Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for institutional cooks. Currently, 4,550 people work as institutional cooks in Colorado. This is expected to grow 26% to about 5,720 people 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%. Institutional cooks generally prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
Institutional cooks earn approximately $11 per hour or $24,550 annually on average in Colorado. Nationally they average about $10 per hour or $22,210 per year. Earnings for institutional cooks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Cooking in Colorado and not quite as good as general Cooking category earnings nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: dietary aide, school cook, and ranch cook.
The Colorado Springs area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Colorado Springs where you can get a degree as an institutional cook. Institutional cooks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Colorado Springs 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
Pikes Peak Community College - Colorado Springs, CO
Pikes Peak Community College, 5675 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906-5498. Pikes Peak Community College is a large college located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,701 students. Pikes Peak Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated seventeen, sixteen, and twenty-five 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: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is located in El Paso County, Colorado. It has a population of over 380,307, which has grown by 5.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Colorado Springs, 86, is well below the national average.
The three most popular industries for women in Colorado Springs are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 33.6% of Colorado Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.2%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Colorado Springs is 7.0%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.
The percentage of Colorado Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.1%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Charismatic Churches Independent.
Colorado Springs is home to the Wilsons Ranch and the Flying W Ranch as well as Garden of the Gods and Acacia Park. Shopping malls in the area include Academy Center Shopping Center, Academy Place Shopping Center and Academy Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Colorado Springs can choose from Days Inn, Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs and Apache Court for temporary stays in the area.