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Culinary Chef Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a culinary chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.42 an hour? That's $54,944 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 15,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Culinary Chef Do

There are certain skills that many culinary chefs have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, communication skills and creativity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a culinary chef, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.9% of culinary chefs included menu items, while 8.1% of resumes included food service, and 7.9% of resumes included cuisine. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the culinary chef job title. But what industry to start with? Most culinary chefs actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Culinary Chef

If you're interested in becoming a culinary chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 23.0% of culinary chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.4% of culinary chefs have master's degrees. Even though some culinary chefs have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a culinary chef. When we researched the most common majors for a culinary chef, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on culinary chef resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a culinary chef. In fact, many culinary chef jobs require experience in a role such as executive chef. Meanwhile, many culinary chefs also have previous career experience in roles such as sous chef or chef.

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Average Salary
$54,944
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,755
Job Openings

Culinary Chef Career Paths

Top Careers Before Culinary Chef

Sous Chef
11.7 %
Chef
11.7 %

Top Careers After Culinary Chef

Chef
14.1 %

Culinary Chef Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Culinary Chef

Culinary Chefs in America make an average salary of $54,944 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $92,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Salary
$54,944
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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Culinary Trainer/Chef
Culinary Trainer/Chef
Natifs
Natifs
12/31/2020
12/31/2020
$50,00012/31/2020
$50,000
Culinary Chef
Culinary Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
11/13/2019
11/13/2019
$70,00011/13/2019
$70,000
Culinary Chef
Culinary Chef
Walt Disney Co.
Walt Disney Co.
10/30/2019
10/30/2019
$37,56610/30/2019
$37,566
Culinary Chef
Culinary Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
07/22/2019
07/22/2019
$45,00007/22/2019
$45,000
Culinary Chef
Culinary Chef
Benchmark Hospitality
Benchmark Hospitality
07/16/2019
07/16/2019
$25,04407/16/2019
$25,044

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Culinary Chef Demographics

Gender

male

57.4 %

female

37.2 %

unknown

5.4 %

Ethnicity

White

59.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.7 %

Black or African American

11.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.1 %

Tagalog

11.1 %

Portuguese

5.6 %
See More Demographics

Culinary Chef Education

Majors

Business
10.5 %

Degrees

Associate

34.4 %

Certificate

26.3 %

Bachelors

23.0 %

Top Colleges for Culinary Chefs

1. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

3. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,244
Enrollment
15,557

4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,360
Enrollment
3,142

8. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Culinary Chef That You May Like

Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (chemistry)
edX (Global)

During each module of this course, chefs reveal the secrets behind some of their most famous culinary creations — often right in their own restaurants. Inspired by such cooking mastery, the Harvard team will then explain the science behind the recipe. Topics will include: How molecules influence flavor The role of heat in cooking Diffusion, revealed by the phenomenon of spherification, the culinary technique pioneered by Ferran Adrià. You will also have the opportunity to become an...

OSHA Workplace Safety (General Industry 6 Hr Class)
udemy
4.5
(1,932)

Learn the requirements and standards associated with OSHA and workplace safety. Safety best practices for the workplace...

OSHA Safety Pro: Personal Protective Equipment
udemy
4.5
(1,307)

Impress management or get that job with you your ability to display life and dollar saving work place safety practices...

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Top Skills For a Culinary Chef

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.9% of culinary chefs listed menu items on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

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Top Culinary Chef Employers

1. Darden Restaurants
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$63,147
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
7+
2. Ruby Tuesday
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$63,684
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
7+
3. The Walt Disney Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$64,905
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
6+
4. Kings Food Markets
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$46,463
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
4+
5. Aramark
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$55,622
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
4+
6. Whole Foods Market
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$51,085
Culinary Chefs Hired: 
4+
Updated October 2, 2020