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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 and Nutrition Services Assistant, Food Service Specialist, Lead Cook, School Cook

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed 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, or other cooking equipment.
  • Compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures.
  • Take inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Bake breads, rolls, or other pastries.
  • Train new employees.
  • Monitor use of government food commodities to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
  • Monitor menus and spending to ensure that meals are prepared economically.
  • Determine meal prices, based on calculations of ingredient prices.
  • Plan menus that are varied, nutritionally balanced, and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
  • Requisition food supplies, kitchen equipment, and appliances, based on estimates of future needs.

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Technology Skills

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

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Blast freezers — Blast chillers
  • Cappuccino or espresso machines — Cappuccino makers
  • Carbonated beverage dispenser — Carbonated beverage dispensers
  • Cash registers
  • Commercial use barbeque ovens — Braziers
  • Commercial use blenders — Blenders
  • Commercial use broilers — Broilers; Salamanders
  • Commercial use coffee grinders — Commercial coffee grinders
  • Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers — Commercial coffeemakers
  • Commercial use combination oven — Commercial use combination ovens
  • Commercial use convection ovens — Commercial kitchen convection ovens; Convection ovens
  • Commercial use cutlery — Chefs' knives; Oyster knives; Paring knives; Serrated blade knives (see all 6 examples)
  • Commercial use deep fryers — Electric deep-fat fryers; Gas-powered deep-fat fryers
  • Commercial use dishwashers — Commercial dishwashers
  • Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Food dicers
  • Commercial use food grinders — Meat grinders
  • Commercial use food processors — Food processors
  • Commercial use food slicers — Bread slicers; Food slicers
  • Commercial use food warmers — Steam tables
  • Commercial use graters — Box graters; Food shredders
  • Commercial use griddles — Griddles
  • Commercial use grills — Grills
  • Commercial use heat lamps — Infrared heat lamps
  • Commercial use high pressure steamers — Pressurized steam cookers
  • Commercial use hot dog grills — Hot dog cookers
  • Commercial use juicers — Juice extractors
  • Commercial use microwave ovens — Commercial microwave ovens
  • Commercial use mixers — Commercial stand mixers; Mixers
  • Commercial use ovens — Conveyor ovens
  • Commercial use pasta machines — Pasta machines
  • Commercial use pizza ovens — Pizza ovens
  • Commercial use ranges — Electric stoves; Gas stoves
  • Commercial use rice cookers — Rice cookers
  • Commercial use rotisseries — Rotisserie ovens
  • Commercial use scales — Portion scales
  • Commercial use steamers — Commercial kitchen steamers; Steam kettles
  • Commercial use toasters — Toasters
  • Commercial use waffle irons — Waffle makers
  • Commercial use woks — Woks
  • Desktop computers
  • Domestic apple corer — Apple corers
  • Domestic double boilers — Double boilers
  • Domestic electric skillets — Tilt skillets
  • Domestic garbage disposals — Disposal units
  • Domestic garnishing tools — Parisian cutters
  • Domestic kitchen or food thermometers — Meat thermometers; Refrigerator thermometers
  • Domestic kitchen tongs — Kitchen tongs
  • Domestic knife sharpeners — Knife sharpeners
  • Domestic mandolin — Mandolines
  • Domestic sifter — Sifters
  • Domestic strainers or colanders — Sieves; Strainers
  • Domestic trash compactors — Garbage compactors
  • Domestic whipped cream maker — Cream whippers
  • Fire blankets — Fire suppression blankets
  • Fire extinguishers — Kitchen fire extinguishers
  • Ice cream machines — Commercial ice cream machines
  • Ice dispensers — Ice-making machines
  • Ice shaver machines or accessories — Ice shaving or crushing equipment
  • Non carbonated beverage dispenser — Juice dispensers
  • Personal computers
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS computer terminals
  • Touch screen monitors

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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.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

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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).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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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.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • 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.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Cut cooked or raw foods.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
  • Cook foods.
  • Inspect facilities, equipment or supplies to ensure conformance to standards.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Monitor food services operations to ensure procedures are followed.
  • Clean tableware.
  • Coordinate activities of food service staff.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Maintain food, beverage, or equipment inventories.
  • Prepare breads or doughs.
  • Determine prices for menu items.
  • Train food preparation or food service personnel.
  • Plan menu options.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing — 85% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 65% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 63% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 27% responded “Very important.”
  • Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 63% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 31% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Extremely competitive.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 26% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 34% responded “Every day.”

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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 orderlies, forest firefighters, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, 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
3   Post-doctoral training

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Credentials

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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.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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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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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $11.90 hourly, $24,750 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 425,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Average (5% to 9%) Average (5% to 9%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 64,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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