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Head Chef Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a head chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.24 an hour? That's $44,181 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 Head Chef Do

There are certain skills that many head 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 head chef, we found that a lot of resumes listed 23.5% of head chefs included kitchen equipment, while 8.2% of resumes included food preparation, and 7.0% of resumes included sous. 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 head chef job title. But what industry to start with? Most head chefs actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Head Chef

If you're interested in becoming a head chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 20.6% of head chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.1% of head chefs have master's degrees. Even though some head 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 head chef. When we researched the most common majors for a head chef, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on head chef resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$44,181
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
6,798
Job Openings

Head Chef Career Paths

Top Careers Before Head Chef

Sous Chef
17.7 %
Line Cook
15.1 %
Chef
13.4 %

Top Careers After Head Chef

Chef
14.6 %
Sous Chef
13.5 %

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 Head Chef

Head Chefs in America make an average salary of $44,181 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,181

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Edison, NJ
Salary Range49k - 82k$64k$64,260
Washington, DC
Salary Range45k - 75k$58k$58,479
New York, NY
Salary Range41k - 68k$53k$53,014
Dedham, MA
Salary Range40k - 65k$52k$51,773
Austin, TX
Salary Range36k - 62k$48k$47,605
Coral Gables, FL
Salary Range35k - 63k$47k$47,354
$23k
$82k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Head Chef
Head Chef
Avid4 Adventure
Avid4 Adventure
01/06/2021
01/06/2021
$48,00101/06/2021
$48,001
Head Chef
Head Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
11/23/2020
11/23/2020
$60,00011/23/2020
$60,000
Head Chef
Head Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
10/14/2020
10/14/2020
$60,00010/14/2020
$60,000
Head Chef
Head Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
07/25/2020
07/25/2020
$60,00007/25/2020
$60,000
Head Chef
Head Chef
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
02/27/2020
02/27/2020
$60,00002/27/2020
$60,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Head Chef Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Head Chef. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Head Chef Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Head Chef resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Head Chef Demographics

Gender

male

76.5 %

female

20.1 %

unknown

3.4 %

Ethnicity

White

56.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

19.9 %

Black or African American

11.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.4 %

French

15.4 %

Italian

13.8 %
See More Demographics

Head Chef Education

Majors

Business
11.9 %

Degrees

Associate

34.0 %

High School Diploma

25.2 %

Bachelors

20.6 %

Top Colleges for Head Chefs

1. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,000
Enrollment
25,973

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

6. Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,612
Enrollment
2,022

7. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Head 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, 23.5% of head chefs listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Kitchen Equipment, 23.5%
  • Food Preparation, 8.2%
  • Sous, 7.0%
  • Dinner Service, 5.0%
  • Menu Items, 4.4%
  • Other Skills, 51.9%
  • See All Head Chef Skills

Best States For a Head Chef

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a head chef. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. Head chefs make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $70,960. Whereas in New Jersey and Delaware, they would average $64,237 and $60,601, respectively. While head chefs would only make an average of $52,691 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Head Chef Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$83,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Rhode Island

Total Head Chef Jobs:
50
Highest 10% Earn:
$79,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Head Chef Jobs:
70
Highest 10% Earn:
$94,000
Location Quotient:
1.5
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Head Chef Employers

1. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$46,051
Head Chefs Hired: 
36+
2. Cafe Services
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$40,444
Head Chefs Hired: 
22+
3. Sodexo Operations LLC
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$38,044
Head Chefs Hired: 
21+
4. Hilton
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$39,509
Head Chefs Hired: 
19+
5. Ruby Tuesday
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$45,917
Head Chefs Hired: 
18+
6. Holiday Inn Express
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$34,087
Head Chefs Hired: 
18+