What do they do?

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

Also known as:

Cafeteria Cook, Chef, Cook, Dietary Aide, Dietary Cook, Dinner Cook, Food Service Specialist, Food Service Worker, Kitchen Cook, Line Cook, Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook), School Cook, Sous Chef

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 10.8%


    Ranks #23 in job growth rate

    Job Openings

    Ranks #43 in net job growth

Best colleges for Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria


Colleges with the most graduates that become Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria


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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (<1%)
  • Master's degree  (1%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (5%)
  • Associate's degree  (6%)
  • Some college, no degree  (18%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (42%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (27%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria

Select Type of Degree:

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • 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.

People in this career often do these 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.
  • Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
  • Store supplies or goods in kitchens or storage areas.
  • Maintain food, beverage, or equipment inventories.
  • Clean tableware.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
  • Cut cooked or raw foods.
  • Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
  • 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.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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