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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Illinois

Illinois has a population of 12,910,409, which has grown by 3.95% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln," its capital is Springfield, though its largest city is Chicago.

Currently, 16,500 people work as institutional cooks in Illinois. This is expected to grow 17% to 19,350 people 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.

Institutional cooks earn about $10 hourly or $22,490 annually on average in Illinois and about $10 per hour or $22,210 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for institutional cooks are not quite as good as in the overall category of Cooking in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Cooking category nationally. People working as institutional cooks can fill a number of jobs, such as: cook supervisor, school cafeteria cook, and camp cook.

In 2008, there were a total of 7,657,328 jobs in Illinois. The average annual income was $42,540 in 2008, up from $41,720 the preceding year. The unemployment rate in Illinois was 10.1% in 2009, which has grown by 3.7% since the previous year. Approximately 26.1% of Illinois residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Illinois include construction machinery merchant wholesalers, beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers, and nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Chicago Peregrine Release, the Edgewater Historical Society, and the Arts Club of Chicago.

CITIES WITH Institutional Cook OPPORTUNITIES IN Illinois


JOB 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.

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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Illinois 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.
  • Counter Clerk. Serve food to diners at counter or from a steam table.
  • 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.
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Host Coordinator. Welcome patrons, seat them at tables or in lounge, and help ensure quality of facilities and service.
  • 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Illinois

Illinois
Illinois photo by Hary Han

Illinois has a population of 12,910,409, which has grown by 3.95% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln," its capital is Springfield, though its largest city is Chicago. In 2008, there were a total of 7,657,328 jobs in Illinois. The average annual income was $42,540 in 2008, up from $41,720 in 2007. The unemployment rate in Illinois was 10.1% in 2009, which has grown by 3.7% since the previous year. Roughly 26.1% of Illinois residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Illinois include construction machinery merchant wholesalers, beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers, and nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Chicago Peregrine Release, the Dusable Museum of African American History, and the Chinatown Museum Foundation.