Career Advice on How to Become An Institution and Cafeteria Cook

General Career Information

Fishnets can look pretty darn sexy… just ask any cafeteria worker.  Those who like how their hair looks in a fishnet need look no further for a career path.  An exciting and rewarding career as a institution and cafeteria cook will allow you to put on that “oh so sexy” fishnet cap each and every day of the week.

Career Facts:

As an institution or cafeteria cook, you will work in institutions such as schools, hospitals, government institutions and a host of other fine dining establishments known for dishing out some of the finest food on the planet.  Well… maybe in a parallel universe, anyway.

Working as an institution or cafeteria cook, you will help prepare meals well in advance so that already depressed students or hospital patients, for example, can have the pleasure of eating a bland, uninspired meal that is sure to take a bite out of any soul.  Too harsh?  When’s the last time you had a truly great cafeteria meal?  Fine dinner, this is not.  Maybe if you are working at Google, but not in the rest of the world.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

The job outlook for the institution or cafeteria cook is only expected to be about average.  Why is there no real growth?  Like so much else in our society, the work of the institution or cafeteria cook is being outsourced to a series of Wal-Mart’s of the food industry. This process insures that all cafeterias everywhere will have exactly the same thing.  What a treat!  While institutional food is expected to grow in the coming years, it will be large food contractors, food management and catering services that are likely to benefit.
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

In theory, the institution and cafeteria cook inspects food and kitchen supplies and tools for cleanliness.  Beyond that, institution and cafeteria cooks also makes whatever is on the menu, likely using a Reagan-style vegetable like ketchup as the basis for a nutritious meal.  Of course, this is a generalization.  Some cafeteria food, in some locations, is actually edible.  On very rare occasions it may even be good.  An institution and cafeteria cook may also train new employees and direct the work of other existing cafeteria employees.

Average Salary:

Living this fantasy, however, isn’t going to pay the bills and one really needs to have a passion for it.  The average institution and cafeteria cook can expect to earn about $10.70 an hour or about $22,000 a year.



Career Training and Qualifications:

In general, the job doesn’t require much in the way of specific training. However, this fact is also reflected in the pay.  In fact, anyone who has ever “eaten” cafeteria food will probably agree that much of the time the “chef” doesn’t really know how to cook.  Thus, whether or not cooking is a requirement to become an institution and cafeteria cook is also rather questionable.

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