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Become A Mexican Food Cook

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Working As A Mexican Food Cook

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $23,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mexican Food Cook Do

Cooks prepare, season, and cook a wide range of foods, which may include soups, salads, entrees, and desserts.

Duties

Cooks typically do the following:

  • Ensure the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipes
  • Bake, grill, or fry meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
  • Boil and steam meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
  • Arrange, garnish, and sometimes serve food
  • Clean work areas, equipment, utensils, and dishes
  • Cook, handle, and store food or ingredients

Cooks usually work under the direction of chefs, head cooks, or food service managers. Large restaurants and food service establishments often have multiple menus and large kitchen staffs. Teams of restaurant cooks, sometimes called assistant cooks or line cooks, work at assigned stations equipped with the necessary types of stoves, grills, pans, and ingredients.

Job titles often reflect the principal ingredient cooks prepare or the type of cooking they do—vegetable cook, fry cook, or grill cook, for example.

Cooks use a variety of kitchen equipment, including broilers, grills, slicers, grinders, and blenders.

The responsibilities of cooks vary depending on where they work, the size of the facility, and the level of service offered. However, in all establishments, they follow established sanitation procedures when handling food. For example, they store food and ingredients at the correct temperatures to prevent bacterial growth.

The following are examples of types of cooks:

Restaurant cooks prepare a wide selection of dishes and cook most orders individually. Some restaurant cooks may order supplies, set menu prices, and plan the daily menu.

Fast-food cooks prepare a limited selection of menu items in fast-food restaurants. They cook and package food, such as hamburgers and fried chicken, to be kept warm until served. For more information on workers who prepare and serve items in fast-food restaurants, see the profiles on food preparation workers and food and beverage serving and related workers.

Institution and cafeteria cooks work in the kitchens of schools, cafeterias, businesses, hospitals, and other institutions. For each meal, they prepare a large quantity of a limited number of entrees, vegetables, and desserts, according to preset menus. These cooks usually prepare meals in advance and seldom take special orders.

Short-order cooks prepare foods in restaurants and coffee shops that emphasize fast service and quick food preparation. They usually prepare sandwiches, fry eggs, and cook french fries, often working on several orders at the same time.

Private household cooks, sometimes called personal chefs, plan and prepare meals in private homes, according to the client’s tastes and dietary needs. They order groceries and supplies, clean the kitchen, and wash dishes and utensils. They also may cater parties, holiday meals, luncheons, and other social events. Private household cooks typically work for one full-time client, although some are self-employed or employed by an agency, regularly making meals for multiple clients.

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How To Become A Mexican Food Cook

Most cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training and work-related experience. Although no formal education is required, some restaurant cooks and private household cooks attend culinary schools. Others attend vocational or apprenticeship programs.

Education

Vocational cooking schools, professional culinary institutes, and some colleges offer culinary programs for aspiring cooks. These programs generally last from a few months to 2 years and may offer courses in advanced cooking techniques, international cuisines, and various cooking styles. To enter these programs, candidates may be required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the type and length of the program, graduates generally qualify for entry-level positions as a restaurant cook.

Training

Most cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Trainees generally first learn kitchen basics and workplace safety and then learn how to handle and cook food.

Some cooks learn through an apprenticeship program. Professional culinary institutes, industry associations, and trade unions may sponsor such programs for cooks. Typical apprenticeships last 1 year and combine technical training and work experience. Apprentices complete courses in food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. They also learn practical cooking skills under the supervision of an experienced chef.

The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 academic training programs and sponsors apprenticeships through these programs around the country. The basic qualifications for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Pass substance abuse screening

Some hotels, a number of restaurants, and the Armed Forces have their own training programs.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many cooks learn their skills through work-related experience. They typically start as a kitchen helper or food preparation worker, learning basic cooking skills before they advance to assistant cook or line cook positions. Some learn by working under the guidance of a more experienced cook.

Advancement

The American Culinary Federation certifies chefs, personal chefs, pastry chefs, and culinary administrators, among others. For cooks seeking advancement to higher level chef positions, certification can show accomplishment and lead to higher paying positions.

