What does a chef do?
The tasks of a chef are mixed, depending on the type of food served and where they work. However, chefs are typically the bosses in a kitchen.
As well as cooking, chefs plan the menu, choose and examine ingredients, oversee the kitchen staff, and handle other food-related issues.
The average pay for a chef or head cook is $53,380 per year or $25.66/hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, a chef needs appropriate training, which can come at a heavy cost if you go the formal education route.
Steps to becoming a chef
- Step 1: Find a job working in a restaurant kitchen.
- Step 2: Get a high school diploma or GED
- Step 3: Go to culinary school
- Step 4: Gain practical work experience
- Step 5: Get your first chef job
Career paths for chefs
Your first step on the career path is to get a job working in a restaurant kitchen. You could take a position as a busser, making an average of about $9 an hour, or possibly get a job as a line cook making $13 on average.
Once you decide that you want to become a chef, here’s what a common career path could look like:
- Chef de Partie
- Sous Chef
- Head Chef
This is most likely going to be your first job after culinary education. Here, you’ll work under a chef to learn the ropes of the kitchen, which prepares you for more promotions.
Top 10 states with the highest job growth for a chef
- Utah: 32.2%
- Maryland: 23.5%
- Texas: 20.7%
- Washington: 18.2%
- Nevada: 16.9%
- Tennessee: 16.9%
- Arizona: 16%
- California: 16%
- Oregon: 16%
- Florida: 15.8%
What skills do you need to be a chef?
- Willingness to Learn
- A genuine passion for the role
- Ability to multitask
- Be creative
- Time management
- Be able to work in a team
- Leadership skills
- Be resilient
- Have stamina