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Institution and Cafeteria Cook

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All About Institution and Cafeteria Cooks

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?

  • 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.
  • Monitor use of government food commodities to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
  • Monitor menus and spending to ensure that meals are prepared economically.
  • Plan menus that are varied, nutritionally balanced, and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
  • Compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures.

Qualities of an Institution & Cafeteria Cook

Below is a list of the skills most Institution and Cafeteria Cooks say are important on the job.

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.

  • Cook, Cashier, Food Prep (Cafeteria Worker)
  • Third Cook
  • Galley Cook
  • Food Service Worker
  • Roundsman

Are There Job Opportunities for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks?

In the United States, there were 424,800 jobs for Institution and Cafeteria Cook in 2016. 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.

Average Institution and Cafeteria Cooks 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.

How much do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks make 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 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?

Individuals working as an Institution and Cafeteria Cook have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become an Institution & Cafeteria Cook?


Where do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Work?


Institution and Cafeteria Cooks work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

Those interested in being an Institution and Cafeteria Cook may also be interested in:

Those who work as an Institution and Cafeteria Cook sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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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