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What they do?

Cooks perform some or all of the following duties:

A. May hire and train kitchen staff

B. Cooks may specialize in preparing and cooking ethnic cuisine or special dishes.

C. Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods

D. Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef

E. Schedule and supervise kitchen helpers

F. Oversee kitchen operations

G. Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment

Where they find work?

1. Accommodation and food services - 78.0%
2. Health care and social assistance - 11.0%
3. Retail trade - 2.0%
4. Arts entertainment and recreation - 2.0%
5. Other services (except public administration) - 2.0%
6. Public administration - 1.0%
7. Educational services - 1.0%

What education do I need?

1. To be a cook, you usually must complete high school.

2. You need a three-year apprenticeship program for cooks, or a college or other program in cooking, or several years of commercial cooking experience.

3. Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in all provinces/territories.

4. Red Seal, an interprovincial trade certification, is also available to qualified cooks.

5. With additional experience and training, you may move up the ranks to a more senior position, such as chef.

6. Most recent entrants have a community college diploma, and almost 2 in 5 have a trade/vocational certificate.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Cooking

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Cooks is $9.90/HR, which is below average for occupations in the sale and service sector and are below average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Cooks wages

Expected Wage by Age

Cooks Wage By Age


9% of Cooks are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Cooks Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Cooks Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Cooks is considered Below Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($9.90) are below the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (9%) is above the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Below Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be close to the average.

2. The retirement rate will likely be below average, and the number of retiring workers should not contribute significantly to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Cooks are found in Alberta and Saskatchewan while the lowest concentrations are in Ontario and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (13%) is below the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Serving

2. Customer service

3. Bussing

Part Time Workers

Cooks Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

36% of Cooks are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 184,700 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 20% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Cooks Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The relatively high percentage of younger workers suggests more entry-level positions and jobs that may serve as stepping stones in a career. The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be below average because of a tendency to retire at an older-than-average age (65).

Self Employed

Cooks Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 0% of Cooks are self-employed. This is considered Below average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Cooks Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

47% of the individuals employed as Cooks are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.