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Cook

Prepare and cook food in restaurants, cafes or other catering businesses.

What's it like to be a Cook?

A Cook prepares fast and simple food. Cooks usually work on several orders at once to get the food out as quickly as possible to customers. They apply food safety and hygiene techniques to maintain a clean kitchen and ensure the freshness and quality of their ingredients.

Tasks and duties

  • Leading cost and inventory control measures to minimise food wastage and spoilage
  • Ensuring excellence of menu delivery to ensure the highest standards of quality
  • Preparing menus and considering clients' in choice and selection where appropriate.
  • Monitoring and complying with Workplace Health and Safety and Environmental practices.
  • Keeping up with trends in cooking and the restaurant business to ensure that guests have a positive experience.

Specific tasks and duties of the role vary depending on where you are working. In some takeaway food outlets or restaurants you may need knowledge in preparing and cooking a particular type of food (for example pizza or fried chicken), or you may need to specialise in a particular type of cuisine (such as Italian, Vietnamese or Indian).

What can I earn as a Cook?

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The most common salary for a Cook is between $50k and $60k
Source: SEEK job ads

How to become a Cook

SEEK Learning
It’s possible to work as a Cook without a formal qualification, however, many employers require a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816).
  1. Complete a vocational qualification in cookery. This may be a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816) or a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery (SIT40516).
  2. It’s also recommended you hold a Food Handler’s Certificate.
  3. Work your way up the kitchen ladder to become a supervisor or pursue a career as a Chef working in a commercial kitchen.

Explore Cook qualifications

20 institutions offering this qualification
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17 institutions offering this qualification
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Cooks rate their role?

Latest reviews from 12 Cooks surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.5
Job satisfaction
4.1
Career progression opportunities
3.5
Job security
3.8
Pay / Salary
3.5
Variety of work
4.0

Latest reviews

AllPositiveNegative
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Professional Accounting
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
cook
The good things
It is a demanding role in the hospitality industry all over the world. If you passionate about what you do then it's a good for building a career in Cooking as you can get promoted according to your e...
The challenges
It takes a lot of time and passion to gain the skill and upgrade to the higher skills and knowledge. It requires a continuous learning as we have so many different food cuisines all over the world. De...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Arts
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
The good things about being a cook is that you can fulfill your passion if you like cooking and love to share food with people. Plus, if you are creative enough, you can let your creativity flow throu...
The challenges
There're different levels of challenges being a cook. To yourself, always keep up your skills, knife skills, cooking skills etc,. To others, communications skills, to get everyone in the kitchen runni...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Hospitality
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
Very happy of my job
The challenges
Always prepare for challenge and changes
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
-
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen
The good things
You got to be passionate about cooking
The challenges
Long hours stressful environment
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate II in Cookery
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Cook
The good things
The good thing about being a cook is the satisfaction of knowing that people are happy with the food you helped create and that you’ve work with a team to make good food
The challenges
Learning different ways of cooking and expanding your knowledge and team work
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Accounting
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Cook
The good things
Its great way to earn money if you passionate about cooking awesome food and proud about it..spending time with multicultural people and learn another food.
The challenges
Almost all the hospitality job make us work on the weekend,and customer is number one even they wrong 😂
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery & Individual Support (Disability)
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Individual Support (Disability)
The good things
Cooking dishes with your own touch for others to enjoy. Keeping the dietary needs of others under control to improve their health/life. Seeing people enjoy good food. Working as part of an efficient, ...
The challenges
- Working in an environment that has financial & organisational problems - ie. food & menu requirements unavailable - Staff that do not like doing all parts of the job - ie. cleaning, hygiene,safety, ...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
The good things
The great thing about becoming a cook is they are in high demand and it’s an industry that you will always have behind you. The industry is very flexible as most are hired as casual and you won’t be r...
The challenges
The down side of cheffing is the lack of security and stability in the job. It’s quite hard to stand out from the rest as their are many cooks out there. It can be quite a stressful environment, also ...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate iii cookery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Grill
The good things
It’s fun to be creative with food. Working with a good brigade in the kitchen can be fun. Your always learning so it never gets boring. Snacks to check product is okay. Making life long friends. I...
The challenges
You need to be a pretty quick learner. You need to have good taste buds. Be a team player. Work well under pressure. Enjoy routine. Your social life rarely happens on the weekend. Working with f...
Nov 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Hospitality
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Catering
The good things
You have to love cooking in order to be successful I love cooking not just like it but love it... It's a career that full of challenges I worked for 15 years as a cook and I had so many memorable mome...
The challenges
Being a cook is not only cooking...I was working in a nursing home and I am sure to recommend to someone to work in a nursing home or hostel it full of challenge... making sure the food is cook suitab...
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

Working hours for Cooks

Overtime
Weekends
Shift work
Late nights
Often
Sometimes
Never
Source: SEEK Role Reviews from 12 Cooks

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