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Institution and Cafeteria Cook

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What You Need to Know About Institution and Cafeteria Cook

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

What Do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Apportion and serve food to facility residents, employees, or patrons.
  • Take inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Wash pots, pans, dishes, utensils, or other cooking equipment.
  • Train new employees.
  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Bake breads, rolls, or other pastries.

What Every Institution & Cafeteria Cook Should Know

Institution and Cafeteria Cooks state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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.

  • Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook)
  • Cook at School
  • Vegetables Cook
  • Special Diet Cook
  • Cook, Cashier, Food Prep (Cafeteria Worker)

Is There Job Demand for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks?

There were about 424,800 jobs for Institution and Cafeteria Cook in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 32,600 new jobs for Institution and Cafeteria Cook by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 64,400 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Institution & Cafeteria Cook are Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Institution & Cafeteria Cook Average Salary

The salary for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks ranges between about $18,840 and $39,880 a year.


Institution and Cafeteria Cooks who work in Connecticut, Hawaii, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $22,100
Alaska $37,670
Arizona $28,120
Arkansas $22,320
California $35,680
Colorado $29,630
Connecticut $38,580
Delaware $32,620
District of Columbia $37,270
Florida $27,280
Georgia $26,160
Hawaii $38,110
Idaho $24,960
Illinois $27,550
Indiana $25,200
Iowa $27,110
Kansas $24,190
Kentucky $25,630
Louisiana $21,990
Maine $30,910
Maryland $33,010
Massachusetts $37,300
Michigan $28,410
Minnesota $32,810
Mississippi $20,460
Missouri $24,900
Montana $27,060
Nebraska $26,950
Nevada $32,780
New Hampshire $33,100
New Jersey $34,050
New Mexico $25,020
New York $34,800
North Carolina $25,240
North Dakota $31,370
Ohio $27,260
Oklahoma $21,650
Oregon $31,920
Pennsylvania $29,180
Rhode Island $36,060
South Carolina $22,960
South Dakota $26,230
Tennessee $25,580
Texas $24,770
Utah $27,870
Vermont $31,380
Virginia $29,400
Washington $34,230
West Virginia $24,200
Wisconsin $28,960
Wyoming $30,580

What Tools & Technology do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Institution and Cafeteria Cooks may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Point of sale POS software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • GNOME Gnutrition

How do I Become an Institution & Cafeteria Cook?

What education or degrees do I need to become an Institution and Cafeteria Cook?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Are Employed


Institution and Cafeteria Cooks work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming an Institution and Cafeteria Cook might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as an Institution and Cafeteria Cook sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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