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Career profile Line Cook

Also known as Cook, Deep Fat Fryer Operator, Fast Food Cook, Fry Cook, Fryer, Grill Cook, Line Cook, Pizza Cook, Pizza Maker, Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook)

Line Cook

Also known as Cook, Deep Fat Fryer Operator, Fast Food Cook

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$17,590 - $31,430 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Service Orientation
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Transportation
  • Communications and Media
Core tasks
  • Order and take delivery of supplies.
  • Cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously.
  • Prepare specialty foods, such as pizzas, fish and chips, sandwiches, or tacos, following specific methods that usually require short preparation time.
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What does a Line Cook do?

Line Cooks prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu.

In addition, Line Cooks duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

What kind of tasks does a Line Cook perform regularly?

Line Cooks are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Order and take delivery of supplies.
  • Cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously.
  • Prepare specialty foods, such as pizzas, fish and chips, sandwiches, or tacos, following specific methods that usually require short preparation time.
  • Operate large-volume cooking equipment, such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.
  • Wash, cut, and prepare foods designated for cooking.
  • Prepare and serve beverages, such as coffee or fountain drinks.
  • Clean food preparation areas, cooking surfaces, and utensils.
  • Read food order slips or receive verbal instructions as to food required by patron, and prepare and cook food according to instructions.
  • Serve orders to customers at windows, counters, or tables.
  • Clean, stock, and restock workstations and display cases.
  • Maintain sanitation, health, and safety standards in work areas.
  • Cook and package batches of food, such as hamburgers or fried chicken, which are prepared to order or kept warm until sold.
  • Prepare dough, following recipe.
  • Take food and drink orders and receive payment from customers.
  • Verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity.
  • Pre-cook items, such as bacon, to prepare them for later use.
  • Measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared.
  • Mix ingredients, such as pancake or waffle batters.
  • Schedule activities and equipment use with managers, using information about daily menus to help coordinate cooking times.

The above responsibilities are specific to Line Cooks. More generally, Line Cooks are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Line Cook salary?

The median salary for a Line Cook is $24,380, and the average salary is $24,300. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Line Cook salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Line Cooks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Line Cooks earn less than $17,590 per year, 25% earn less than $19,650, 75% earn less than $27,960, and 90% earn less than $31,430.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Line Cooks is expected to change by -2.1%, and there should be roughly 77,100 open positions for Line Cooks every year.

Median annual salary
$24,380
Typical salary range
$17,590 - $31,430
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.1%

What personality traits are common among Line Cooks?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Line Cook are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Line Cooks typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Line Cooks typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Line Cook tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Line Cooks moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Line Cooks moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Line Cooks somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Line Cooks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, cooperation, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Line Cooks, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Line Cooks need?

Working as a Line Cook may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Line Cooks need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Line Cooks

  • 27.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 41.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 18.5% completed some college coursework
  • 6.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Line Cooks

Line Cooks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, transportation, or communications and media knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Line Cooks might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Line Cooks

Line Cooks must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Line Cooks need abilities such as oral comprehension, information ordering, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Line Cooks, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Line Cooks

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Line Cooks frequently use skills like active listening, service orientation, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Line Cooks, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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