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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Irving, Texas

Institutional cook career and educational opportunities abound in Irving, Texas. Currently, 25,530 people work as institutional cooks in Texas. This is expected to grow 22% to 31,140 people 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%. 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 yearly on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $22,210 yearly. Earnings for institutional cooks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Cooking in Texas and not quite as good as general Cooking category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: boarding house cook, third cook, and school cafeteria cook.

The Irving area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Irving 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, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Irving 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

Texas Woman's University - Denton, TX

Texas Woman's University, 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX 76201. Texas Woman's University is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,341 students and an admission rate of 56%. Texas Woman's University has a master's degree program in Foodservice Systems Administration/Management which graduated five students in 2008.

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.


Irving, Texas
Irving, Texas photo by Ansem27

Irving is located in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 201,358, which has grown by 5.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Irving, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Irving cost $273,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in Irving, down from seven hundred ninety-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irving are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.0% of Irving residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irving is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Irving residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. African Baptist Church of Irving, Plymouth Park Church and Chapel of the Bells Church are all churches located in Irving. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Irving is home to the Dallas Gun Club and the Trinity Valley Marketplace as well as Senter Park and Revere Park. Shopping centers in the area include Irving Shopping Center, Plymouth Park Shopping Center and MacArthur Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Irving can choose from American Hospitality Services Corporation, Best Western DFW Airport and Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas for temporary stays in the area.