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NOC Code: NOC Code: 6242 Occupation: Cooks
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
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 trains, ships and at construction and logging camps. 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 trains, ships and at construction and logging camps.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read text entries on forms, e.g. read comments on requisition forms to learn about the delivery of fresh produce. (1)
  • Read warnings written on signs, labels and packaging, e.g. read labels on appliances to learn about burn and electrical shock hazards. (1)
  • Read notices, bulletins and alerts, e.g. read allergy alerts and food recalls issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to learn about affected products and consumption hazards. (2)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read sequenced instructions for the operation of equipment, such as commercial pressure cookers and fryers. (3)
  • Read a variety of trade magazines, brochures and website articles, e.g. read articles in magazines, such as Food Service and Hospitality, to learn about technological advances in commercial kitchens. (3)
  • Read food safety information, e.g. read shellfish food safety tips issued by Health Canada to learn about cross contamination hazards and how to safely store, thaw and cook seafood. (3)
  • Read legal agreements, e.g. read contracts to learn about the terms and conditions stipulated in long-term food purchase agreements. (4)
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Writing
  • Write brief comments on recipes, e.g. note changes to ingredient quantities and cooking temperatures on recipes. (1)
  • Write brief reminders, e.g. write brief notes to remind co-workers about the particulars of upcoming catering events. (1)
  • Write brief notes in forms, e.g. write notes on requisition forms to specify delivery times and handling instructions. (1)
  • Write memos and bulletins, e.g. write memos and bulletins to co-workers to explain changes to meal preparation routines and food safety procedures. (2)
  • Write incident reports, e.g. complete incident reports for workers' compensation boards to describe events leading up to accidents and the actions they took afterwards. (2)
  • Write non-routine reports, e.g. write reports to management to request equipment upgrades or describe serious incidents, such as thefts or robberies. (3)
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Document Use
  • Locate information on gauges and digital readouts, e.g. locate the temperatures of refrigerators and ovens on digital thermometers and sensors. (1)
  • Scan labels on product packaging and equipment to locate data, such as ingredients, potential allergens, cooking times and equipment settings. (1)
  • Interpret symbols and icons, e.g. interpret Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) hazard symbols found on cleaning products. (1)
  • Enter data into a variety of forms, e.g. enter data, such as dates, times and quantities, in stock reconciliation forms and chef report sheets. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of tables, e.g. locate data, such as times, costs, and quantities, on recipe cards, invoices and food orders. (2)
  • Locate data in complex forms, e.g. locate data, such as billing information, guest numbers, times, locations, food and beverage requirements, charges, décor and furniture setup, in event confirmation sheets. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use spreadsheet software to monitor inventory. (1)
  • Use calculators to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating ingredient requirements. (1)
  • Use specialized software applications to calculate the protein levels, calories and carbohydrates of menu items. (1)
  • Use digitally controlled kitchen equipment, such as pressure fryers and cookers, to prepare foods and menu items. (1)
  • Use enterprise digital assistant (EDA) devices to manage inventory and reorder supplies. (1)
  • Use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where you seek and offer advice about recipes and health trends. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by apprenticeship trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to locate recipe ideas and information about equipment. (2)
  • Use communication software to send email messages and attachments to suppliers. (2)
  • Use specialized restaurant management software to input costs and receivables and to generate sales summaries and income and expense statements. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software to calculate ingredient requirements for non-standard orders. (2)
  • Use specialized databases to input and retrieve recipes. (2)
  • Use specialized databases to maintain inventories of ingredients and supplies. (2)
  • Use word processing software to write memos, short reports and recipes. (2)
  • Use advanced spreadsheet features to create budgets and track capital, staffing, leasing, inventory and operating costs. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Speak with suppliers to learn about the availability of supplies and the cost. (1)
  • Discuss work assignments with co-workers, e.g. speak with kitchen staff to coordinate the use of equipment. (2)
  • Instruct kitchen and food servers, e.g. explain food safety protocols to apprentices. (2)
