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Career and Education Opportunities for Counter Clerks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for counter clerks in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Currently, 16,350 people work as counter clerks in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow by 3% to about 16,800 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for counter clerks are expected to grow by about 9.3%. Counter clerks generally serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.

A person working as a counter clerk can expect to earn about $7 hourly or $16,200 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $8 per hour or $17,520 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Counter clerks earn less than people working in the category of Service generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Service category nationally. People working as counter clerks can fill a number of jobs, such as: food service counter clerk, server, and candy bar attendant.

The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a counter clerk. The most common level of education for counter clerks is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a counter clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Counter Clerk

Counter Clerk video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, counter clerks serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.

Every day, counter clerks are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for counter clerks to wrap menu item such as sandwiches and desserts for serving or for takeout. They are often called upon to serve food or desserts to patrons in such settings as take-out counters of restaurants or lunchrooms, business or industrial establishments, hotel rooms, and cars. They also replenish foods at serving stations. They are sometimes expected to ready food such as sandwiches and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions. Somewhat less frequently, counter clerks are also expected to order items needed to replenish supplies.

Counter clerks sometimes are asked to serve salads and cocktails, ladle soups and sauces and fill beverage cups and glasses. and brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages. And finally, they sometimes have to wrap menu item such as sandwiches and desserts for serving or for takeout.

Like many other jobs, counter clerks must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Dining Room Attendant. Facilitate food service. Clean tables, carry dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, and dishes; supply service bar with food, and serve water, butter, and coffee to patrons.
  • Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
  • Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Host Coordinator. Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.
  • Waiter. Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Counter Clerk Training

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has a less than one year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.