careers.novascotia.ca

Cooks

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NOC:6322
Occupation:Cooks
Category:Sales and Service

About the job

Nature of work:

Cooks prepare and cook a wide variety of foods. They are employed in restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, educational institutions and other establishments. Cooks are also employed aboard ships and at construction and logging campsites.

Job duties:
Cooks perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods.
  • Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef.
  • Schedule and supervise kitchen helpers.
  • Oversee kitchen operations.
  • Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment.
  • May set up and oversee buffets.
  • May clean kitchen and work area.
  • May plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies.
  • May hire and train kitchen staff.

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

Sample job titles:
  • apprentice cook
  • assistant cook
  • banquet cook
  • cafeteria cook
  • camp cook
  • caterer cook
  • cook
  • line cook
  • ship's cook
  • short order cook
Skills:

This work requires initiative, imagination, and creativity. Knowledge of basic nutrition and cooking methods is needed. You should understand and apply the rules of hygiene, sanitation, and occupational safety. Organization, time management, and the ability to perform under pressure are important. You must have good physical health, physical stamina, and manual dexterity. You will be required to establish good working relationships with a variety of co-workers and customers and display a professional attitude.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program for cooks or completion of college or other program in cooking or several years of commercial cooking experience are required.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified cooks upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Other considerations:

These jobs are heavily influenced by tourism activity; therefore, employment levels tend to vary throughout the year and peak in the summer months. A high rate of turnover in these jobs generates numerous job openings for people seeking employment. Earnings can vary significantly depending upon the skills and training of the individual, and the type of establishment will have a major impact on the wages paid. There is mobility among the various types of cooks in this group. Progression to supervisory or more senior positions, such as chef, is possible with experience and training.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Cooks may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 37% of Cooks who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $27,186. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Cooks5,550Weak growth300Moderate
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $12.31
Maximum: $16.92
Minimum: $3,669
Median: $17,935
Maximum: $41,583
Occupations in Sales and Service102,605Decline slightly5,260Moderate
Minimum: $10.70
Median: $12.50
Maximum: $21.17
Minimum: $2,949
Median: $16,629
Maximum: $45,086
CooksCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
Percent employed full-time69%59%
Percent self-employed1%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentCooksCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern14%$18,65012%$30,581
Northern17%$16,42916%$33,660
Cape Breton17%$14,85513%$32,974
Halifax42%$18,04747%$41,209
Annapolis Valley10%$14,34213%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeCooksCompared to: All Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
15-2423%x
25-3416%36%
35-4417%29%
45-5420%x
55-6421%21%
65+3%x
Median Age3637
GenderCooksCompared to: Occupations in Sales and Service
% Employed% Employed
Female49%60%
Male51%40%
EducationCooksCompared to: All Sales and Service
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school23.5%$27,22218.8%$9,486
High school40.5%$21,16240.4%$12,982
Trades certificate10.8%$37,4158.0%$18,797
College certificate or diploma18.5%$31,05019.9%$19,514
University certificate or diploma1.6%x1.6%$18,279
Bachelor's degree4.6%$26,89010.0%$20,807
University advanced certificate or diploma0.3%x0.5%$15,716
Master's degreeN/Ax0.8%$20,769
Doctorate0.2%x0.0%$17,318
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%$17,368
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Cook
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Ship's Cook
Not Provincially Regulated:This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.
Regulating body:
Transport Canada - Marine Safety Services
45 Alderney Drive
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4K2
(855) 859-3123
(902) 426-6657
Useful contacts:
Canadian Culinary Federation, Halifax Branch
Halifax, NS
Tel: (902) 876-0835
admin@chefs.assoc@ns.sympatico.ca
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
jobs@tourism.ca
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (902) 422-5853
Fax: (902) 422-0184
NSTHRC@tourism.ca
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to serve under the supervision of chefs and other food service professionals as kitchen support staff and commercial food preparation workers. These programs include courses in kitchen organization and operations, sanitation and quality control, basic food preparation and cooking skills, kitchen and kitchen equipment maintenance, and quantity food measurement and monitoring.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Cook