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Career and Education Opportunities for Counter Clerks in Elgin, Illinois

Counter clerks can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 20,930 jobs for counter clerks in Illinois and this is projected to grow 16% to 24,210 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for counter clerks are expected to grow by about 9.3%. In general, counter clerks serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.

Counter clerks earn about $8 hourly or $16,760 yearly on average in Illinois and about $8 hourly or $17,520 annually on average nationally. Earnings for counter clerks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Service in Illinois and not quite as good as general Service category earnings nationally. Counter clerks work in a variety of jobs, including: fountain helper, ice cream scooper, and candy counter clerk.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a counter clerk, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. The most common level of education for counter clerks is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a counter clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Counter Clerk

Counter Clerk video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, counter clerks serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.

Every day, counter clerks are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for counter clerks to wrap menu item such as sandwiches and desserts for serving or for takeout. They are often called upon to serve food or desserts to patrons in such settings as take-out counters of restaurants or lunchrooms, business or industrial establishments, hotel rooms, and cars. They also replenish foods at serving stations. They are sometimes expected to ready food such as sandwiches and ice cream dishes, using standard formulas or following directions. Somewhat less frequently, counter clerks are also expected to order items needed to replenish supplies.

Counter clerks sometimes are asked to serve salads and cocktails, ladle soups and sauces and fill beverage cups and glasses. and brew coffee and tea, and fill containers with requested beverages. And finally, they sometimes have to wrap menu item such as sandwiches and desserts for serving or for takeout.

Like many other jobs, counter clerks must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Dining Room Attendant. Facilitate food service. Clean tables, carry dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, and dishes; supply service bar with food, and serve water, butter, and coffee to patrons.
  • Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
  • 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.
  • Host Coordinator. Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • 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.
  • Waiter. Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Counter Clerk Training

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Food Service, Waiter/Waitress, & Dining Room Management/Manager which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.