas. Selling 200 hot dogs a day at $2 a pop will net you a yearly income on the plus side of $100,000. Now, obviously you have to be in a spot that can draw hundreds of eaters daily. Or, you can just work at Yankee Stadium, where wieners are sold for approximately $10,000 each. $500 extra for mustard.

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