Dietary Cook Salary
Earnings for Dietary Cooks in the United States come in at around $11.18 per hour on average. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by the company and experience level. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Dietary Cooks making up 76 percent. Most Dietary Cooks report high levels of job satisfaction. More than a third of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, the larger part report medical coverage and slightly less than one-half claim dental coverage as well. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Job Description for Dietary Cook
A dietary cook is generally responsible for providing meals that are nutritious and appetizing to their clients. The meals need to be carefully handled, prepared correctly, and served at the right temperature and in correct serving sizes. They are also responsible for checking their organization's menu daily and ensuring that preparation for the upcoming meals have been completed. Additionally, the dietary cook must ensure that all cooking supplies and dishware are properly cleaned, which includes making a schedule to ensure this is accomplished.Read More...
The dietary cook position may be physically demanding, with the individual being expected to stand and walk for the majority of the shift. Temperatures may vary widely in the kitchen environment and may become very hot, and the dietary cook must be able to work under this environment. This is normally a full time job that takes place in health and rehabilitation centers or similar environments.
Dietary cooks must have a knowledge of cooking, including knowing how to cook many portions of food at one time. Knowledge of how to interpret diet charts and maintain portion control are very important. Generally a high school diploma is required along with at least one year of experience in long-term health care or a similar environment. A dietary cook must also be able to communicate effectively with residents, families, and the facility staff
Dietary Cook Tasks
- Prepare and cook food for patients, employees and visitors.
- Monitor food service for nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
- Research food and beverage costs and assist in implementing cost control and waste management procedures.
- Clean and inspect equipment, appliances, and work areas in order to ensure cleanliness and functional operation.
- Prepare major meals by following recipes, determining food quantities and following meal time schedules.
Common Career Paths for Dietary Cook
Though some Dietary Cooks move into positions like Food Service Director (where the average salary is $50K), this progression is not the norm. It is quite typical for Dietary Cooks to transition into roles as Certified Dietary Managers or Dietary Managers, where reported median earnings are $12K and $10K higher per year.
Dietary Cook Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Dietary Cook
Dietary Cooks fill the offices of leading firms Healthcare Services Group, Inc., Brookdale Senior Living Inc., Morrison Healthcare, Sodexo, Inc., and Genesis HealthCare. Brookdale offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $27K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Genesis HealthCare, Life Care Centers of America, and Morrison Healthcare, top-paying firms where Dietary Cooks rake in a decent $25K, $25K, or $24K, respectively.
Healthcare Services Group, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $21K, but on the other end, some employees may earn up to $34K. Sodexo, Inc., Brookdale Senior Living Inc., and Morrison Healthcare also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $23K, $23K, and $24K.
Pay by Experience Level for Dietary Cook
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Dietary Cooks, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $22K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $23K. Dietary Cooks claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $26K. Dietary Cooks with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $27K.
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