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Working as a Lead Cook

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lead cook. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.77 an hour? That's $32,793 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 282,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Cook Do

There are certain skills that many lead 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 comprehension, dexterity and physical stamina.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lead cook, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.7% of lead cooks included customer service, while 13.6% of resumes included food service, and 12.9% of resumes included kitchen equipment. 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 lead cook job title. But what industry to start with? Most lead cooks actually find jobs in the hospitality and health care industries.

How To Become a Lead Cook

If you're interested in becoming a lead cook, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 15.3% of lead cooks have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.2% of lead cooks have master's degrees. Even though some lead 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 lead cook. When we researched the most common majors for a lead cook, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lead cook resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$32,793
Job Growth Rate11%

Lead Cook Career Paths

Top Careers Before Lead Cook

Cook
20.3 %
Line Cook
15.7 %

Top Careers After Lead Cook

Cook
17.6 %
Sous Chef
13.6 %
Line Cook
10.5 %

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 Lead Cook

Lead Cooks in America make an average salary of $32,793 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $38,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,793

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Ewing, NJ
Salary Range31k - 43k$37k$37,309
Redmond, WA
Salary Range32k - 41k$37k$36,751
Washington, DC
Salary Range29k - 40k$35k$34,583
West Palm Beach, FL
Salary Range29k - 40k$35k$34,564
Portland, OR
Salary Range29k - 38k$34k$34,030
Scranton, PA
Salary Range29k - 39k$34k$33,772
$21k
$43k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Lead Cook
Lead Cook
Olive U Grill
Olive U Grill
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$41,74001/29/2021
$41,740
Lead Cook
Lead Cook
Sodexo
Sodexo
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$27,65301/29/2021
$27,653
Cook 1St. Shift
Cook 1St. Shift
The Reserves Network
The Reserves Network
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$29,21801/28/2021
$29,218
Lead Cook
Lead Cook
Salvation Army USA
Salvation Army USA
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$22,95701/28/2021
$22,957
Lead Cook
Lead Cook
South Suburban Parks and Recreation
South Suburban Parks and Recreation
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$28,88401/28/2021
$28,884
See More Recent Salaries

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Lead 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 Lead 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 Lead Cook Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Lead 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

Lead Cook Demographics

Gender

male

68.4 %

female

28.3 %

unknown

3.3 %

Ethnicity

White

53.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.1 %

Black or African American

13.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.6 %

French

12.6 %

Italian

6.6 %
See More Demographics

Lead Cook Education

Majors

Business
14.0 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

35.6 %

Associate

29.9 %

Bachelors

15.3 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Lead 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, 17.7% of lead cooks listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as comprehension and dexterity are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 17.7%
  • Food Service, 13.6%
  • Kitchen Equipment, 12.9%
  • Menu Items, 12.1%
  • Storage Areas, 7.3%
  • Other Skills, 36.4%
  • See All Lead Cook Skills

Best States For a Lead Cook

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a lead cook. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Lead cooks make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $38,325. Whereas in Vermont and New Jersey, they would average $37,983 and $37,743, respectively. While lead cooks would only make an average of $37,330 in Massachusetts, 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 Lead Cook Jobs:
439
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
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. Florida

Total Lead Cook Jobs:
2,870
Highest 10% Earn:
$46,000
Location Quotient:
1.44
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. Rhode Island

Total Lead Cook Jobs:
130
Highest 10% Earn:
$48,000
Location Quotient:
0.92
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 Lead Cook Employers

1. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$32,078
Lead Cooks Hired: 
339+
2. Pizza Hut
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$26,147
Lead Cooks Hired: 
318+
3. Sodexo Operations LLC
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$31,420
Lead Cooks Hired: 
206+
4. Sonic Drive-In
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$26,612
Lead Cooks Hired: 
140+
5. Buffalo Wild Wings
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$33,522
Lead Cooks Hired: 
137+
6. KFC
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$26,664
Lead Cooks Hired: 
131+

Lead Cook Videos