  • Make product suggestions and participate in product development meetings, e.g. offer suggestions and opinions about the type, flavour and appearance of menu items. (2)
  • Speak with customers, e.g. speak with customers to learn their opinions about recipes and the manner in which food was prepared and served. (2)
  • Negotiate contracts with suppliers, e.g. negotiate with suppliers to establish the terms and conditions of food and equipment purchases. (3)
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Money Math
  • Use petty cash to purchase small quantities of supplies. (1)
  • Prepare customers' bills, e.g. total customers' bills for catering functions and banquets and apply discounts and taxes. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Calculate costs of menu items, e.g. calculate the cost of ingredients for promotional dinner specials. (2)
  • Schedule sequences of activities and tasks, e.g. establish meal preparation timelines and staffing requirements for large banquets. (3)
  • Develop budgets, e.g. head cooks may develop annual budgets by forecasting operating expenses and revenues. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take measurements using basic tools, such as scales, containers and thermometers, e.g. use measuring cups to measure the volume of beef stock needed for soup recipes. (1)
  • Convert the weights and volumes of ingredients between Imperial and Metric systems. (2)
  • Calculate ingredient quantities when modifying recipes, e.g. calculate ingredient requirements to double and triple recipe yields. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare weights, temperatures and dimensions to specifications, e.g. compare the temperature of refrigerators to food safety specifications. (1)
  • Manage inventories of ingredients and supplies, e.g. use consumption data from previous functions to determine the amount of meat needed for future events. (2)
  • Analyze sales data to establish consumer trends and the popularity of menu items by day, month and season. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the yield of bulk items, e.g. estimate the number of servings a three kilogram salmon will yield. (1)
  • Estimate the time required to prepare food for catering functions and banquets. (2)
  • Estimate the quantity of ingredients and supplies needed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Cooks plan tasks and review and modify work priorities and deadlines on an hourly, daily and weekly basis in order to ensure a smooth workflow and maximum efficiency. They coordinate their work plans with co-workers to schedule access to ovens and equipment and coordinate work between various work stations. Menus are generally planned on a longer basis, usually monthly. They also plan regularly to ensure an adequate stock and rotation of supplies. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide what supplies need to be ordered and when. (1)
  • Decide the order of food preparation and housekeeping tasks. Consider factors, such as cooking times, customer preferences and the availability of staff and equipment. (2)
  • Choose ingredients for menu items and specials. Consider the freshness and availability of ingredients and the food preferences of the customers. (2)
  • Decide how to modify recipes to meet customer needs. Alter ingredients and food preparation practices to accommodate customers with severe food allergies. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Contend with staff shortages. Call in replacement staff and ask workers to stay longer. (1)
  • Receive complaints from customers. Speak with customers about their concerns and establish where the fault lies. Speak with suppliers, kitchen staff and food servers to address quality and service issues. (2)
  • Face shortages of ingredients and supplies. Substitute ingredients, replace menu items and contact suppliers to request rush deliveries. (2)
  • Encounter substandard and spoiled ingredients. Investigate the cause and speak with suppliers and staff to ensure ingredients meet quality standards. (2)
  • Discover that a recipe has not turned out as expected. Add other ingredients to improve the taste and start over if the food does not meet quality standards. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Locate prices and product codes by referring to paper-based and electronic catalogues and by speaking with suppliers. (2)
  • Source new recipes by conducting Internet research, reading trade magazines, referring to cookbooks and speaking with colleagues and suppliers. (2)
  • Find information about trends and new cooking methods and products by reading recipes, magazine articles and cookbooks, consulting with other cooks and by visiting other restaurants. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the performance of kitchen staff, e.g. evaluate the performance of apprentices by considering their ability to maintain sanitary conditions and prepare food within acceptable timeframes. (2)
  • Evaluate the appearance and taste of the foods you produce, e.g. use your knowledge of food presentation and flavouring to determine whether a soufflé is suitably prepared. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of ingredients using criteria, such as freshness, appearance, taste, size and texture. (2)
  • Evaluate the efficiency of kitchen operations, e.g. head cooks assess the organization of job tasks and the use of staff and equipment to optimize operations. (3)
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