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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Cape Coral, Florida

There are many career and education opportunities for institutional cooks in the Cape Coral, Florida area. There are currently 13,330 jobs for institutional cooks in Florida and this is projected to grow by 17% to about 15,610 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for institutional cooks, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.7% over the next eight years. Institutional cooks generally prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

A person working as an institutional cook can expect to earn about $11 per hour or $23,560 per year on average in Florida and about $10 per hour or $22,210 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for institutional cooks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Cooking in Florida and not quite as good as general Cooking category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: school cafeteria cook, chef, and line cook.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Cape Coral where you can study to be an institutional cook, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Cape Coral area. 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

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 Cape Coral 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.
  • 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

Charlotte Technical Center - Port Charlotte, FL

Charlotte Technical Center, 18150 Murdock Circle, Port Charlotte, FL 33948-3399. Charlotte Technical Center is a small school located in Port Charlotte, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 358 students. Charlotte Technical Center has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated seven students in 2008.

Lee County High Tech Center Central - Fort Myers, FL

Lee County High Tech Center Central, 3800 Michigan Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916-2204. Lee County High Tech Center Central is a small school located in Fort Myers, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 657 students. Lee County High Tech Center Central has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated ten students 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: Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida photo by Boticario

Cape Coral is situated in Lee County, Florida. It has a population of over 156,835, which has grown by 53.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cape Coral, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cape Coral are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Cape Coral, down from seven hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cape Coral are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 17.5% of Cape Coral residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cape Coral is 13.0%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Cape Coral residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Coral Ridge Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Jehovahs Witnesses Cape Coral Congregation and Cape Coral Alliance Church are some of the churches located in Cape Coral. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God.

Cape Coral is home to the Old Bridge Square and the Pine Island Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Northshore Shopping Center, Coral Gate Shopping Center and Coral Pointe Shopping Center. Visitors to Cape Coral can choose from Casa Loma Motel On the Waterfront, Cape Coral Accommodations and Banyan Trace Community for temporary stays in the area.