Cooks are responsible for the preparation of food and can be employed in many different environments, including diners, restaurants, and hotels. Cooks are responsible for preparing ingredients, seasoning and cooking a variety of different foods, and ensuring that food is fresh and that that the work space is sanitary. Cooks may also be responsible for keeping records of stock, ordering supplies, pricing items, and planning menus. In general, no formal education is needed and on-the-job training is enough to acclimate new employees to the job. Some cooks may attend culinary school or pursue certifications if they want to become chefs or head cooks.
Kitchens are fast-paced, often tense environments. Cooks need to respond quickly and work well within a team. Many pieces of kitchen equipment are sharp; food preparation workers need to be careful and spatially aware of their surroundings in order to avoid injury. Cooks are also tasked with overseeing food that customers will ingest, meaning that cooks must be conscientious about food safety and sanitation.
Pre-employment tests from Criteria Corp are very useful for assisting hiring managers in identifying the best applicants for cooking positions. General job readiness skills, in addition to competence and attention to detail can be helpful in these positions. Therefore, some employers will turn to general skills tests such as the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) to ensure candidates can be trained easily and will possess basic literacy and numeracy. Since dependability, trustworthiness, and conscientiousness are also valuable assets in cooks, employers can mitigate risk by administering integrity tests such as the Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP), which is a behavioral risk assessment that measures important characteristics such as honesty, integrity, and attitudes towards theft.
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Rank in HireSelect:
29 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 2,227,470
Education level of Cooks: