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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Service Aides in Burlington, Vermont

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for food service aides in the Burlington, Vermont area. About 2,250 people are currently employed as food service aides in Vermont. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to about 2,510 people employed. This is better than the national trend for food service aides, which sees this job pool growing by about 4.2% over the next eight years. 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 earn about $9 per hour or $19,430 annually on average in Vermont and about $8 hourly or $18,630 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Preparation, people working as food service aides in Vermont earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Preparation nationally. People working as food service aides can fill a number of jobs, such as: food server, seafood preparer, and food handler.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Burlington area, including one within twenty-five miles of Burlington where you can get a degree to start your career as a food service aide. Food service aides usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Burlington 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

New England Culinary Institute at Essex - Essex Junction, VT

New England Culinary Institute at Essex, 5 Franklin Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452. New England Culinary Institute at Essex is a small school located in Essex Junction, Vermont. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 105 students. New England Culinary Institute at Essex has 2 areas of study related to Food Service Aide. They are:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, one to two year which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant, bachelor's degree which graduated 15 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: Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont photo by Avala

Burlington is situated in Chittenden County, Vermont. It has a population of over 38,897. The cost of living index in Burlington, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Burlington cost $152,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were constructed in Burlington, down from eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Burlington are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 42.0% of Burlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Burlington is 5.2%, which is less than Vermont's average of 5.9%. About 20.0% of Burlington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Burlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Mark Church, Champlain Valley Baptist Church and Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Burlington. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Burlington is home to the South Breakwater Light and the Vermont State Craft Center Shelburne Farms as well as Ethan Allen Park and Head of Church Street Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Church Street Marketplace Shopping Center, North Avenue Shopping Center and Burlington Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Burlington can choose from Holiday Inn, Radisson Hotel Burlington and Champlain Inn for temporary stays in the area.