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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Pembroke Pines, Florida

For those living in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area, there are many career and education opportunities for institutional cooks. About 13,330 people are currently employed as institutional cooks in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 15,610 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%. In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Institutional cooks earn approximately $11 per hour or $23,560 annually on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,210 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as institutional cooks in Florida earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: food service specialist, cook supervisor, and school cook.

There are ninety-seven schools of higher education in the Pembroke Pines area, including three within twenty-five miles of Pembroke Pines where you can get a degree to start your career as an institutional cook. 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 studying 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 Pembroke Pines 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: Pembroke Pines, Florida

Pembroke Pines, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida photo by Dawn Ashley

Pembroke Pines is situated in Broward County, Florida. It has a population of over 145,661, which has grown by 6.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Pembroke Pines, 116, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pembroke Pines are valued at $117,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were built in Pembroke Pines, up from three the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pembroke Pines are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is public administration, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 28.7% of Pembroke Pines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pembroke Pines is 8.6%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Pembroke Pines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.9%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pembroke Road Baptist Church, Boulevard Chapel and Taft Street Chapel are all churches located in Pembroke Pines. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Pembroke Pines is home to the Hollywood Lakes Country Club and the Pines Bank Plaza as well as Kennedy Park and Snake Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pembroke Pines Shopping Center, Pembroke Village Shopping Center and University Mall.