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Career profile Short Order Cook

Also known as Caterer, Cook, Deli Cook (Delicatessen Cook), Food and Beverage Attendant, Grill Cook, Line Cook, Pizza Maker, Prep Cook (Preparation Cook), Short Order Cook, Snack Bar Cook

Short Order Cook

Also known as Caterer, Cook, Deli Cook (Delicatessen Cook)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$18,550 - $37,210 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Food Production
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Clean food preparation equipment, work areas, and counters or tables.
  • Perform food preparation tasks, such as making sandwiches, carving meats, making soups or salads, baking breads or desserts, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Perform general cleaning activities in kitchen and dining areas.
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What does a Short Order Cook do?

Short Order Cooks prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time.

In addition, Short Order Cooks may take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

What kind of tasks does a Short Order Cook perform regularly?

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

  • Clean food preparation equipment, work areas, and counters or tables.
  • Perform food preparation tasks, such as making sandwiches, carving meats, making soups or salads, baking breads or desserts, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Perform general cleaning activities in kitchen and dining areas.
  • Restock kitchen supplies, rotate food, and stamp the time and date on food in coolers.
  • Grill, cook, and fry foods such as french fries, eggs, and pancakes.
  • Plan work on orders so that items served together are finished at the same time.
  • Take orders from customers and cook foods requiring short preparation times, according to customer requirements.
  • Grill and garnish hamburgers or other meats, such as steaks and chops.
  • Complete orders from steam tables, placing food on plates and serving customers at tables or counters.
  • Order supplies and stock them on shelves.

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

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Short Order Cook salary?

The median salary for a Short Order Cook is $26,570, and the average salary is $27,030. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Short Order Cook salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Short Order Cooks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Short Order Cooks earn less than $18,550 per year, 25% earn less than $21,670, 75% earn less than $31,170, and 90% earn less than $37,210.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Short Order Cooks is expected to change by 9.6%, and there should be roughly 20,000 open positions for Short Order Cooks every year.

Median annual salary
$26,570
Typical salary range
$18,550 - $37,210
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
9.6%

What personality traits are common among Short Order 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 Short Order Cook are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Short Order 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, Short Order 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 Short Order Cook tend to value Independence, Relationships, and Support.

Most importantly, Short Order Cooks moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Short Order Cooks somewhat 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.

Lastly, Short Order Cooks somewhat value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

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 Short Order Cooks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, self-control, and cooperation.

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

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Short Order Cooks need?

Working as a Short Order Cook usually requires a high school diploma.

Short Order Cooks need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Short Order 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 Short Order Cooks

Short Order Cooks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, food production, or production and processing knowledge.

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

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.
Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Short Order Cooks

Short Order 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, Short Order Cooks need abilities such as near vision, oral comprehension, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Short Order Cooks, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Short Order 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.

Short Order Cooks frequently use skills like active listening, reading comprehension, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Short Order 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.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
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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