Advancement opportunities for cooks often depend on training, work experience, and the ability to prepare more complex dishes. Those who learn new cooking skills and who handle greater responsibility, such as supervising kitchen staff in the absence of a chef, often advance. Some cooks may train or supervise kitchen staff, and some may become head cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

Important Qualities

Comprehension. Cooks need to understand orders and follow recipes to prepare dishes correctly.

Customer-service skills. Restaurant and short-order cooks must be able to interact effectively with customers and handle special requests.

Dexterity. Cooks should have excellent hand–eye coordination. For example, they need to use proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Physical stamina. Cooks spend a lot of time standing in one place, cooking food over hot stoves, and cleaning work areas.

Sense of taste and smell. Cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell to prepare meals that customers enjoy.

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Average Length of Employment
Cook/Baker 3.1 years
Short Order Cook 2.3 years
Cook 2.0 years
Assistant Cook 2.0 years
Mexican Food Cook 2.0 years
Grill Cook/Prep 1.9 years
Kitchen Cook 1.8 years
Deli Cook 1.7 years
Grill Cook 1.7 years
Cook/Server 1.7 years
Prep Cook 1.7 years
Food Preparer 1.6 years
Fast Food Cook 1.6 years
Cook/Dishwasher 1.6 years
Back Line Cook 1.6 years
Pizza Cook 1.4 years
Cook/Team Member 1.4 years
Fry Cook 1.3 years
Mexican Food Maker 1.2 years
Top Careers Before Mexican Food Cook
Cashier 18.0%
Cook 15.0%
Line Cook 6.3%
Prep Cook 4.4%
Volunteer 3.8%
Server 3.5%
Assistant 3.1%
Grill Cook 2.8%
Internship 2.8%
Waitress 2.6%
Manager 2.5%
Chef 2.1%
Top Careers After Mexican Food Cook
Cook 15.7%
Cashier 15.7%
Line Cook 6.0%
Prep Cook 4.6%
Server 3.7%
Driver 2.9%
Manager 2.7%
Supervisor 2.6%
Internship 2.4%

Do you work as a Mexican Food Cook?

Mexican Food Cook Demographics

Gender

Male

54.0%

Female

34.2%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

61.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

12.5%

Italian

10.0%

Japanese

5.0%

Portuguese

2.5%

Khmer

2.5%

Navajo

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Filipino

2.5%

German

2.5%

Samoan

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Croatian

2.5%
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Mexican Food Cook Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

11.4%

The Academy

6.1%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

Sinclair Community College

6.1%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

6.1%

Monroe Community College

5.3%

Sullivan University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg

4.4%

Middle Georgia Technical College

4.4%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.4%

Lansing Community College

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

Columbus State Community College

4.4%

Central State University

4.4%

Kaplan University

4.4%

Colorado State University

4.4%

University of Akron

3.5%

Des Moines Area Community College

3.5%

Washtenaw Community College

3.5%
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Majors

Business

21.5%

Culinary Arts

16.9%

Criminal Justice

7.1%

General Studies

5.4%

Nursing

4.4%

Hospitality Management

4.3%

Psychology

4.3%

Health Care Administration

4.0%

Accounting

3.8%

Medical Assisting Services

3.7%

Food And Nutrition

3.1%

Computer Science

3.1%

Communication

2.8%

Elementary Education

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Management

2.4%

Graphic Design

2.4%

Automotive Technology

2.1%

English

2.1%

Education

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

43.9%

Bachelors

22.2%

Associate

20.4%

Certificate

8.6%

Diploma

2.8%

Masters

1.4%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$23,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$15,000
Min 10%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$23,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
H-E-B
Highest Paying City
Urban Honolulu, HI
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
1.9 years
How much does a Mexican Food Cook make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Mexican Food Cook in the United States is $23,800 per year or $11 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $15,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $36,000.

