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Cooks

Cooks
Quick Facts : Cooks*
2010 Median Pay$20,260
Entry Level Education
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20122,050,800
Job Outlook8% (Slower than average)
Employment Change161,800


Teams of restaurant cooks, sometimes called assistant or line cooks, work at assigned stations equipped with the necessary types of stoves, grills, pans, and ingredients. Job titles often reflect the principal ingredient cooks prepare or the type of cooking they do?vegetable cook, fry cook, or grill cook, for example. Cooks usually work under the direction or supervision of chefs, head cooks, or food service managers.

What Cooks Do

  • Check freshness of food and ingredients before cooking
  • Weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipes
  • Bake, roast, grill, broil, or fry meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
  • Clean work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, and silverware
  • Cook, hold, and store food or food ingredients

Work Environment

Cooks work in restaurants, schools, hospitals, private households, and other places where food is served. They often work early mornings, late evenings, holidays, and weekends. The majority work full time.
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Job Outlook

Overall employment of cooks is projected to grow 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, but individual growth rates will vary by specialty.
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Pay

The average hourly wage of cooks was $9.74 in May 2010.
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Cooks*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Cooks

20260

Food Services Occupations

25491.0

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Cooks*
Percent Change in Employment

Cooks

7.8896

Food Services Occupations

5.989887148141861

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Cooks

Short-term on-the-job training and work-related experience are the most common ways to become a cook, but many restaurant cooks and private household cooks attend cooking schools. Others attend vocational or apprenticeship programs. Training usually starts with learning kitchen basics and workplace safety and continues with food handling and cooking procedures.
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