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Career and Education Opportunities for Fast Food Cooks in Essex, Vermont

Fast food cook career and educational opportunities abound in Essex, Vermont. About 1,110 people are currently employed as fast food cooks in Vermont. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 3% to 1,140 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for fast food cooks, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.5% over the next eight years. In general, fast food cooks prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus.

A person working as a fast food cook can expect to earn about $9 hourly or $19,520 per year on average in Vermont and about $8 per hour or $16,880 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as fast food cooks in Vermont earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Jobs in this field include: pizza baker, line cook, and pizza chef.

The Essex area is home to fourteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Essex where you can get a degree as a fast food cook. The most common level of education for fast food cooks is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a fast food cook if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fast Food Cook

Fast Food Cook video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fast food cooks prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. They also duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

Fast food cooks clean food preparation areas and utensils. They also clean and restock workstations and display cases. Equally important, fast food cooks have to maintain sanitation and safety standards in work areas. They are often called upon to verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity. Finally, fast food cooks operate large-volume cooking equipment such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.

Every day, fast food cooks 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 fast food cooks to cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously. They are often called upon to measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared. They also read food order slips or receive verbal instructions as to food required by patron, and ready and cook food in line with instructions. They are sometimes expected to cook and package batches of food. Somewhat less frequently, fast food cooks are also expected to schedule efforts and equipment use with managers, using data related to daily menus to to direct cooking times.

And finally, they sometimes have to cook and package batches of food.

Like many other jobs, fast food cooks must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Essex 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 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.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • 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: Fast Food Cook 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 a bachelor's degree program in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant which graduated fifteen 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.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Essex, Vermont

Essex, Vermont
Essex, Vermont photo by Fancy-cats-are-happy-cats

Essex is situated in Chittenden County, Vermont. It has a population of over 19,649, which has grown by 5.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Essex, 95, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Essex cost $228,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six new homes were built in Essex, down from thirteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Essex are educational services, health care, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 45.6% of Essex residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Essex is 4.8%, which is less than Vermont's average of 5.9%. About 2.6% of Essex's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Essex residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Federated Church, Covenant Community Church and Essex Alliance Church are among the churches located in Essex. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Essex is home to the Essex Free Library and the Essex Town Hall.