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Become A Pizza Chef

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Working As A Pizza 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

  • $40,034

    Average Salary

What Does A Pizza 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.

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How To Become A Pizza 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.

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Pizza Chef Career Paths

Pizza Chef
Restaurant Manager Catering Manager Executive Chef
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Manager Restaurant Manager
Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Grill Cook Sous Chef Director Of Food And Beverage
Clubhouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operations Manager Chief Operating Officer
Consultant General Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Chef/Kitchen Manager Executive Chef
Culinary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Grill Cook Kitchen Manager Restaurant Manager
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Chef Executive Chef
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Sous Chef General Manager Food Service Director
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
9 Yearsyrs
Restaurant Manager Trainer Kitchen Manager
FOH Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sous Chef Executive Chef
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Food Service Supervisor Chef
Food Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Manager Kitchen Manager Executive Chef
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Production Technician Food Service Worker
Food Service Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Chef General Manager
General Manager Of Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Machine Operator Office Manager Practice Manager
Hospitality Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Operations Manager General Manager
Multi-Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Food Service Director Clinical Dietitian
Nutrition Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clerk Attorney Managing Partner
Operating Partner
9 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Food Service Director Clinical Dietitian
Patient Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Service Technician General Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Pizza Chef?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Head Chef 3.0 years
Chef 2.5 years
Assistant Chef 2.2 years
Pizza Chef 2.0 years
Prep Chef 1.6 years
Pizza Cook 1.5 years
Pizza Maker 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Pizza Chef
Cashier 10.2%
Line Cook 8.8%
Cook 8.4%
Prep Cook 5.7%
Server 5.1%
Chef 4.9%
Manager 3.5%
Sous Chef 3.3%
Volunteer 3.1%
Waitress 3.1%
Top Careers After Pizza Chef
Cook 8.7%
Cashier 8.7%
Line Cook 8.5%
Chef 7.1%
Server 6.9%
Prep Cook 5.0%
Manager 4.2%
Sous Chef 3.9%
Waitress 3.3%
Technician 3.3%
Volunteer 2.9%
Internship 2.9%
Associate 2.7%

Do you work as a Pizza Chef?

Pizza Chef Demographics

Gender

Male

75.4%

Female

23.5%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

8.9%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

German

15.6%

Italian

12.5%

Japanese

6.3%

French

6.3%

Arabic

3.1%

Tibetan

3.1%

Korean

3.1%
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Pizza Chef Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

10.6%

University of Phoenix

10.6%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

6.1%

University of Southern Indiana

4.5%

University of New Hampshire

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.5%

Southern Oregon University

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Sierra College

4.5%

University of Maine

4.5%

West Virginia University

4.5%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

4.5%

Culinary Institute of America

4.5%

Western Illinois University

4.5%

Utah State University

4.5%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

4.5%

University of New Mexico

4.5%

Eastern Washington University

3.0%

University of South Florida

3.0%

Arkansas State University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

20.6%

Culinary Arts

17.0%

Psychology

7.1%

Criminal Justice

5.8%

Liberal Arts

5.1%

Computer Science

4.5%

Graphic Design

4.2%

Hospitality Management

3.5%

Kinesiology

3.2%

Fine Arts

2.9%

General Studies

2.9%

Environmental Science

2.9%

Management

2.9%

Nursing

2.6%

Biology

2.6%

Writing

2.6%

Information Technology

2.6%

History

2.6%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

English

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

37.0%

Bachelors

37.0%

Associate

14.7%

Certificate

5.8%

Masters

2.5%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Pizza Chef Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Pizza Chef Zaza Pizza, LLC FL Nov 01, 2011 $62,400
Pizza Chef Zaza Pizza, LLC FL Dec 01, 2011 $62,400
Italian Brick Oven Pizza Chef Gialda, L.L.C. D/B/A CAFÉ Epicure Sarasota, FL Jul 06, 2016 $48,610
Pizza Chef Xlixe LLC Los Angeles, CA Aug 07, 2015 $47,528

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Top Skills for A Pizza Chef

  1. Pizza
  2. Pizza Kitchen
  3. Food Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare pizza according to customers orders, following approved procedures
  • Shift Supervisor- Food Preparation- Food Safety- Receiving Inventory
  • Provided customer service-Prepared and served pizzas-Vacuum carpets
  • Wash tables-Clean dishes-Stack wood-Clean facilities-Prepare pizza-Cook pizza in brick oven-Interact with customers
  • Dispatched delivery drivers to specific destinations ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

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