Expand mobile version menu

Institution or Cafeteria Cook

salary graphic



education graphic


No standard requirement

job outlook graphic



What They Do

Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria Career Video

About This Career

Prepares and cooks large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Monitors and records food temperatures to ensure food safety.
  • Cooks foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Rotates and stores food supplies.
  • Washes pots, pans, dishes, utensils, or other cooking equipment.
  • Apportions and serves food to facility residents, employees, or patrons.
  • Cleans and inspects galley equipment, kitchen appliances, and work areas to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
  • Cleans, cuts, and cooks meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Directs activities of one or more workers who assist in preparing and serving meals.
  • Trains new employees.
  • Takes inventory of supplies and equipment.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cook — Prepares and cooks a wide variety of foods in restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, educational institutions and other establishments.
  • Dietary Cook
  • Dinner Cook
  • Food Service Specialist
  • School Cook
  • Sous Chef
  • Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook)
  • Chef
  • Food Service Worker — Duties include responsibility for instructing subordinate food service workers in dining hall techniques and methods; for maintaining high standards of cleanliness; and for assuring that patrons are served in a pleasant and courteous manner.


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733