Cooks prepare food in eating establishments such as hotels, restaurants, institutions, trains and ships.
In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.
The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:
Interest in compiling information to monitor food and supplier inventory
Interest in precision working to prepare and cook complete meals and individual dishes and foods, and to prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitians and chefs
Interest in supervising kitchen helpers; and in overseeing subordinate personnel in the preparation, cooking and handling of food
The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation.
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.
Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.
A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.
A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.
In general, cooks are responsible for nutrition, food costs and sanitation. Depending on the establishment, they may:
While specific duties vary depending on the type of establishment, it is the cook's responsibility to prepare meals that are both appealing and nutritious.
Cooks work under pressure and the work volume can be considerable. Often, they work shifts that include weekends and holidays.
Burns and cuts are common occupational hazards. Cooks may be required to lift and move items that weigh over 25 kilograms.
Cooks need the following characteristics:
They should enjoy being creative.
To work in Alberta, a cook must be ONE of the following:
To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:
The term of apprenticeship is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.
Cook apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).
Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at:
For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.
The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.
For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.
Cooks prepare food in eating establishments such as hotels, restaurants, institutions, trains and ships. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta's Tradesecrets website.
Under Alberta's Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and Cook Trade Regulation, you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.
The term of apprenticeship for apprentice cooks in Alberta is three years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of technical training in each year. Apprentices must find suitable employers who are willing to hire and train apprentices, and successfully complete technical training examinations.
Cooks trained in other provinces and territories can work in Alberta if they hold a certificate or license recognized by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board or have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified in Alberta. For more information, see the Recognized Trade Certificates page of the Tradesecrets website.
Any of the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Client Service Offices located throughout Alberta. For a list of office locations and telephone numbers, click on "Contact Us" on the home page of the Tradesecrets website (tradesecrets.alberta.ca).
Cooks are employed in hotels, clubs, restaurants, catering firms, cafeterias, institutions, homes, specialty food outlets and isolated camps. Some jobs are seasonal.
Experienced cooks may advance through promotions with the same employer or by moving to more advanced positions with other employers. They can become:
Some experienced cooks achieve a highly respected level of certification, Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC). There are good prospects for travel both within Canada and abroad.
Alberta certified journeyperson cooks who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.
In Alberta, 82% of people employed as cooks work in the Accommodation and Food Services (PDF) industry.
The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
Over 24,900 Albertans are employed in the Cooks occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.4% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 598 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $15 to $25 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice cooks earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 75% in the second and 85% in the third.
|Wages*||Low (5th percentile)||High (95th percentile)||Average||Median|
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* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.
High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.
|Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing||$42,987|
|Health Care & Social Assistance||$33,391|
|Accommodation & Food Services||$27,465|
|Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)||$26,971|
|Information, Culture, Recreation||$22,077|
Updated Mar 30, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.