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Head Cook Careers

A Head Cook, aka the chef, is responsible for running a kitchen, usually in a high-end establishment. They delegate tasks and oversee the work of everyone involved in food preparation, making sure that the result is nothing but exquisite delicacies. They come up with new recipes, create the menu, and make sure the necessary ingredients are always in stock.

Head cooks are deeply passionate about cooking. They live and die for tasty food and know a lot about other countries' culinary cultures. They consider their profession art, rather than anything else, and just like a poet has a favorite pen, you will recognize an authentic head cook by the fact that he favors one knife over all others.

Not that salaries matter to a real artist; just for your information, head cooks in the U.S. make an average of $48,098 per year.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a head cook. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.26 an hour? That's $48,373 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 Cook Do

There are certain skills that many head cooks 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 cook, we found that a lot of resumes listed 32.3% of head cooks included kitchen equipment, while 15.6% of resumes included menu items, and 11.0% of resumes included meal prep. 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 cook job title. But what industry to start with? Most head cooks actually find jobs in the hospitality and health care industries.

How To Become a Head Cook

If you're interested in becoming a head cook, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 13.1% of head cooks have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.9% of head cooks have master's degrees. Even though some head cooks 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 cook. When we researched the most common majors for a head cook, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on head cook resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$48,373
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
52,461
Job Openings

Head Cook Career Paths

Top Careers Before Head Cook

Cook
22.3 %
Line Cook
13.1 %
Cashier
10.3 %

Top Careers After Head Cook

Cook
21.3 %
Line Cook
11.4 %
Cashier
6.7 %

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 Cook

Head Cooks in America make an average salary of $48,373 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$48,373

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Newark, NJ
Salary Range52k - 82k$66k$66,005
Washington, DC
Salary Range46k - 74k$59k$58,649
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range45k - 71k$57k$56,729
Alexandria, VA
Salary Range44k - 71k$56k$56,150
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range43k - 69k$55k$54,923
Boston, MA
Salary Range42k - 63k$52k$51,796
$25k
$82k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Camp Cormorant-Head Cook
Camp Cormorant-Head Cook
YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties
YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties
01/24/2021
01/24/2021
$21,91401/24/2021
$21,914
Head Start Cook
Head Start Cook
Adams County Government
Adams County Government
01/08/2021
01/08/2021
$31,80601/08/2021
$31,806
Head Cook at Tuacahn Cafe
Head Cook at Tuacahn Cafe
Tuacahn Center for The Arts
Tuacahn Center for The Arts
11/20/2020
11/20/2020
$37,56611/20/2020
$37,566
Head Start Cook-Temporary
Head Start Cook-Temporary
Adams County Government
Adams County Government
09/28/2020
09/28/2020
$30,36609/28/2020
$30,366
Head Cook
Head Cook
Moore Public Schools
Moore Public Schools
09/16/2020
09/16/2020
$25,04409/16/2020
$25,044
See More Recent Salaries

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Head Cook 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 Cook. 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 Cook Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Head Cook 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 Cook Demographics

Gender

male

61.7 %

female

35.3 %

unknown

3.0 %

Ethnicity

White

56.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.0 %

Asian

14.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.4 %

French

7.1 %

Italian

5.2 %
See More Demographics

Head Cook Education

Majors

Business
19.5 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

45.9 %

Associate

20.2 %

Bachelors

13.1 %

Top Colleges for Head Cooks

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

3. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,570
Enrollment
3,721

8. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Public

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

9. University of Charleston

Charleston, WV • Private

In-State Tuition
$30,900
Enrollment
1,910

10. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Head Cook

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, 32.3% of head cooks listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Kitchen Equipment, 32.3%
  • Menu Items, 15.6%
  • Meal Prep, 11.0%
  • Food Preparation, 9.0%
  • Food Service, 5.3%
  • Other Skills, 26.8%
  • See All Head Cook Skills

Best States For a Head Cook

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a head cook. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Head cooks make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $65,978. Whereas in Delaware and Rhode Island, they would average $62,036 and $61,125, respectively. While head cooks would only make an average of $56,277 in Pennsylvania, 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. Pennsylvania

Total Head Cook Jobs:
1,987
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
0.94
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. Georgia

Total Head Cook Jobs:
1,841
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
0.98
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. Kentucky

Total Head Cook Jobs:
942
Highest 10% Earn:
$75,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
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 Cook Employers

1. KFC
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$20,659
Head Cooks Hired: 
342+
2. Pizza Hut
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$38,242
Head Cooks Hired: 
288+
3. Sonic Drive-In
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$21,981
Head Cooks Hired: 
122+
4. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$56,477
Head Cooks Hired: 
87+
5. Dairy Queen
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$21,794
Head Cooks Hired: 
86+
6. Hardee's
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$20,051
Head Cooks Hired: 
74+