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Career and Education Opportunities for Fast Food Cooks in Atlanta, Georgia

Fast food cooks can find many career and educational opportunities in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Currently, 20,590 people work as fast food cooks in Georgia. This is expected to grow 22% to 25,080 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fast food cooks are expected to grow by about 7.5%. Fast food cooks generally prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus.

A person working as a fast food cook can expect to earn about $8 per hour or $16,750 annually on average in Georgia and about $8 per hour or $16,880 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Fast food cooks earn less than people working in the category of Cooking generally in Georgia and less than people in the Cooking category nationally. Fast food cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: fry cook, cook, and line cook.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Atlanta where you can study to be a fast food cook, among ninety-one schools of higher education total in the Atlanta area. The most common level of education for fast food cooks is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a fast food cook if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fast Food Cook

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

In general, fast food cooks prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. They also duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

Fast food cooks clean food preparation areas and utensils. They also clean and restock workstations and display cases. Equally important, fast food cooks have to maintain sanitation and safety standards in work areas. They are often called upon to verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity. Finally, fast food cooks operate large-volume cooking equipment such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.

Every day, fast food cooks are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for fast food cooks to cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously. They are often called upon to measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared. They also read food order slips or receive verbal instructions as to food required by patron, and ready and cook food in line with instructions. They are sometimes expected to cook and package batches of food. Somewhat less frequently, fast food cooks are also expected to schedule efforts and equipment use with managers, using data related to daily menus to to direct cooking times.

And finally, they sometimes have to cook and package batches of food.

Like many other jobs, fast food cooks must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Atlanta 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.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • 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.
  • Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fast Food Cook Training

Atlanta Technical College - Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Technical College, 1560 Metropolitan Pky SW, Atlanta, GA 30310-4446. Atlanta Technical College is a small college located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,293 students. Atlanta Technical College has a less than one year program in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Chattahoochee Technical College - Marietta, GA

Chattahoochee Technical College, 980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE, Marietta, GA 30060-3300. Chattahoochee Technical College is a medium sized college located in Marietta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,616 students. Chattahoochee Technical College has a less than one year program in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant which graduated sixty-six students in 2008.

Gwinnett Technical College - Lawrenceville, GA

Gwinnett Technical College, 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5702. Gwinnett Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,299 students. Gwinnett Technical College has a less than one year program in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.