Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Aides in Mesa, Arizona
Food service aide career and educational opportunities abound in Mesa, Arizona. There are currently 21,210 jobs for food service aides in Arizona and this is projected to grow 20% to about 25,360 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for food service aides, which sees this job pool growing by about 4.2% over the next eight years. Food service aides generally 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 service aides earn about $9 per hour or $19,410 annually on average in Arizona and about $8 per hour or $18,630 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Preparation, people working as food service aides in Arizona earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Preparation nationally. People working as food service aides can fill a number of jobs, such as: cartperson, food service specialist, and cafeteria worker.
There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Mesa where you can study to be a food service aide, among seventy-six schools of higher education total in the Mesa area. Food service aides usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a food service aide if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Service Aide
In general, food service aides 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 service aides clean work areas and silverware. They also store food in designated containers and storage areas to inhibit spoilage. Equally important, food service aides have to inform supervisors when supplies are getting low or equipment is not working properly. They are often called upon to carry food supplies and utensils to and from storage and work areas. They are expected to portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to customers. Finally, food service aides weigh or measure ingredients.
Every day, food service aides 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 food service aides to receive and store food supplies and utensils in refrigerators and other storage areas. They are often called upon to assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and furnish cooks with needed items. They also use manual or electric appliances to clean and trim foods. They are sometimes expected to package take-out foods or serve food to patrons. Somewhat less frequently, food service aides are also expected to mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads and pasta salads.
Food service aides sometimes are asked to stir and strain soups and sauces. They also have to be able to distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to patrons and stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals. And finally, they sometimes have to cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to ready for cooking.
Like many other jobs, food service aides must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Mesa include:
- Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
- Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
- 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: Food Service Aide Training
Rio Salado College - Tempe, AZ
Rio Salado College, 2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281. Rio Salado College is a large college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,186 students. Rio Salado College has a less than one year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated four students in 2008.
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 Food Service Aide. 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.
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.