Career and Education Opportunities for Fast Food Cooks in Mesa, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for fast food cooks. There are currently 18,870 working fast food cooks in Arizona; this should grow 12% to about 21,130 working fast food cooks in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fast food cooks are expected to grow by about 7.5%. In general, fast food cooks prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus.
A person working as a fast food cook can expect to earn about $8 per hour or $16,750 yearly on average in Arizona and about $8 hourly or $16,880 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for fast food cooks are not quite as good as in the overall category of Cooking in Arizona, and not quite as good as the overall Cooking category nationally. Fast food cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: restaurant worker, pizza maker, and line cook.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Mesa where you can study to be a fast food cook, among seventy-six schools of higher education total in the Mesa area. Given that the most common education level for fast food cooks is less than a high school diploma, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a fast food cook if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fast Food Cook
In general, fast food cooks prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. They also duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
Fast food cooks clean food preparation areas and utensils. They also clean and restock workstations and display cases. Equally important, fast food cooks have to maintain sanitation and safety standards in work areas. They are often called upon to verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity. Finally, fast food cooks operate large-volume cooking equipment such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.
Every day, fast food cooks are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.
It is important for fast food cooks to cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously. They are often called upon to measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared. They also read food order slips or receive verbal instructions as to food required by patron, and ready and cook food in line with instructions. They are sometimes expected to cook and package batches of food. Somewhat less frequently, fast food cooks are also expected to schedule efforts and equipment use with managers, using data related to daily menus to to direct cooking times.
And finally, they sometimes have to cook and package batches of food.
Like many other jobs, fast food cooks must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and want to innovate to meet new challenges.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Mesa include:
- Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
- Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
- Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
- Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
- Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.
- Restaurant Chef. Prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.
- Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fast Food Cook Training
Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Institutional Food Workers.
Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has 2 areas of study related to Fast Food Cook. They are:
- Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant, less than one year which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Institutional Food Workers, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree.
Maricopa Skill Center - Phoenix, AZ
Maricopa Skill Center, 1245 E Buckeye, Phoenix, AZ 85034-4101. Maricopa Skill Center is a small school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 953 students. Maricopa Skill Center has a less than one year program in Institutional Food Workers which graduated three students in 2008.
Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.
For more information, see the American Red Cross website.
Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.
For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Mesa, Arizona
Mesa is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 463,552, which has grown by 16.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Mesa, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Mesa are priced at $289,200 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-four new homes were constructed in Mesa, down from 1,039 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Mesa are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 21.6% of Mesa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Mesa is 7.9%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.
The percentage of Mesa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mesa is home to the Water Users Camp Ten and the Arizona Girls Ranch as well as Jackrabbit Stadium and McAfee Place Unit Two Mini Park. Shopping malls in the area include Riviera Plaza Shopping Center, Gilbert Plaza Shopping Center and Apache Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Mesa can choose from Hampton Inn Phoenix-Mesa, Extended Stay America - Mesa and Kiva Lodge Motel for temporary stays in the area.