Yukon WorkFutures


NOC 6322 / RANK 23


What They Do

Cooks prepare and cook a wide variety of foods. They are employed in restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, educational institutions and other establishments. Cooks are also employed aboard ships and at construction and logging campsites. Apprentice cooks are included in this unit group.

A Day in the Life


Listen to A Day in the Life

Main Duties

Cooks perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods
  • Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef
  • Schedule and supervise kitchen helpers
  • Oversee kitchen operations
  • Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment
  • May set up and oversee buffets
  • May clean kitchen and work area
  • May plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies
  • May hire and train kitchen staff
  • Cooks may specialize in preparing and cooking ethnic cuisine or special dishes.

Working Conditions

Working hours and conditions for cooks vary depending on the employer. Cooks are often required to work shifts that include early mornings, late evenings, weekends and holidays. Many employers, such as resorts, may only offer seasonal work. Large restaurants and institutional kitchens typically have modern equipment and convenient work areas, while older, smaller establishments may have less comfortable work settings. Kitchens must be clean, well ventilated, appropriately lit and properly equipped with sprinkler systems to protect against fires. Cooks must work in close quarters during busy periods. They must also be able to lift heavy objects, work near hot ovens and grills, and stand for extended periods of time. Cooks usually work under time pressure, while making sure quality, safety and sanitation guidelines are followed. Job hazards include slipping and falling, cuts and minor burns.

How Do I Get There

Completion of secondary school is usually required

Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program for cooks


Completion of college or other program in cooking


Several years of commercial cooking experience are required

Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in all provinces and territories

Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified cooks upon successful completion of the Interprovincial Red Seal examination

The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility

There is mobility among the various types of cooks in this group

Progression to supervisory or more senior positions, such as chef, is possible with experience and training