Hospital Cook

Provide healthful food that's good enough to give patients an appetite.

Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$16,000 – $35,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Hospital Cooks do?

Sick patients often don’t feel like eating. However, good nutrition is part of treatment plans, as food can work with medications to help patients heal up and go back home. A Hospital Cook’s job is to provide healthful food that looks and smells good enough to entice a sick patient to eat. This food must also be appealing to Doctors and staff, who need fuel so they can get through their long workdays.

As a Hospital Cook, you create menus for patients in the hospital, as well as employees and guests in the hospital cafeteria. You prepare foods, ensuring that strict safety standards are followed so the meals you serve won’t make sick people even sicker.

You also order supplies so you can continue to prepare food the following day. You may have other Cooks working beneath you, and you must train them and ensure that they’re following safety procedures. You arrange the food on trays for patients, and make sure that the food they’re getting meets the orders of their Doctors.

Hospital Cooks often work within strict food budgets. You likely won’t be able to use innovative, expensive ingredients in your dishes. In most cases, the food you make will be quite bland. But while your dishes won’t garner you a James Beard Foundation Award, you’ll know that you’re supporting healing through your work, and this can be quite a reward in and of itself.


Should I be a Hospital Cook?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Boarding House Cook, Fraternity House Cook

    How to become a Hospital Cook

    Most Hospital Cooks have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9oaaaa&chl=no+college+%2881%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,81,81
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