Being a cook sounds like a glamorous job and it certainly can be an excellent career path for individuals with an interest in food and a flair for creating appealing dishes. However a cook's tasks depend upon his or her status.

Prep cooks clean food preparation areas cooking surfaces and utensils to make sure they are sanitary. They also weigh wash and measure food items and they cut chop and mix various ingredients to get them ready for whatever recipe will be cooked.

Line cooks do most of the actual cooking working alongside sous chefs who are second in command to the head chef. Head cooks not only cook food but are also in charge of ordering the correct amount of food and supplies for delivery.

Cooks often operate equipment such as grills deep-fat fryers and griddles all of which can present some a safety hazard if proper procedures are not followed. Cooks must be able to read or listen to food orders and make sure they are filled accurately.

According to the website a considerable number of cooks work part-time but full-time cooks work long hours including early mornings late evenings weekends and holidays. There are no hard and fast job qualifications but many cooks start by attending a vocational or trade school to learn the technicalities of cooking. Some go on to attend culinary school or enroll in a four-year bachelor's degree program.With talent and a lot of hard work cooks can be promoted to sous or head chef positions within several years.

The website reports that cooks' salaries depend on experience type of employer job title and location but entry-level cooks earn between $16000 and $30000. Over time this can increase to an average of $50000.

Education Required: High School Diploma
Avg Salary: $33000
High Salary: $50000
Low Salary: $16000
Tasks: Prepares food to be cooked.
Keeps kitchen clean.
Follows recipes.
Operates kitchen equipment.
Also Called: Prep Cook
Sous Chef
Line Cook
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