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Career profile Server Assistant

Also known as Bar Back, Bus Boy, Bus Person, Busboy, Dining Room Attendant, Server, Server Assistant

Server Assistant

Also known as Bar Back, Bus Boy, Bus Person

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$18,260 - $35,970 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Coordination
  • Service Orientation
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Food Production
  • Sales and Marketing
Core tasks
  • Serve ice water, coffee, rolls, or butter to patrons.
  • Run cash registers.
  • Scrape and stack dirty dishes and carry dishes and other tableware to kitchens for cleaning.
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What does a Server Assistant do?

Server Assistants facilitate food service.

In addition, Server Assistants clean tables; remove dirty dishes; replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.

What kind of tasks does a Server Assistant perform regularly?

Server Assistants are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Serve ice water, coffee, rolls, or butter to patrons.
  • Run cash registers.
  • Scrape and stack dirty dishes and carry dishes and other tableware to kitchens for cleaning.
  • Wipe tables or seats with dampened cloths or replace dirty tablecloths.
  • Set tables with clean linens, condiments, or other supplies.
  • Greet and seat customers.
  • Clean up spilled food or drink or broken dishes and remove empty bottles and trash.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of items, such as clean linens, silverware, glassware, dishes, or trays.
  • Locate items requested by customers.
  • Fill beverage or ice dispensers.
  • Perform serving, cleaning, or stocking duties in establishments, such as cafeterias or dining rooms, to facilitate customer service.
  • Carry food, dishes, trays, or silverware from kitchens or supply departments to serving counters.
  • Carry trays from food counters to tables for cafeteria patrons.
  • Stock cabinets or serving areas with condiments and refill condiment containers.
  • Serve food to customers when waiters or waitresses need assistance.
  • Clean and polish counters, shelves, walls, furniture, or equipment in food service areas or other areas of restaurants and mop or vacuum floors.

The above responsibilities are specific to Server Assistants. More generally, Server Assistants are involved in several broader types of activities:

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

What is a Server Assistant salary?

The median salary for a Server Assistant is $25,010, and the average salary is $26,300. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Server Assistant salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Server Assistants earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Server Assistants earn less than $18,260 per year, 25% earn less than $20,160, 75% earn less than $29,370, and 90% earn less than $35,970.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Server Assistants is expected to change by 26.6%, and there should be roughly 86,500 open positions for Server Assistants every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$18,260 - $35,970
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Server Assistants?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Server Assistant are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Server Assistants typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Server Assistants typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Server Assistant tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Server Assistants strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Server Assistants somewhat value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Server Assistants very slightly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Server Assistants must consistently demonstrate qualities such as self-control, cooperation, and social orientation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Server Assistants, ranked by importance:

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Server Assistants need?

Working as a Server Assistant may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Server Assistants need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Server Assistants

  • 22.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 42.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 19.4% completed some college coursework
  • 7.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.8% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Server Assistants

Server Assistants may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, food production, or sales and marketing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Server Assistants might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

Important Abilities needed by Server Assistants

Server Assistants must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Server Assistants need abilities such as trunk strength, arm-hand steadiness, and manual dexterity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Server Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Critical Skills needed by Server Assistants

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Server Assistants frequently use skills like active listening, coordination, and service orientation to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Server Assistants, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.