Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Fairfield, California
Institutional cooks can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Fairfield, California area. About 22,800 people are currently employed as institutional cooks in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to 26,000 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for institutional cooks are expected to grow by about 9.7%. In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
Institutional cooks earn approximately $12 hourly or $26,760 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,210 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as institutional cooks in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: special diet cook, cook supervisor, and cafeteria worker.
There are sixteen schools of higher education in the Fairfield area, including two within twenty-five miles of Fairfield where you can get a degree to start your career as an institutional cook. Institutional cooks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become an institutional cook if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Institutional Cook
In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
Institutional cooks cook foodstuffs in line with menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served. They also clean and inspect galley equipment and work areas to insure cleanliness and functional operation. Equally important, institutional cooks have to apportion and serve food to facility residents or customers. They are often called upon to wash pots and other cooking equipment. Finally, institutional cooks clean and cook meat, fish, or poultry.
Every day, institutional cooks are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.
It is important for institutional cooks to train new employees. They are often called upon to bake breads and other pastries. They also compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures. They are sometimes expected to direct efforts of one or more staff who help in preparing and serving meals. Somewhat less frequently, institutional cooks are also expected to formulate menus that are varied and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
Institutional cooks sometimes are asked to decide on meal prices, on the basis of calculations of ingredient prices. They also have to be able to monitor menus and spending to insure that meals are prepared economically And finally, they sometimes have to formulate menus that are varied and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
Like many other jobs, institutional cooks must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fairfield 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.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Institutional Cook Training
Diablo Valley College - Pleasant Hill, CA
Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Diablo Valley College is a large college located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,768 students. Diablo Valley College has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated thirty-seven and zero students respectively in 2008.
Contra Costa College - San Pablo, CA
Contra Costa College, 2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, CA 94806-3195. Contra Costa College is a medium sized college located in San Pablo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,147 students. Contra Costa College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated sixteen, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.
For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association website.
Certified Culinarian: An entry level culinarian professional within a commercial foodservice operation.
For more information, see the American Culinary Federation, Inc. website.
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.
School Nutrition Specialist: The Credentialing Program of the School Nutrition Association was created to enhance the professional image of school nutrition professionals.
For more information, see the School Nutrition Association website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Fairfield, California
Fairfield is located in Solano County, California. It has a population of over 103,683, which has grown by 7.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fairfield, 143, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Fairfield are valued at $197,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Fairfield, down from one hundred eighty the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Fairfield are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 20.4% of Fairfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Fairfield is 13.1%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Fairfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Fairfield is home to the Fairfield City Hall and the Dickson Hill Water Treatment Plant as well as Tabor Park and Sunrise Park. Shopping malls in the area include Geri Towne Shopping Center, Mission Village Shopping Center and Solano Mall Shopping Center.