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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Institutional cooks can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Elizabeth, New Jersey area. There are currently 6,600 working institutional cooks in New Jersey; this should grow by 16% to 7,700 working institutional cooks in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for institutional cooks are expected to grow by about 9.7%. 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 $13 per hour or $27,870 yearly on average in New Jersey and about $10 per hour or $22,210 yearly 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 New Jersey, and not quite as good as the overall Cooking category nationally. People working as institutional cooks can fill a number of jobs, such as: culinary specialist, baker, and galley cook.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth where you can study to be an institutional cook, among 298 schools of higher education total in the Elizabeth area. The most common level of education 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 Elizabeth 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Institutional Cook Training

Career Academy of New York - New York, NY

Career Academy of New York, 154 W 14TH St 10th floor, New York, NY 10011-7307. Career Academy of New York is a small school located in New York, New York. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 449 students and an admission rate of 77%. Career Academy of New York has a less than one year program in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant which graduated eighty-six students in 2008.

New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Campus - New York, NY

New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Campus, 1855 Broadway, New York, NY 10023-7692. New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Campus is a small school located in New York, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,633 students and an admission rate of 66%. New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Campus has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Monroe College-Main Campus - Bronx, NY

Monroe College-Main Campus, Monroe College Way, Bronx, NY 10468. Monroe College-Main Campus is a small college located in Bronx, New York. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 61%. Monroe College-Main Campus has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-six students in 2008.

Monroe College-New Rochelle - New Rochelle, NY

Monroe College-New Rochelle, 434 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801. Monroe College-New Rochelle is a small college located in New Rochelle, New York. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,153 students and an admission rate of 60%. Monroe College-New Rochelle has an associate's degree 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: Elizabeth, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, New Jersey photo by Cobber17

Elizabeth is situated in Union County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 124,755, which has grown by 3.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elizabeth, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Elizabeth are valued at $321,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Elizabeth, up from six the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Elizabeth are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and other transportation, and support activities, and couriers. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 12.1% of Elizabeth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elizabeth is 12.4%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Elizabeth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.5%, is more than both the national and state average. First Pentecostal Church, Christ Episcopal Church and Alliance International Fellowship Church are some of the churches located in Elizabeth. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Elizabeth is home to the North Elizabeth Station and the Julian Station as well as Kellogg Park and Jackson Park. Visitors to Elizabeth can choose from Hampton Inn Newark-Airport, Centro America Express and Hilton Newark Airport for temporary stays in the area.