career

10 worst jobs of 2015: Is your career at the bottom of the work barrel?

No. 4: Cook
No. 4: Cook

No. 4: Cook

"You have to be a certain type of person to be in this industry," says Thomas Macrina, a chef for nearly 40 years and the president of the American Culinary Federation.

A member of the cooking profession must be able to manage a kitchen, control the quality of food, keep up with incoming orders and coordinate with front-of-the-house staff to ensure customers are satisfied. It's not easy and requires a fair amount of physical labor.

A recipe for stress

The most recent BLS statistics show head cooks and chefs earn a median of more than $20 per hour -- $42,480 per year -- but you'll need culinary training and years of work experience to get there. You must endure long hours, be prepared for injuries and fight for the best positions, since the industry's growth is slower than average.

But the day-to-day stress isn't necessarily bad, says Macrina.

"I don't call it stress; I call it excitement," he says. "Your goal is to feed, let's say, 200 customers in an hour, and make everyone feel like they've had the best meal in the world. It's an accomplishment."

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