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Institution and Cafeteria Cook

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What Does it Take to Be an Institution and Cafeteria Cook?

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

Institution & Cafeteria Cook Responsibilities

  • Monitor use of government food commodities to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Clean, cut, and cook meat, fish, or poultry.
  • 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.

Qualities of an Institution & Cafeteria Cook

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.

Types of Institution and Cafeteria Cook

  • Main Entree Cook and Cashier
  • Third Cook
  • Second Cook and Baker
  • Boarding House Cook
  • Vegetables Cook

Job Demand for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 424,800 jobs in the United States for Institution and Cafeteria Cook. 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. There will be an estimated 64,400 positions for Institution & Cafeteria Cook per 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.

How Much Does an Institution & Cafeteria Cook Make?

The average yearly salary of an Institution & Cafeteria Cook ranges between $18,840 and $39,880.


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

How much do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks make in each U.S. state?

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?


What work experience do I need to become an Institution & Cafeteria Cook?


Where Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Are Employed


Below are examples of industries where Institution and Cafeteria Cooks work:


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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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