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McDonald's Careers

Founded in 1955 by Ray Kroc, McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain, providing jobs for more than 1.7 million employees in over 32,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. Many successful McDonald’s employees began their careers behind the counter, working their way up through the ranks to become regional managers and other higher-level employees. Many young people depend on McDonald’s for reliable part-time work as they save money for school and other endeavors.


Job applicants seeking entry-level employment at McDonald’s usually start off on the restaurant crew. Crew employees prepare and serve food, manage the drive-through window, clean the kitchen and dining areas, change the soda fountain syrups and perform other such duties. Depending on the state you work in, most McDonald’s pay around $7.25 an hour for a starting crew wage. Crew positions are available at nearly any McDonald’s restaurant in the world. Advancement within the company is possible given outstanding job performance and long-term commitment.


Managers oversee all operations at McDonald’s restaurants to ensure employee safety and maintain the company’s standards of customer service. Managers often begin working behind the counter and work their way up to management positions over time. Managers generally need at least two years experience working in management in a retail, hospitality or restaurant setting. Experienced, qualified managers can make over $30,000 a year.

Franchise Owner

Franchise owners are private investors who buy the rights to open their own McDonald’s restaurants that serve all the same menu items as restaurants owned by the corporation. As of 2010, there were 12,392 McDonald’s franchises in the United States alone. Earning are highly variable among franchise owners. According to McDonald’s website, “Profitability depends on many factors including operating and occupancy costs, financing terms and most important, your ability to operate the business effectively.”

Corporate Careers

Working in McDonald’s restaurants is just one side of the massive community of McDonald’s employees. Corporate jobs at McDonald’s include positions in marketing, engineering, business development, construction, product development, supply chain management, legal services, operations, insurance, information technology and many other areas. These jobs are not as numerous as restaurant jobs but tend to be more lucrative. Higher education is often a prerequisite for employment in the corporate sector. McDonald’s frequently posts jobs in these areas on its website (see "Resources").


Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.