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Summary Report for:
35-2012.00 - Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria

Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Sample of reported job titles: Cook, Cook (Dinner), Cook (Elementary School), Dietary Cook, Dinner Cook, First Cook, Food Service Specialist, Food and Nutrition Services Assistant, Lead Cook, School Cook

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Clean, cut, and cook meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Clean and inspect galley equipment, kitchen appliances, and work areas to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
  • Apportion and serve food to facility residents, employees, or patrons.
  • Direct activities of one or more workers who assist in preparing and serving meals.
  • Wash pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and other cooking equipment.
  • Compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures.
  • Take inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Bake breads, rolls, and other pastries.
  • Train new employees.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Commercial use broilers — Broilers; Salamanders
Commercial use cutlery — Chefs' knives; Oyster knives; Paring knives; Serrated blade knives
Commercial use ranges — Electric stoves; Gas stoves
Commercial use steamers — Commercial kitchen steamers; Steam kettles
Domestic strainers or colanders — Sieves; Strainers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — GNOME Gnutrition *
Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software; Meals Plus software
Point of sale POS software — PCS Revenue Control Systems FASTRAK School Meal Software
Spreadsheet software — IBM Lotus 1-2-3; Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

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.

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Skills

Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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.

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Abilities

Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
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.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Work Context

Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
47   Less than high school diploma
46   High school diploma or equivalent Help
  Post-doctoral training

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Life Sciences — Foods, Nutrition, and Related Services

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RC

Realistic — 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.
Conventional — 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.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Work Values

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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

29-2051.00 Dietetic Technicians
35-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers Bright Outlook
35-2011.00 Cooks, Fast Food Bright Outlook
35-2014.00 Cooks, Restaurant   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
35-2015.00 Cooks, Short Order
35-3021.00 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food Bright Outlook
35-3041.00 Food Servers, Nonrestaurant Bright Outlook
51-3011.00 Bakers
51-3021.00 Butchers and Meat Cutters
51-3092.00 Food Batchmakers

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $11.14 hourly, $23,170 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 409,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 134,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Cooks external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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