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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for institutional cooks in the Jersey City, New Jersey area. About 6,600 people are currently employed as institutional cooks in New Jersey. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 7,700 people employed. 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 $13 per hour or $27,870 annually on average in New Jersey and about $10 per hour or $22,210 per year on average nationally. 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: diet kitchen cook, school cafeteria cook, and chef.

The Jersey City area is home to 322 schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Jersey City where you can get a degree as an institutional cook. Given that the most common education level for institutional cooks is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn 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 Jersey City 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.

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.

Nassau Community College - Garden City, NY

Nassau Community College, One Education Dr, Garden City, NY 11530-6793. Nassau Community College is a large college located in Garden City, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,400 students. Nassau Community College has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury - Old Westbury, NY

New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury, Northern Blvd, Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000. New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury is a medium sized school located in Old Westbury, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,297 students and an admission rate of 78%. New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other Specialties which graduated six students in 2008.

SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY

SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has an associate's degree program in Foodservice Systems Administration/Management which graduated fifteen 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.

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: Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City, New Jersey photo by Diliff

Jersey City is situated in Hudson County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 241,114, which has grown by 0.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Jersey City, 132, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Jersey City cost $222,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were constructed in Jersey City, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Jersey City are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is finance and insurance, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 34 minutes. More than 27.5% of Jersey City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jersey City is 11.8%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Jersey City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 62.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Abundant Joy Christian Center, First Presbyterian Church and Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Jersey City. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Jersey City is home to the Claremont Terminal and the Pier H as well as Cortney Fricchione Park and Skinner Park. Shopping malls in the area include Newport Centre Mall Shopping Center, Stadium Plaza Shopping Center and Fourhundredforty Shopping Center.