FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Become A Head Chef

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Head Chef

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $50,801

    Average Salary

What Does A Head Chef Do

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

Duties

Chefs and head cooks typically do the following:

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present dishes
  • Plan menus and ensure the quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain an inventory of food and supplies
  • Monitor sanitation practices and follow kitchen safety standards

Chefs and head cooks use a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders. They also have access to large quantities of meats, spices, and produce. Some chefs use scheduling and purchasing software to help them in their administrative tasks.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

The following are examples of types of chefs and head cooks:

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are responsible primarily for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train cooks and other food preparation workers. Some executive chefs primarily handle administrative tasks and may spend less time in the kitchen.

Sous chefs are a kitchen’s second-in-command. They supervise the restaurant’s cooks, prepare meals, and report results to the head chefs. In the absence of the head chef, sous chefs run the kitchen.

Private household chefs typically work full time for one client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or diplomat, who regularly entertains as part of his or her official duties.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Head Chef

Most chefs and head cooks learn their skills through work experience. Others receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. A small number learn through apprenticeship programs or in the Armed Forces.

Education

Although postsecondary education is not required for chefs and head cooks, many attend programs at community colleges, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 4-year colleges. Candidates are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enter these programs.

Students in culinary programs spend most of their time in kitchens, practicing their cooking skills. Programs cover all aspects of kitchen work, including menu planning, food sanitation procedures, and purchasing and inventory methods. Most training programs also require students to gain experience in a commercial kitchen through an internship or apprenticeship program.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most chefs and head cooks start working in other positions, such as line cooks, learning cooking skills from the chefs they work for. Many spend years working in kitchens before gaining enough experience to be promoted to chef or head cook positions.

Training

Some chefs and head cooks train on the job, where they learn the same skills as in a formal education program. Some train in mentorship programs, where they work under the direction of an experienced chef. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sous chefs who work in upscale restaurants often have many years of training and experience.

Some chefs and head cooks learn through apprenticeship programs sponsored by professional culinary institutes, industry associations, or trade unions in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeship programs generally last 2 years and combine instructions and on-the-job training. Apprentices must complete at least 1,000 hours of both instructions and paid on-the-job training. Courses typically cover food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. Apprentices spend the rest of their training learning practical skills in a commercial kitchen under a chef's supervision.

The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 academic training programs at postsecondary schools and sponsors apprenticeships around the country. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Passing grade in substance abuse screening

Some chefs and head cooks receive formal training in the Armed Forces or from individual hotel or restaurant chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can show competence and lead to advancement and higher pay. The American Culinary Federation certifies personal chefs, in addition to various levels of chefs, such as certified sous chefs or certified executive chefs. Certification standards are based primarily on work-related experience and formal training. Minimum work experience for certification can range from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the level of certification.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers so that the restaurant is profitable.

Communication skills. Chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly.

Creativity. Chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. They should be able to use various ingredients to create appealing meals for their customers.

Dexterity. Chefs and head cooks need excellent manual dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Leadership skills. Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Physical stamina. Chefs and head cooks often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet, overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.

Sense of taste and smell. Chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food quality and to design meals that their customers enjoy.

Time-management skills. Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff. They ensure that meals are prepared correctly and that customers are served on time, especially during busy hours.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Head Chef?

Head Chef Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Head Chef Career Paths

Head Chef
Restaurant Manager Executive Executive Chef
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
Food And Beverage Manager Director Of Food And Beverage Assistant General Manager
Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
General Manager Food Service Director
Certified Dietary Manager
8 Yearsyrs
General Manager Restaurant General Manager Director Of Food And Beverage
Clubhouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant General Manager Kitchen Manager Executive Chef
Consultant General Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Restaurant Manager Catering Manager Executive Chef
Culinary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Co-Owner Adjunct Instructor Executive Chef
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Food And Beverage Manager Catering Manager
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Chef/Kitchen Manager Executive Chef
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Chef/Kitchen Manager General Manager Food Service Director
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant General Manager Bar Manager
FOH Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Co-Owner Business Owner Chef
Food Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Assistant Director Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
9 Yearsyrs
Chef Manager Executive Chef
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Self-Employed Food Service Worker
Food Service Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director District Manager General Sales Manager
General Manager/Partner
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Director Of Food And Beverage General Manager
Multi-Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director
Nutrition Director
7 Yearsyrs
Chef Manager Food Service Director Clinical Dietitian
Nutrition Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef General Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Show More

Do you work as a Head Chef?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Executive Chef 5.6 years
Chef/Owner 5.4 years
Private Chef 3.5 years
Pastry Chef 3.0 years
Head Chef 3.0 years
Chef/Catering 3.0 years
Cooking Chef 3.0 years
Sous Chef 2.9 years
Chef De Cuisine 2.8 years
Banquet Chef 2.7 years
Chef De Partie 2.5 years
Chef 2.5 years
Sushi Chef 2.4 years
Assistant Chef 2.2 years
Kitchen Chef 2.0 years
Line Chef 1.9 years
Prep Chef 1.6 years
Pantry Chef 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Sous Chef 18.0%
Chef 13.6%
Line Cook 13.2%
Cook 8.6%
Manager 3.1%
Prep Cook 2.8%
Internship 2.4%
Head Cook 2.3%
Line Chef 2.2%
Lead Cook 1.9%
Cashier 1.7%
Top Employers After
Chef 15.4%
Sous Chef 13.4%
Cook 7.4%
Line Cook 7.3%
Manager 3.0%
Owner 2.7%
Chef/Owner 2.2%
Lead Cook 1.9%
Supervisor 1.8%
Head Cook 1.7%

Do you work as a Head Chef?

