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: Cafeteria Cook, Chef, Cook, Dietary Cook, Dinner Cook, Food Service Specialist, Food Service Worker, Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook), School Cook, Sous Chef
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
- Monitor and record food temperatures to ensure food safety.
- Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
- Rotate and store food supplies.
- Wash pots, pans, dishes, utensils, or other cooking equipment.
- Apportion and serve food to facility residents, employees, or patrons.
- Clean and inspect galley equipment, kitchen appliances, and work areas to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
- Clean, cut, and cook meat, fish, or poultry.
- Direct activities of one or more workers who assist in preparing and serving meals.
- Train new employees.
- Take inventory of supplies and equipment.
- Requisition food supplies, kitchen equipment, and appliances, based on estimates of future needs.
- Bake breads, rolls, or other pastries.
- Monitor use of government food commodities to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
- Plan menus that are varied, nutritionally balanced, and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
- Monitor menus and spending to ensure that meals are prepared economically.
- Compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures.
- Determine meal prices, based on calculations of ingredient prices.
- Analytical or scientific software — GNOME Gnutrition
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software ; Meals Plus
- 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
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- 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).
- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- 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.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- 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.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- 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.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Detailed Work Activities
- Monitor food services operations to ensure procedures are followed.
- Inspect facilities, equipment or supplies to ensure conformance to standards.
- Record operational or production data.
- Cook foods.
- Maintain food, beverage, or equipment inventories.
- Clean tableware.
- Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
- Store supplies or goods in kitchens or storage areas.
- Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
- Cut cooked or raw foods.
- Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
- Serve food or beverages.
- Coordinate activities of food service staff.
- Plan menu options.
- Train food preparation or food service personnel.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Prepare breads or doughs.
- Determine prices for menu items.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 79% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 77% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 42% responded “More than half the time.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 49% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Important results.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 27% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 32% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Telephone — 35% responded “Every day.”
|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, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$13.78 hourly, $28,650 annual|
|Employment (2019)||420,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Slower than average (1% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||55,800|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.