Cooks

ANZSCO ID 3514

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
38,200
Future Growth
0.8%
Weekly Earnings
$1,188
Full-Time Share
48%
Female Share
54%
Average age
35

Summary

Cooks prepare, season and cook food in dining and catering establishments.

Tasks

  • examining foodstuffs to ensure quality

  • regulating temperatures of ovens, grills and other cooking equipment

  • preparing and cooking food

  • seasoning food during cooking

  • portioning food, placing it on plates, and adding gravies, sauces and garnishes

  • storing food in temperature controlled facilities

  • preparing food to meet special dietary requirements

  • may plan menus and estimate food requirements

  • may train other kitchen staff and apprentices

Characteristics

Job Type
Technicians And Trades Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Medium

Outlook

Employment Outlook

JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
0.8%
(or 400 jobs)
From
44,800
in 2021
To
45,200
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 37,200
2012 39,900
2013 33,300
2014 34,700
2015 35,400
2016 42,200
2017 42,800
2018 39,100
2019 37,000
2020 37,800
2021 44,800
2026 45,200

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 48% of people employed as Cooks work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 18 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Median full-time earnings are $1,188 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,038
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,308

    Median hourly earnings are $29, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Cooks All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,188 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Accommodation and Food Services
67.9%
2
Health Care and Social Assistance
21.1%
3
Retail Trade
2.8%
4
Manufacturing
2.3%
5
Other industries
6.2%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.1% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

24.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

20.3% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.5% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.9% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.5% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.4% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Cooks All Jobs Average
NSW 31.1 31.6
VIC 24.5 25.6
QLD 20.3 20.0
SA 7.5 7.0
WA 10.9 10.8
TAS 2.8 2.0
NT 1.5 1.0
ACT 1.4 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
35
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
54%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Cooks is 35 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 54% of the workforce. This is 6 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Cooks All Jobs Average
15-19 8.5 5.0
20-24 14.8 9.3
25-34 26.3 22.9
35-44 16.8 22.0
45-54 17.5 21.6
55-59 7.8 9.0
60-64 5.3 6.0
65 and Over 3.0 4.2
Median Age 35 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Cook. Although some workers have a certificate III or IV in cooking, catering or kitchen operations.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Tourism, Travel and Hospitality VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Cooks All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 2.1 10.1
Bachelor degree 9.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 13.1 11.6
Certificate III/IV 22.0 21.1
Year 12 25.0 18.1
Year 11 7.0 4.8
Year 10 and below 21.5 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Cooks who have good interpersonal skills, who are reliable and are well presented.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 46%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 46%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 41%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 39%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 37%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 37%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 37%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 37%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 36%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 36%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 36%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 34%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 34%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 34%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 34%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 32%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 30%

    Management of material resources

    Providing the right equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do work.

  • 30%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 30%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 45%

    Food production

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  • 38%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 37%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 35%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 33%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 33%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 32%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 30%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 30%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 26%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 22%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 21%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 20%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 20%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 19%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 18%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 17%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 17%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 17%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 15%

    Sociology and anthropology

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 50%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 46%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 46%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 46%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 45%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 45%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 43%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 43%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 41%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 39%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 39%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 37%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 37%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 37%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 37%

    Trunk strength

    Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.

  • 37%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 37%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 36%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 34%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 54%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 49%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 47%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 44%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 43%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 42%

    Managing payments and orders

    Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.

  • 41%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 40%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 39%

    Coordinating the work of a team

    Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.

  • 39%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 39%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 39%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 38%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 38%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 35%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 33%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 33%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 33%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 32%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 26%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 95%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 57%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 48%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 48%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 33%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 19%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 67%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 62%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 57%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 48%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 48%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 38%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 95%

    Spend time standing

    Spend time standing at work.

  • 93%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 89%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 86%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 83%

    Minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings

    Be exposed to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings.

  • 81%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 81%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 81%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 80%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 75%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 75%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 73%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 69%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 69%

    Walking and running

    Spend time walking and running.

  • 68%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 68%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 68%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 67%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 65%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 64%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-2014.00 - Cooks, Restaurant.


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