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
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.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
Cooks are in demand in Yukon. Demand Prospects are high and Retirement Prospects are elevated. For 2014, the Median Employment Earning was identified at $16,934 as the Range of Employment Earnings was between $12,455 and $29,035.
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.