Fry Cook Operator
How to Become a

Fry Cook Operator

The complete career guide to be a Fry Cook Operator: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $29,430
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 1.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Fast Paced Career
    Career Attribute

The job of a fry cook operator is to operate and maintain cooking equipment like deep fry cookers, kettles, boilers and vats for the preparation of ingredients or dishes.

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What is a Fry Cook Operator?


Here are the primary duties of a fry cook operator position:

  • Use various food preparation equipment to cook various products and ingredients per the specification of supervisor and assigned tasks.
  • Closely track all control settings like pressure, temperature and time for pumps, machines and ovens, along with other equipment as applicable.
  • Undertake cleaning and maintenance tasks once cooking is completed, e.g. sweeping or mopping the work area, wiping down counters, sterilizing cooking equipment, etc.
  • Occasionally look at equipment controls to ensure that frying is at a consistent pace, specifically by monitoring dials, gauges and other characteristics.
  • Keep an eye out for any malfunction triggers like a warning alarm or the shutdown of equipment in order to update the supervisor on the issue.

Day In The Life

On a regular day, a fry cook operator has his or her hands full with various tasks. You will be expected to lend a hand to the team by cleaning up food preparation surfaces, utensils and floors. As assigned by your supervisor, you will be busy with frying food in bulk, like fried chicken, hamburger patties, fish fingers, potato fries, etc. as per an order or to be kept warm until required.

It is vital that you are able to keep your cool in a high-pressure environment, as you will be working on multiple customer orders at the same time. While using deep fat fryers and other equipment, you must ensure that health and hygiene standards are maintained. Often, you will be asked to pre-cook certain foods to reduce the workload during your shift and prepare them for future use, such as frying bacon.

Work Schedule

Fry cook operators work full time and in shifts, which can be during the evening, morning, weekends or holidays. This type of role requires you to stand for long hours performing tasks like frying, chopping, cutting, peeling and storing. The environment is fast-paced and usually indoors in kitchen areas, unless you work for a catering service, food truck or food stand.

Growth Of The Job

In this industry, there is expected to be little to no change in the growth of job opportunities, approximately 2 percent between 2014 to 2024. The main reason for new job openings is due to the high rate of turnover, with employees frequently leaving the occupation. More jobs will be available with larger establishments like food chains and food processing facilities.

Fry cook operators who pursue continuous learning through mastering new cooking techniques and handling more responsibility (e.g. substituting for the chef as supervisor or taking on another colleague’s workload) are likely to move forward as head cooks, food service managers and chefs in the future. You could also explore related positions such as manufacturing supervisor, food dehydrator operator, food science technician and more.

With an increasing number of people eating out versus cooking at home, there is greater demand for roles like fry cook operators, to accommodate the rise in restaurants, food delivery services, cafes and catering services. Thus, more jobs are predicted in future.

Typical Employers

Fry cook operators are required in hospitals, universities, colleges, schools, hotels and even corporate establishments with in-house cafeterias, to prepare and serve food. They may often cook some part of a dish and collaborate with other cooks on the team to complete a meal in a timely fashion. Rarely, fry cook operators may also work for private clients with a well-staffed kitchen.

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How To Become a Fry Cook Operator

Fry cook operators like most kitchen workers learn their skills on the job through training and work experience. No formal education is required but a certification in cooking from a professional culinary school or college comes in handy. To enter such a program, you should have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Once you enrol, you will be able to train in international cuisines, workplace safety, different cooking methods and styles.

Many also complete apprenticeship and vocational programs. In this case, you work in association with experienced cooking professionals for 1 year with a blended learning process in technical skills and work experience. Under the supervision of a knowledgeable chef, you are able to get a deeper understanding of processes such as knife handling, operating various equipment and cooking styles.

Fry Cook Operator Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Fry Cook Operator salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Fry Cook Operator's can make an average annual salary of $29,430, or $14 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $21,270 or $10 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #709 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Fry Cook Operators

  • 0.5%   Doctorate
  • 1.7%   Masters
  • 3.9%   Bachelors
  • 4.9%   Associates
  • 17.1%   College
  • 31%   High School
  • 40.9%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Fry Cook Operator job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 500 jobs for a total of 38,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #571 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Fry Cook Operators

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Other food manufacturing 7,100 400 0%
Animal slaughtering and processing 5,700 --- 0%
Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing 4,900 -100 0%

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