Cooks prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods, which may include soups, salads, entrees, and desserts.
Cooks work in restaurants, schools, hospitals, private households, and other places where food is prepared and served. They often work early mornings, late evenings, holidays, and weekends.
Most cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training and related work experience. Although no formal education is required, some restaurant cooks and private household cooks attend culinary school.
The median hourly wage for cooks was $10.44 in May 2015.
Overall employment of cooks is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities will result from the combination of employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for cooks.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of cooks with similar occupations.
Learn more about cooks by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.