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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Victorville, California

Institutional cooks can find many career and educational opportunities in the Victorville, California area. There are currently 22,800 jobs for institutional cooks in California and this is projected to grow 14% to about 26,000 jobs by 2016. 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 about $12 per hour or $26,760 per year on average in California and about $10 hourly or $22,210 per year on average nationally. 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. People working as institutional cooks can fill a number of jobs, such as: dietary aide, food and nutrition services assistant, and culinary specialist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Victorville where you can study to be an institutional cook, among twenty-four schools of higher education total in the Victorville area. Given that the most common education level 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

Institutional Cook video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Victorville 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Institutional Cook Training

Chaffey College - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Chaffey College, 5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737-3002. Chaffey College is a large college located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,486 students. Chaffey College has 2 areas of study related to Institutional Cook. They are:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, one to two year and two to four year which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Foodservice Systems Administration/Management, less than one year and two to four year which graduated twenty-four and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Victorville, California

Victorville, California
Victorville, California photo by Sfan00_IMG

Victorville is located in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 110,318, which has grown by 72.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Victorville, 117, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Victorville are priced at $185,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-six new homes were constructed in Victorville, down from 1,090 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Victorville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and truck transportation. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 10.6% of Victorville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Victorville is 16.8%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Victorville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, Holy Faith Baptist Mission and Victor Valley Baptist Church are among the churches located in Victorville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Victorville is home to the West Wind Golf Course and the Victorville Branch San Bernardino County Library as well as Eva Dell Park and Hesp Crest Desert Ecological Study Area. Shopping centers in the area include Hi Desert Plaza Shopping Center, Bear Valley Plaza Shopping Center and Victor Valley Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Victorville can choose from Best Western Green Tree Inn and Budget Inn of Victorville for temporary stays in the area.