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

  • $550 Weekly Pay
  • 45,100 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 15.3% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43.6 hours Average full-time
  • 19 years Average age
  • 33.6% female Gender Share

The number of Fast Food Cooks grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 45,100 in 2018 to 49,900 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 43,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 8,600 a year).

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Fast Food Cooks work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Accommodation and Food Services industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (15.3%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.6 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 19 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (75.2%).
  • Gender: 33.6% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200835700
200939600
201036300
201133000
201233600
201341300
201433900
201538400
201640500
201744900
201845100
202349900

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services96.6
Retail Trade1.9
Arts and Recreation Services0.7
Manufacturing0.3
Other Industries0.5

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 2017, 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
NSW35.531.6
VIC30.326.2
QLD14.719.7
SA5.96.7
WA9.410.8
TAS2.22.0
NT0.51.1
ACT1.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-1956.6-5.25.2
20-2418.6-9.99.9
25-3410.1-23.623.6
35-445.2-21.721.7
45-546.3-20.820.8
55-591.9-8.88.8
60-640.9-6.06.0
65 and Over0.4-4.04.0

Education Level

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 Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree8.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV2.8-18.918.9
Year 1243.9-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1031.8-17.717.7
Below Year 1013-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Retail Services and Tourism, Travel and Hospitality VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-2011.00 - Cooks, Fast Food.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 35-2011.00 - Cooks, Fast Food.

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