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.

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Salaries

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:

  • Commis
  • Chef de Partie
  • Sous Chef
  • Head Chef
  • Specialize

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

  1. Utah: 32.2%
  2. Maryland: 23.5%
  3. Texas: 20.7%
  4. Washington: 18.2%
  5. Nevada: 16.9%
  6. Tennessee: 16.9%
  7. Arizona: 16%
  8. California: 16%
  9. Oregon: 16%
  10. Florida: 15.8%

What skills do you need to be a chef?

  • Willingness to Learn
  • A genuine passion for the role
  • Organization
  • Ability to multitask
  • Be creative
  • Time management
  • Be able to work in a team
  • Leadership skills
  • Be resilient
  • Have stamina

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