Cooks

(NOC 6322)

in All Sales and Service

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 Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 300 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 5260 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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)

Hourly Pay

$11.00

Minimum

$12.31

Median

$16.92

Maximum

Annual Pay

$3,669

Minimum

$17,935

Median

$41,583

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$10.70

Minimum

$12.50

Median

$21.17

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

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 high 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.

By the numbers

Quick look

5,550

employed in 2016

68.7%

employed full-time

4.1%

self employed

49.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
51%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
36

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

6.2%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

41.9%

Halifax

17.2%

Northern

17.0%

Cape Breton

13.6%

Southern

10.4%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

77.4%

Accommodation and Food Services

10.2%

Health Care and Social Assistance

3.1%

Public Administration

2.4%

Retail Trade

1.7%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

22.6%

15-24

20.9%

55-64

19.7%

45-54

16.8%

35-44

16.4%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

35.7%

25-34

28.6%

35-44

21.4%

55-64

Top levels of education

40.5%

High school

$21,162 median annual income
23.5%

Less than high school

$27,222 median annual income
18.5%

College certificate or diploma

$31,050 median annual income
10.8%

Trades certificate

$37,415 median annual income
4.6%

Bachelor's degree

$26,890 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

40.4%

High school

$12,982 median annual income
19.9%

College certificate or diploma

$19,514 median annual income
18.8%

Less than high school

$9,486 median annual income
10.0%

Bachelor's degree

$20,807 median annual income
8.0%

Trades certificate

$18,797 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Food preparation/professional cooking/kitchen assistant

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

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
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

Contacts

Canadian Culinary Federation, Halifax Branch
Halifax, NS
Tel: (902) 876-0835
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (902) 422-5853
Fax: (902) 422-0184
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

Experienced Line Cook

* KITCHEN STAFF - COOK

Cook

Part Time Cook

LINE COOK- LOWER SACKVILLE

Cook / Kitchen Help

Full Time Line Cooks

COOK

COOK

COOK

View all job postings