dcsimg

Line Cook Job Profile: Become a Culinary Specialist

Job Profile

As a line cook, you'll work under a sous chef and specialize in a culinary component such as sauces, fish, roasting, grilling, frying, butchering, vegetables and side dishes, salads and appetizers, or pastry. Your job will be to prepare your specialty and arrange it attractively on the plate before it's served.

Culinary Arts

Line Cooks: A Day in the Life

Line cooks are on their feet at all times and work long hours, which may include weekends and holidays. Service periods, when large seatings of diners are ordering food, are especially hectic. However, one of the best aspects of working as a line cook is that you become the resident expert on your specialty. A good restaurant kitchen is like an efficient machine with no superfluous parts. Effective, efficient, knowledgeable line cooks are critical to the kitchen's operation. Line cooks are members of a tightly knit team and also experts in their specialty.

Most restaurants don't require line cooks to attend culinary school. Many cooks start out in entry-level jobs as waiters or dish washers and then gradually advance to line cook. Much of your training will take place on the job, and you may move from specialty to specialty. For instance, once you master fish preparation, you may learn the various ways to prepare beef or sauces.

Line Cook Culinary Training Requirements

Working as a line cook is a great step toward becoming a sous chef or executive chef. If your career dream is to advance to those jobs, you may want to consider culinary school. In a short training program lasting just a few months, you can learn about nutrition, food sanitation, and entry-level food preparation methods. If you decide to earn a two-year or four-year culinary degree, you'll take additional hands-on training courses in more complex cooking, banquets, catering, unique and popular foods around the world, purchasing, and accounting. Most two-year and four-year programs will require you to do an internship and will also help you find one.

Salary Information for Line Cooks

Your salary will depend on many factors, including the location and type of restaurant and your level of training and expertise. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2007 the median salary of restaurant cooks was $21,960. The lowest 10 percent earned $15,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $30,000. To earn a bigger salary, you may want to take steps to become a sous chef or executive chef.

About the Author:

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104