A line chef, also known as a line cook or prep cook, is responsible for preparing and plating dishes according to the restaurant menu and the chef's specifications. As a line chef, you are also responsible for assisting the chef on stocking, inventory, and setting up the kitchen, ensuring cleanliness and safety alongside dish preparation, and adhering to hygiene and safety standards. You are also expected to work with other kitchen employees towards customer satisfaction, wash and clean the cooking utensils used after your shift.

As a line chef, you should be a team player, know how to manage time, have great organizational, listening, and communication skills. Formal education is not compulsory to be a line chef, but a degree from a culinary school, vocational school, or related courses would be preferred. Experience in the field is also required as well as how to safely use kitchen utensils. Your average salary as a line chef is $26,203 per year.

What Does a Line Chef Do

There are certain skills that many line 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.

Learn more about what a Line Chef does

How To Become a Line Chef

If you're interested in becoming a line chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 23.3% of line chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.9% of line chefs have master's degrees. Even though some line chefs have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Line Chef

Line Chef Career Paths

Average Salary for a Line Chef

Line Chefs in America make an average salary of $26,651 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $37,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $18,000 per year.
Average Line Chef Salary
$26,651 Yearly
$12.81 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Line Chef

The role of a line chef includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general line chef responsibilities:

  • Performs prep work such as washing, peeling, cutting
  • Assist kitchen staff with various tasks as needed,
  • Delight our guests by providing quality

There are several types of line chef, including:

Line Cook


As a sort of in-charge person, line cooks definitely have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. While you might think the head chef does most of the heavy lifting, think again. The majority of the food is prepared by the line cook.

Now, the head chef, or even the sous chef, give line cooks the direction they need to make the food. Typically, as a line cook, you'll have a particular place in the kitchen that you'll look after. Like, maybe you'll get assigned to the grill, and then you'll be in charge of everything at the grill. Or you might be assigned to the veggie prep area.

Wherever you are assigned, you should be prepared to work some crazy hours. Since you're preparing the food, you'll need at least an hour, if not two, to get everything ready. Once your line is prepped, then you're ready to take on your shift. With that extra 1-2 hours, you'll probably be working around 8-10 hours a shift.

  • Average Salary: $32,894
  • Degree: High School Diploma



MMM, do you smell that? Working as a chef comes with some good-smelling perks, especially if you're good at what you do. Chefs are in charge of preparing food for establishments where food is served, typically restaurants.

The schedule of a chef varies widely depending on where you're cooking. Sometimes they work early mornings, late evenings, weekends and even holidays. Yes, people still want to eat your delicious food on Christmas

  • Average Salary: $46,824
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Sous Chef


Chefs are often considered artists, who create culinary masterpieces pleasing to vision and palate alike. Sous chefs are there at every step of the process, assisting the head chef, in a professionally run kitchen, in making the magic happen.

They contribute to creating the menu, making sure every necessary ingredient is in stock and fresh, supervise sanitation, and do everything in their power to reach the expected quality standard of the meals.

Defying stereotypical gender roles, or perhaps adhering to less obvious ones, the sous chef position is primarily filled by men, especially in high-end kitchens. With all the long hours, heat, and a high-pressure working environment, prejudice against women has them framed as not being physically and emotionally strong enough to work in kitchens, and receive fewer opportunities to hold high-status jobs as cooks.

Restaurants behind the scenes are apparently not just the site for exquisite food preparation but prove to be an excellent field for institutionalized sexism as well. Go sous chefettes, it is high time to change this demographic!

  • Average Salary: $48,716
  • Degree: Associate Degree

States With The Most Line Chef Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active line chef jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where line chefs earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Line Chef Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
6New York1,245$35,842
9North Carolina1,201$25,731
17New Jersey719$37,534
19South Carolina635$19,410
36New Mexico202$22,378
39New Hampshire160$41,787
41West Virginia151$24,373
44North Dakota96$32,667
45Rhode Island89$37,498
47South Dakota77$27,923

Line Chef Education

Line Chef Majors

12.5 %

Line Chef Degrees


33.6 %

High School Diploma

28.6 %


23.3 %

Top Colleges for Line Chefs

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Delhi, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of Charleston

Charleston, WV • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Line 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, 16.1% of line chefs listed kitchen equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Kitchen Equipment, 16.1%
  • Sanitation Standards, 11.3%
  • Food Handling, 7.8%
  • Customer Service, 7.8%
  • Cleanliness, 7.7%
  • Other Skills, 49.3%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Line Chef Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Line Chef templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Line Chef resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Line Chef diversity

Line Chef Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among line chefs, 30.6% of them are women, while 69.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among line chefs is White, which makes up 55.5% of all line chefs.

  • The most common foreign language among line chefs is Spanish at 59.9%.

Online Courses For Line Chef That You May Like

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3. Fun food safety and sanitation course


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Best States For a Line Chef

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a line chef. The best states for people in this position are New Hampshire, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Line chefs make the most in New Hampshire with an average salary of $41,787. Whereas in Alaska and Massachusetts, they would average $40,803 and $40,255, respectively. While line chefs would only make an average of $37,968 in Michigan, 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. Michigan

Total Line Chef Jobs: 832
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total Line Chef Jobs: 96
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New Hampshire

Total Line Chef Jobs: 160
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Line Chefs

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Top Line Chef Employers

Most Common Employers For Line Chef

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1University of Rochester$30,041$14.4411
2Marriott International$29,568$14.2216
3Compass Group USA$29,360$14.1217
4Darden Restaurants$29,280$14.0827
6Panera Bread$27,968$13.4527
7Management & Training$26,750$12.8657
8Buffalo Wild Wings$26,321$12.6516
9Panda Express$25,442$12.2322

Line Chef Videos