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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Miramar, Florida

Institutional cook career and educational opportunities abound in Miramar, Florida. There are currently 13,330 working institutional cooks in Florida; this should grow 17% to 15,610 working institutional cooks in the state 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 yearly on average in Florida and about $10 per hour or $22,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for institutional cooks are not quite as good as in the overall category of Cooking in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Cooking category nationally. Jobs in this field include: school cook, ship's cook, and galley cook.

The Miramar area is home to seventy schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Miramar 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

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 Miramar 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 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

Johnson & Wales University-Florida Campus - North Miami, FL

Johnson & Wales University-Florida Campus, 1701 NE 127th St, North Miami, FL 33181. Johnson & Wales University-Florida Campus is a small university located in North Miami, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,918 students and an admission rate of 63%. Johnson & Wales University-Florida Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Foodservice Systems Administration/Management which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center - Miami, FL

Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center, 750 NW 20 Street, Miami, FL 33127. Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center is a small school located in Miami, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 863 students. Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.

McFatter Technical Center - Davie, FL

McFatter Technical Center, 6500 Nova Drive, Davie, FL 33317. McFatter Technical Center is a small school located in Davie, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,039 students. McFatter Technical Center has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated fourteen 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: Miramar, Florida

Miramar, Florida
Miramar, Florida photo by Nathan Reed

Miramar is located in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 108,484, which has grown by 49.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Miramar, 117, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Miramar are priced at $239,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred ten new homes were constructed in Miramar, down from one hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Miramar are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 20.7% of Miramar residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Miramar is 9.7%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Miramar residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Church, Saint Bartholomew Church and Saint Stephens Church are among the churches located in Miramar. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Miramar is home to the Parkway Plaza and the Miramar Country Club as well as Southwest Broward Junior Athletic Association and Calhoun Recreation Complex. Shopping centers in the area include Palmetto By Pass Shopping Center and Miramar Shopping Center.