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Line Chef Careers

A line chef, sometimes referred to as a prep cook, is responsible for preparing and plating the food in a restaurant. The name of the position comes from the fact that each line chef has their own place in the food line; this can be the grill, vegetable station, sauce prep, butchering meat, etc. The important part is to know the head chef's specifications and each section of the menu.

As a line chef, you will be responsible for the preparation, cleanliness, and effectiveness of your area. You'll need to be able to work under stressful circumstances and communicate effectively with those around you, so you're aware of menu changes, shortages, and more.

A line chef can work over 50 hours a week, overnights, weekends, and holidays. It's common to work seven to nine days in a row on a shift that can last up to 14 hours. You aren't required to have a college degree, but some restaurants require a culinary degree. Many places will expect you to have a few years of restaurant or food industry experience, and you will need to go through a week or two weeks of training to have a full understanding of the kitchen expectations.

Depending on the restaurant you work at, you may receive a portion of tips at the end of the night. A line chef, on average, makes about $10 per hour.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a line chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.6 an hour? That's $26,203 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 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a line chef, we found that a lot of resumes listed 21.8% of line chefs included kitchen equipment, while 13.4% of resumes included sanitation standards, and 8.8% of resumes included customer service. 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 line chef job title. But what industry to start with? Most line chefs actually find jobs in the hospitality and education industries.

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 23.5% of line chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.1% 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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a line chef. When we researched the most common majors for a line chef, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on line chef resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$26,203
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
27,795
Job Openings

Line Chef Career Paths

Top Careers Before Line Chef

Line Cook
16.4 %
Sous Chef
12.3 %
Chef
9.7 %

Top Careers After Line Chef

Sous Chef
14.0 %
Chef
11.4 %

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 Line Chef

Line Chefs in America make an average salary of $26,203 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $35,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $19,000 per year.
Average Salary
$26,203

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Edison, NJ
Salary Range27k - 45k$36k$35,826
Chicopee, MA
Salary Range28k - 44k$35k$35,218
New York, NY
Salary Range25k - 41k$33k$32,729
Merced, CA
Salary Range25k - 38k$31k$31,465
Urbana, IL
Salary Range23k - 34k$28k$28,497
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range22k - 36k$28k$28,417
$14k
$45k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Cook Helper
Cook Helper
Fond Du Lac Reservation
Fond Du Lac Reservation
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$22,00001/31/2021
$22,000
Cook's Helper
Cook's Helper
Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Xanterra Parks & Resorts
01/19/2021
01/19/2021
$25,87901/19/2021
$25,879
Cook Helper
Cook Helper
Management & Training Corporation
Management & Training Corporation
01/15/2021
01/15/2021
$22,95701/15/2021
$22,957
Production-Cook/Cook Helper
Production-Cook/Cook Helper
The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kraft Heinz Company
01/12/2021
01/12/2021
$33,91401/12/2021
$33,914
Food Service Cooks Helper (Multiple Buildings)
Food Service Cooks Helper (Multiple Buildings)
Brooklyn Center Community Schools
Brooklyn Center Community Schools
12/24/2020
12/24/2020
$33,18312/24/2020
$33,183
See More Recent Salaries

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Line 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 Line 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 Line Chef Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Line 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.

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Line Chef Demographics

Gender

male

63.7 %

female

31.9 %

unknown

4.4 %

Ethnicity

White

58.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.7 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.9 %

French

12.1 %

Italian

7.0 %
See More Demographics

Line Chef Education

Majors

Business
14.1 %

Degrees

High School Diploma

30.6 %

Associate

28.7 %

Bachelors

23.5 %

Top Colleges for Line Chefs

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 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, 21.8% 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, 21.8%
  • Sanitation Standards, 13.4%
  • Customer Service, 8.8%
  • Food Preparation, 7.8%
  • Chefs, 5.2%
  • Other Skills, 43.0%
  • See All Line Chef Skills

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 Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Line chefs make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $35,845. Whereas in Delaware and Massachusetts, they would average $35,569 and $35,357, respectively. While line chefs would only make an average of $33,545 in Nevada, 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 Line Chef Jobs:
307
Highest 10% Earn:
$49,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
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. Maine

Total Line Chef Jobs:
153
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
0.99
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. New Jersey

Total Line Chef Jobs:
719
Highest 10% Earn:
$56,000
Location Quotient:
0.77
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 Line Chef Employers

1. Ruby Tuesday
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$46,110
Line Chefs Hired: 
37+
2. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$24,217
Line Chefs Hired: 
30+
3. Panera Bread
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$22,053
Line Chefs Hired: 
26+
4. Darden Restaurants
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$31,194
Line Chefs Hired: 
25+
5. Management and Training
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$22,724
Line Chefs Hired: 
23+
6. Panda Express
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$19,161
Line Chefs Hired: 
22+

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