Institution and Cafeteria Cooks: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Institution and Cafeteria Cooks

Institution and Cafeteria Cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth


Job description

Institution and Cafeteria Cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

  • Monitor and record food temperatures to ensure food safety.
  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Rotate and store food supplies.
  • Wash pots, pans, dishes, utensils, or other cooking equipment.
Read more about what does an Institution and Cafeteria Cook really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$28290 per year

Average hourly wage
$14 per hour

Institution and Cafeteria Cooks with little to no experience tend to make between $18840 and $22000 while the more experienced ones can earn over $32860 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CT $19 $38,580
HI $18 $38,110
AK $18 $37,670
MA $18 $37,300
DC $18 $37,270

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Institution and Cafeteria Cook is to move to a higher paying state like CT. Right now, the highest paying states for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks are CT, HI, AK, MA and DC.

However, a higher pay at CT doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CT might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Institution and Cafeteria Cook is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Institution and Cafeteria Cooks what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant
Institutional Food Workers
Foodservice Systems Administration/Management
Read more about how to become an Institution and Cafeteria Cook and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Institution and Cafeteria Cook.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

61% of Institution and Cafeteria Cooks said they were satisfied with their job and 59% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Institution and Cafeteria Cooks

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Job Description

Related career information

Institution and Cafeteria Cooks job description, Institution and Cafeteria Cooks salary, Institution and Cafeteria Cooks information, what is the job of an Institution and Cafeteria Cook like, pros and cons about Institution and Cafeteria Cooks, colleges and universities for Institution and Cafeteria Cooks, is Institution and Cafeteria Cooks the right career for me, careers in Food and Hospitality

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