Fast Food Cooks prepare a restricted range of foods in fast food establishments.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job. Around two in five workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

Tasks

  • taking and serving food and beverage orders, and receiving payment from customers
  • preparing food such as hamburgers, pizzas, fish and chips
  • washing, cutting, measuring and mixing foods for cooking
  • operating cooking equipment such as grills, microwaves and deep-fat fryers
  • cleaning food preparation areas, cooking surfaces and utensils
  • ordering and taking delivery of fast food ingredients
  • may arrange delivery of prepared food and beverages

Job Titles

  • Fast Food Cook
  • Fast Food Cook

    Specialisations: Short Order Cook

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $550 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    37,800
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    70.9%
  • Female Share

    29.1%
  • Full-Time Share

    17.0%

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This is a large occupation employing 37,800 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Fast Food Cooks work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Accommodation and Food Services.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 41.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $550 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 18 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 8 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 7 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200522200
200627100
200734200
200840400
200936600
201034200
201131000
201240600
201336900
201434200
201537800
202040700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsFast Food CooksAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings5501230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFast Food CooksAll Jobs Average
Full-time17.068.4
Part-time83.031.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.640.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Accommodation and Food Services93.6
Retail Trade4.6
Manufacturing1.5
Arts and Recreation Services0.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFast Food CooksAll Jobs Average
NSW31.431.8
VIC32.225.5
QLD18.819.8
SA7.56.8
WA5.311.2
TAS2.82.0
NT0.71.1
ACT1.21.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFast Food CooksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1960.0-5.45.4
20-2419.6-9.99.9
25-348.1-23.423.4
35-445.1-21.721.7
45-544.1-21.121.1
55-591.9-8.78.7
60-641.2-5.95.9
65 and Over0.0-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryFast Food CooksCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males70.9Males53.6
Females29.1Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationFast Food CooksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree8.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV2.8-18.918.9
Year 1243.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1031.8-17.717.7
Below Year 1013.0-8.18.1

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.
Around two in five workers have Year 12 as their highest level of education.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Fast Food Cooks who are reliable, interact well with customers and team members and are available when required.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    72% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Food Production

    60% Important

    Planting, growing, and harvesting food (both plant and animal), including storage and handling.

  3. English Language

    60% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Sales and Marketing

    57% Important

    Showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  5. Production and Processing

    56% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    79% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  2. Training and Teaching Others

    78% Important

    Identifying the educational needs of others, developing training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    74% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    72% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    70% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Cooks, Fast Food Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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