Real Mexican Food Cook Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chinese Food Cook Yan's China Bistro Walnut Creek, CA Oct 29, 2015 $49,130
Chinese Food Cook Yan's China Bistro Walnut Creek, CA Oct 20, 2015 $49,130
Cook, Japanese Food Jin's Dining U.S.A. Culver City, CA May 07, 2015 $47,528
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) Yeonok Lynn Kim Torrance, CA Aug 07, 2015 $46,342
Mexican Food Cook Marimba Cocina Mexicana I, Inc. Rockledge, FL Feb 13, 2015 $44,411
Mexican Food Cook Marimba Cocina Mexicana I, Inc. Rockledge, FL Jun 19, 2015 $44,411
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) Zhiqiang Yu Miami, FL Jul 02, 2015 $36,754
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) Thomas Lin (Private Household) West New York, NJ Jun 29, 2015 $36,650
Cook, Indian Food (Live Prodyot Sen Sharma Alpine, NJ Jul 20, 2015 $34,500
Cook, Mexican Cuisine Rodriguez & Sanchez Grocery & Deli, Inc. NY Feb 11, 2016 $34,352
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) JIAN Ping Hu (Private Household) NY Sep 23, 2015 $34,050
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) JIE Xiong NY Aug 05, 2015 $34,050
Chinese Food Cook (Private Household, Liveout) Chun Lin Wei NY Aug 03, 2015 $34,050
Chinese Food Cook Lee's Express, Inc. Saint Paul, MN Aug 31, 2016 $28,175
Chinese Food Cook Chu's Enterprises, LLC Portland, OR Sep 23, 2016 $28,112
Chinese Food Cook Yan's Chinese Restaurant, Inc. McMinnville, OR Jul 20, 2016 $27,997
Cook, Japanese Food Full Moon Sushi Fountain Valley, CA Sep 17, 2015 $27,435
Cook, Japanese Food Okidoki International, Inc. Tustin, CA Sep 30, 2015 $27,435
Cook, Japanese Food Hau'OLI Incorporated Tustin, CA Oct 27, 2015 $27,435
Chinese Food Cook Yen's Chinese Restaurant, Inc. Tigard, OR Sep 28, 2015 $27,144
Chinese Food Cook Li's Chiam, Inc. Portland, OR Jul 16, 2015 $27,144
Cook-Chinese Style Food 99 Incorporated DBA Sun Wah Chinese Restaurant Denver, CO Nov 18, 2015 $26,220
Cook, Chinese Style Food Sun Li Foods Incorporated DBA Shanghai Garden Centennial, CO Oct 29, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Hoong's Palace, Inc. DBA Hoong's Palace Englewood, CO Oct 14, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Ken Chen, Inc. DBA Wokano Asian Bistro Denver, CO Feb 11, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Ken Chen, Inc. DBA Wokano Asian Bistro Denver, CO Mar 12, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Endless Water, LLC DBA Coal Mine Dragon Littleton, CO Aug 24, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Ruan Family Inc. DBA Bistro King Englewood, CO Apr 16, 2015 $26,220
Cook-Chinese Style Food Dong Ping, Inc. D/B/A/Hexing Garden Chinese Cafe Lakewood, CO Feb 12, 2015 $26,220

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Top Skills for A Mexican Food Cook

  1. Food Safety
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Demonstrated attention to detail in weighing and measuring ingredients and observing food safety protocol.
  • Conducted daily inspections and maintained food sanitation and kitchen equipment safety.
  • Improved customer service ratings through food decoration
  • Follow all Health Department regulations ensuring department sanitation, cleanliness and safety standards are met.
  • Maintain sanitation, health and safety standards in working areas, clean food preparations areas, cooking surfaces and utensils.

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Top 10 Best States for Mexican Food Cooks

  1. Nevada
  2. Wyoming
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Minnesota
  5. Vermont
  6. Hawaii
  7. Nebraska
  8. Florida
  9. Washington
  10. New Jersey
  • (395 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (129 jobs)
  • (1,056 jobs)
  • (71 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (242 jobs)
  • (2,683 jobs)
  • (838 jobs)
  • (884 jobs)

Top Mexican Food Cook Employers

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