Head Chef Demographics

Gender

Male

77.7%

Female

20.5%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Black or African American

10.0%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.7%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.0%

French

16.9%

Italian

15.1%

Thai

3.6%

German

3.6%

Japanese

3.6%

Chinese

3.0%

Korean

2.4%

Vietnamese

1.8%

Hindi

1.8%

Indonesian

1.8%

Greek

1.8%

Albanian

1.2%

Portuguese

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Mandarin

0.6%

Hmong

0.6%

Sanskrit

0.6%

Hawaiian

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%
Show More

Head Chef Education

Schools

Culinary Institute of America

26.3%

Johnson & Wales University

26.0%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

5.0%

New England Culinary Institute

4.5%

Arizona Culinary Institute

3.7%

Sullivan University

2.4%

The Academy

2.4%

Kaplan University

2.4%

French Culinary Institute

2.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.1%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Scottsdale

2.1%

Ashford University

1.9%

Fox Valley Technical College

1.9%

Erie Community College

1.9%

Schenectady County Community College

1.9%

Santa Barbara City College

1.9%

Monroe Community College

1.9%

Sullivan County Community College

1.9%

Hudson County Community College

1.9%
Show More
Majors

Culinary Arts

45.2%

Business

13.3%

Hospitality Management

6.8%

Management

4.1%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Food And Nutrition

3.2%

General Studies

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Education

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Accounting

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.7%

English

1.4%

Fine Arts

1.3%

Biology

1.2%

Computer Science

1.2%

Political Science

1.2%

Information Technology

1.0%
Show More
Degrees

Other

39.9%

Associate

25.4%

Bachelors

21.2%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

2.7%

Diploma

2.6%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Head Chef Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head Chef Propose#101Inc. New York, NY Dec 23, 2011 $80,933
Production Head Chef Ping Pong Holdings, Inc. Rockville, MD Dec 24, 2015 $79,082
Head Pakistani Chef Naan-N-Curry LLC Renton, WA Dec 22, 2014 $78,000
Head Chef Lippi Restaurants, LLC Miami, FL Jun 21, 2013 $77,000
Head Chef Lippi Restaurants, LLC Miami, FL Jun 12, 2013 $77,000
Head Chef, Afghan Food Top Nosh LLC Falls Church, VA Aug 22, 2016 $73,070
Head Chef St. Marks 6 LLC. New York, NY Nov 10, 2016 $67,413
Head Chef South Beach Hospitality, LLC Miami Beach, FL Sep 23, 2015 $65,114
Head Chef South Beach Hospitality, LLC Miami Beach, FL Sep 19, 2015 $65,114
Head Chef Hong Kong Alleys Kitchen, LLC Orlando, FL Aug 17, 2016 $64,563
Head Chef Mirage Charcoal Kabob, Inc. Dba Zen Boston, MA Aug 20, 2015 $64,522
Head Chef Ban-CI Inc.Dba Asagao Croton-on-Hudson, NY Aug 07, 2015 $64,501
Head Chef Propose#101Inc. New York, NY Apr 10, 2015 $64,501
Head Chef/Cook Chili Mango & Lime Inc. Hingham, MA Jul 15, 2016 $64,000 -
$67,000
Head Chef Texas Money Maker, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 01, 2012 $53,518
Head Chef Texas Money Maker, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 01, 2012 $53,518
Head Chef Daikanyama Cuisine LLC Newton, MA Sep 06, 2013 $53,500 -
$57,500
Head Chef and Manager Sweet Papaya Inc. Buffalo, NY Sep 01, 2014 $53,000
Head Chef and Manager Sweet Papaya Inc. Buffalo, NY Jul 28, 2015 $53,000
Head Chef Sweet Papaya Inc. Buffalo, NY Sep 01, 2014 $53,000
Head Chef Chi Dining Lounge Westbury, NY Dec 09, 2016 $53,000 -
$54,000
Head Chef, Asian Fusion Food O-Fire Corporation San Diego, CA Apr 07, 2015 $53,000
Head Banchan Chef Kong Tofu Corp. Cupertino, CA Jul 29, 2016 $47,840
Head Chef AWON Corporation Los Angeles, CA Jul 01, 2015 $47,528
Head Chef AWON Corporation Los Angeles, CA Apr 24, 2012 $47,382
Head Chef Suzumo Japanese Restaurant, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 25, 2012 $47,382
Chef, Head Restaurant Koshiji Torrance, CA Jan 30, 2012 $47,382
Sushi Head Chef Nami International Inc. Alpharetta, GA Aug 05, 2015 $46,176 -
$55,000
Head Chinese Food Chef LK Sena Inc. Texarkana, TX Oct 30, 2015 $46,000
Head Chef, Korean Food Brother BBQ Inc. Lakewood, CA Oct 15, 2015 $46,000

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Head Chef?

Have you worked as a Head Chef? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Head Chef.

Top Skills for A Head Chef

Show More

  1. Kitchen Equipment
  2. Food Safety
  3. Menu Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Selected the finest quality ingredients to produce gourmet pizza while simultaneously installing kitchen equipment.
  • Followed food safety procedures according to company policies and health and sanitation regulations.
  • Established loyal customer base by continuously producing outstanding and high-quality menu items, proven by regular customer referrals
  • Completed monthly inventory and answered for increases/decreases to inventory level and food cost.
  • Introduced an early dinner-plus-show package.

How Would You Rate Working As a Head Chef?

Are you working as a Head Chef? Help us rate Head Chef as a Career.

Rank:

Average Salary:

Top 10 Best States for Head Chefs

  1. New York
  2. Hawaii
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Nevada
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Delaware
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Jersey
  9. Wyoming
  10. Alaska
  • (386 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (225 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)

Top Head Chef Employers

Show More

Jobs From Top Head Chef Employers

Related to your recently viewed content