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Fast Food Jobs Are Fast Tracks to Dead Ends


The face of the fast food worker has changed drastically. No longer a pimply-faced teenager fumbling through his first experience with employment, your cashier is an adult.

(Photo Credit: Robert Banh/Flickr)

Fast food jobs used to be”entry level” positions for high school and college kids who needed work experience and, of course, money. A high school student making minimum wage for part-time work raised no red flags, as it was likely that student was living at home and not supporting him or herself. He or she did not need to earn a living wage with benefits. But does this distinction still hold true?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

In an effort to personalize the fight for a raised minimum wage, we looked at PayScale’s unique data to put a face on the fast food worker today.


The most typical age for a fast food worker is 25. Kids who go straight from high school to college typically have a degree before they are 25.

Fast food managers are more likely to be 30 years of age.


In May we reported about the McDonald’s franchise in Massachusetts requiring bachelor’s degrees of job applicants.

PayScale’s data shows that this is not the norm. Even fast food managers typically say they graduated high school or have no degree, meaning that if they attended college they did not finish.

Opportunity for Advancement

Fast food workers and fast food managers stay in their positions. PayScale looked at people in fast food five years ago and today; people were overwhelmingly in the same position. When there is movement, it is to manager and once you are a manager there is little elsewhere to go.

Tell Us What You Think

Would you pay more for fast food to support workers in the industry? Leave us a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.


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