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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Aides in Elizabeth, New Jersey

If you want to be a food service aide, the Elizabeth, New Jersey area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 17,000 working food service aides in New Jersey; this should grow by 16% to 19,600 working food service aides in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for food service aides are expected to grow by about 4.2%. In general, food service aides perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

Income for food service aides is about $9 per hour or $19,550 annually on average in New Jersey. Nationally, their income is about $8 per hour or $18,630 per year. Incomes for food service aides are better than in the overall category of Preparation in New Jersey, and better than the overall Preparation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: salad maker, baker helper, and pantry worker.

There are 298 schools of higher education in the Elizabeth area, including one within twenty-five miles of Elizabeth where you can get a degree to start your career as a food service aide. The most common level of education for food service aides is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a food service aide if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Service Aide

Food Service Aide video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, food service aides 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 service aides clean work areas and silverware. They also store food in designated containers and storage areas to inhibit spoilage. Equally important, food service aides have to inform supervisors when supplies are getting low or equipment is not working properly. They are often called upon to carry food supplies and utensils to and from storage and work areas. They are expected to portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to customers. Finally, food service aides weigh or measure ingredients.

Every day, food service aides 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 food service aides to receive and store food supplies and utensils in refrigerators and other storage areas. They are often called upon to assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and furnish cooks with needed items. They also use manual or electric appliances to clean and trim foods. They are sometimes expected to package take-out foods or serve food to patrons. Somewhat less frequently, food service aides are also expected to mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads and pasta salads.

Food service aides sometimes are asked to stir and strain soups and sauces. They also have to be able to distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to patrons and stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals. And finally, they sometimes have to cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to ready for cooking.

Like many other jobs, food service aides must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elizabeth include:

  • 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.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • 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: Food Service Aide 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.

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.

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.