Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Santa Clara, California
For those living in the Santa Clara, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for institutional cooks. About 22,800 people are currently employed as institutional cooks in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 14% to about 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%. Institutional cooks generally prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
Institutional cooks earn approximately $12 per hour or $26,760 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,210 annually. Incomes for institutional cooks are not quite as good as in the overall category of Cooking in California, and not quite as good as the overall Cooking category nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: school cafeteria cook, baker, and school cook.
The Santa Clara area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree as an institutional cook. The most common level of education for institutional cooks is a high school diploma or GED. 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 Santa Clara 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
The Art Institute of CaliforniaSunnyvale - Sunnyvale, CA
The Art Institute of CaliforniaSunnyvale, 1120 Kifer Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. The Art Institute of CaliforniaSunnyvale is a small school located in Sunnyvale, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 100 students. The Art Institute of CaliforniaSunnyvale has an associate's degree program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts.
San Jose City College - San Jose, CA
San Jose City College, 2100 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95128-2798. San Jose City College is a large college located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,574 students. San Jose City College has a two to four year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts.
Mission College - Santa Clara, CA
Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897. Mission College is a large college located in Santa Clara, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,154 students. Mission College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Foodservice Systems Administration/Management which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
CET-Sobrato - San Jose, CA
CET-Sobrato, 701 Vine St, San Jose, CA 95110. CET-Sobrato is a small school located in San Jose, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 497 students. CET-Sobrato has a less than one year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.
Cabrillo College - Aptos, CA
Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. Cabrillo College is a large college located in Aptos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,822 students. Cabrillo College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated four, one, and seven 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: Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.
Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.