Cook Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Cook or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Cook, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Cook job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How to Become a cook

If you're considering starting your Cook career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Cook and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Cook career.


Earn a Degree

To begin your Cook career path, a GED / High School Degree in Business Administration or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Cook internship may be required to earn your GED / High School Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Cook?

56% of people working as a Cook earned a GED / High School Degree

What skills do you need to be a Cook?

  • Effective Communication
  • English Language
  • Positive Work Ethic
  • Positive Attitude
  • Time Management
  • Urgency
  • Product Knowledge
  • Excellent Customer Service
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Cook in the United States.


Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Cook, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Cook field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Cook specialty.


Get an Entry-Level Position as a Cook

Once you've acquired a GED / High School Degree in Business Administration or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Cook. In general, you can become a Cook after completing your 12 year GED / High School Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Cook role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified nursing assistant.


Advance in Your Cook Career

Following entry-level, there are several Cook career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Cook to progress to the iii cook position. Each advanced Cook position requires approximately 0 years of experience at each level to advance in your Cook career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Cook career path.


Continued Education for Your Cook Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Cook career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Bachelor's Degree typically make $39,752 compared to $21,139 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels



0 - 1Years of Experience
$14,400 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Cook

2 - 4Years of Experience
No Salary Reports
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Lead Cook

5 - 7Years of Experience
No Salary Reports
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Salary Trajectory

Cook Career Path

Seniority Levels

Related careers in the Retail & Food Services Industry

Interested in other Retail & Food Services careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Cook skills. Discover some of the most common Cook career transitions, along with skills overlap.