How to become a Cook

Becoming a cook does not require any formal education. However, many employers prefer hiring cooks with the right blend of formal knowledge and experience. Below are some distinct requirements that top-notch restaurants insist on.

  1. Obtain a two-year or four-year culinary degree. Some employers, however, only require that a cook has proficiency in food safety, hospitality, advanced cooking, and sanitation. Covering these units takes barely two years.
  2. Acquire advanced training to have a good grasp of skills needed for fast-paced work environments. Once absorbed, the new hire can enroll for apprenticeship programs for technical training alongside the on-the-job experience. The minimum entry point for such programs is a high school diploma or its equivalence. A cook also needs to undergo extensive training under a chef to gain culinary education that is equivalent to a degree.
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What skills help Cooks find jobs?

  • Cooking
  • Restaurant Experience
  • Basic Math
  • Culinary Experience
  • Food Preparation Experience
  • Serving Experience
  • Kitchen Experience
  • Sanitation
  • Meal Preparation
  • Baking
  • Food Production Experience
  • Food Service
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Career progression for Cook

Education levels for Cooks

Based on the requirements of Cook job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.

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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Cook in the United States within the last three years.

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Common qualifications for Cooks

  • ServSafe
  • Food Handler Certification
  • Food Safety Certification
  • First Aid Certification
  • Driver's License
  • Registered Dietitian
  • CPR Certification
  • Bartender License
  • Certified Dental Assistant
  • Fire Safety Certification
  • OLCC Service Permit
  • Child Development Associate Certification
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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about career advices for a Cook

Do you need any specific certifications to become a cook?

While it is not mandatory to get a certification to be a cook but obtaining ServSafe Food Handler certificate is recommended if you wish to work in a restaurant.

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What soft skills do cooks need to possess?

Set of skills that make a high profile cook:

  • The ability to manage kitchen roles, create and implement menus
  • Possessing dexterity and organisational skills
  • Attention to detail and fast-paced decision-making skills
  • Culinary expertise along with high creativity
  • Basic knife skills and multitasking capability
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Do you have to go to school to be a cook?

No, there is no formal educational required to be a cook.

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