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Institution and Cafeteria Cook

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What is an Institution and Cafeteria Cook?

Occupation Description Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Institution & Cafeteria Cook Responsibilities

  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Direct activities of one or more workers who assist in preparing and serving meals.
  • Monitor menus and spending to ensure that meals are prepared economically.
  • Plan menus that are varied, nutritionally balanced, and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.
  • Monitor use of government food commodities to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
  • Determine meal prices, based on calculations of ingredient prices.

What an Institution & Cafeteria Cook Should Know

When polled, Institution and Cafeteria Cooks say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Types of Institution and Cafeteria Cook

  • Galley Cook
  • Roundsman
  • Mess Cook
  • Cafeteria Supervisor
  • Diet Kitchen Cook

Is There Job Demand for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks?

There were about 424,800 jobs for Institution and Cafeteria Cook in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 32,600 new jobs for Institution and Cafeteria Cook by 2026. The BLS estimates 64,400 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Institution & Cafeteria Cook are Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Institution & Cafeteria Cook Make?

The typical yearly salary for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks is somewhere between $18,840 and $39,880.


Institution and Cafeteria Cooks who work in Connecticut, Hawaii, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $22,100
Alaska $37,670
Arizona $28,120
Arkansas $22,320
California $35,680
Colorado $29,630
Connecticut $38,580
Delaware $32,620
District of Columbia $37,270
Florida $27,280
Georgia $26,160
Hawaii $38,110
Idaho $24,960
Illinois $27,550
Indiana $25,200
Iowa $27,110
Kansas $24,190
Kentucky $25,630
Louisiana $21,990
Maine $30,910
Maryland $33,010
Massachusetts $37,300
Michigan $28,410
Minnesota $32,810
Mississippi $20,460
Missouri $24,900
Montana $27,060
Nebraska $26,950
Nevada $32,780
New Hampshire $33,100
New Jersey $34,050
New Mexico $25,020
New York $34,800
North Carolina $25,240
North Dakota $31,370
Ohio $27,260
Oklahoma $21,650
Oregon $31,920
Pennsylvania $29,180
Rhode Island $36,060
South Carolina $22,960
South Dakota $26,230
Tennessee $25,580
Texas $24,770
Utah $27,870
Vermont $31,380
Virginia $29,400
Washington $34,230
West Virginia $24,200
Wisconsin $28,960
Wyoming $30,580

What Tools & Technology do Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Institution and Cafeteria Cooks:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Data entry software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Point of sale POS software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • GNOME Gnutrition

Becoming an Institution & Cafeteria Cook

Are there Institution and Cafeteria Cooks education requirements?


What work experience do I need to become an Institution & Cafeteria Cook?


Where Institution and Cafeteria Cooks Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Institution and Cafeteria Cooks employed by various industries.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being an Institution and Cafeteria Cook may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Institution and Cafeteria Cook in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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