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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Arlington, Texas

Institutional cook career and educational opportunities abound in Arlington, Texas. There are currently 25,530 working institutional cooks in Texas; this should grow 22% to about 31,140 working institutional cooks in the state 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. In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Institutional cooks earn approximately $9 hourly or $19,040 annually on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,210 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as institutional cooks in Texas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: ship's cook, diet kitchen cook, and culinary specialist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can study to be an institutional cook, among eighty-seven schools of higher education total in the Arlington area. Institutional cooks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Arlington 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Institutional Cook Training

Tarrant County College District - Fort Worth, TX

Tarrant County College District, 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6599. Tarrant County College District is a large college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 39,596 students. Tarrant County College District has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Foodservice Systems Administration/Management.


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.


Arlington, Texas
Arlington, Texas photo by Alienevil

Arlington is located in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 374,417, which has grown by 12.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Arlington are priced at $154,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred twenty-six new homes were constructed in Arlington, down from eight hundred twelve the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Arlington are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 30.4% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Arlington is 7.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Advent Lutheran Church, Pleasantview Baptist Church and Central Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Arlington is home to the Festival Marketplace and the The Parks at Arlington as well as Arlington Tennis Center - University of Texas and Doug Russel Park. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Budget Host International, Baymont Inns & Suites and Candlewood Suites for temporary stays in the area.