Fast Food Cook

Fast food cooks work in fast food restaurants preparing, cooking, and packaging food items from a limited menu.

Job Skills

Certain personal attributes are important for fast food cooks to possess. These include the ability to work quickly and efficiently, a well-developed sense of taste and smell, good personal hygiene, and a willingness to work with a team. Familiarity with a foreign language may also prove useful in communicating with other workers.


In 2002, fast food cooks earned a median hourly wage of $6.90. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10 percent, who earned less than $5.68 per hour, and the highest 10 percent, who earned more than $9.13 per hour. The highest median hourly earnings were found in special food services, and the lowest were found in limited-service eating places.

Training and Education

Most fast food cook positions require little, if any, training or education. Entry-level positions do not require a high-school diploma; however, a diploma could be beneficial for those interested in a career as a cook. Most fast food cooks are trained on the job. Training ranges from basic sanitation and safety, to food handling and cooking techniques.


Out of the nearly 3 million culinary jobs in 2002, about 227,000 people were employed as fast food cooks.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of fast food cooks is expected to increase at a slower rate than the average. Because of the limited duties of fast food cooks, more workers are expected to become combined serving and food preparation workers.

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