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Cooks, Institution & Cafeteria

Also called: Cook, Dietary Cook, Food and Nutrition Services Assistant, School Cook

Where in the Army? In the Army: Food Service Specialist; Nutrition Care Specialist

What they do:
Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
On the job, you would:
  • Clean, cut, and cook meat, fish, or poultry.
  • Cook foodstuffs according to menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served.
  • Clean and inspect galley equipment, kitchen appliances, and work areas to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.


  • customer service
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • do two or more things at the same time
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
  • listen and understand what people say


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Cooperation
  • Independence


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • IBM Lotus 1-2-3
  • Microsoft Excel
Data base user interface and query software
  • Data entry software
  • Meals Plus software
Point of sale POS software
  • PCS Revenue Control Systems FASTRAK School Meal Software


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
no high school diploma/GED or
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
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per year, on average
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