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Sous Chef Careers

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!

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a sous chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.96 an hour? That's $45,673 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 Sous Chef Do

There are certain skills that many sous 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 sous chef, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.5% of sous chefs included food preparation, while 9.0% of resumes included kitchen equipment, and 8.3% 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 sous chef job title. But what industry to start with? Most sous chefs actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Sous Chef

If you're interested in becoming a sous chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 20.8% of sous chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.6% of sous chefs have master's degrees. Even though some sous 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 sous chef. When we researched the most common majors for a sous chef, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on sous chef resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$45,673
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,057
Job Openings

Sous Chef Career Paths

Top Careers Before Sous Chef

Line Cook
24.0 %
Cook
11.9 %
Chef
10.5 %

Top Careers After Sous Chef

Chef
12.6 %

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 Sous Chef

Sous Chefs in America make an average salary of $45,673 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $72,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$45,673

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range47k - 77k$60k$60,413
Seattle, WA
Salary Range46k - 74k$59k$59,061
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range42k - 69k$54k$54,007
McLean, VA
Salary Range40k - 67k$52k$52,442
Needham, MA
Salary Range41k - 65k$52k$52,049
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range40k - 65k$51k$51,248
$29k
$77k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Restaurant Sous Chef
Restaurant Sous Chef
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$70,00001/31/2021
$70,000
Sous Chef
Sous Chef
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$58,00001/30/2021
$58,000
Sous Chef
Sous Chef
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$31,30501/30/2021
$31,305
Sous Chef/Cook
Sous Chef/Cook
Goodwin Recruiting
Goodwin Recruiting
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$41,74001/30/2021
$41,740
Sous Chef
Sous Chef
Holiday Retirement
Holiday Retirement
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$39,65301/29/2021
$39,653
See More Recent Salaries

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Sous 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 Sous 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 Sous Chef Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sous 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.

View Detailed Information

Sous Chef Demographics

Gender

male

78.5 %

female

18.2 %

unknown

3.3 %

Ethnicity

White

56.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.2 %

Black or African American

10.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.4 %

French

18.7 %

Italian

12.5 %
See More Demographics

Sous Chef Education

Majors

Degrees

Associate

45.3 %

Bachelors

20.8 %

High School Diploma

17.2 %

Top Colleges for Sous Chefs

1. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

2. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,000
Enrollment
25,973

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

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

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

6. Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,612
Enrollment
2,022

7. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Sous 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, 10.5% of sous chefs listed food preparation on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Food Preparation, 10.5%
  • Kitchen Equipment, 9.0%
  • Customer Service, 8.3%
  • High Volume, 8.2%
  • Menu Items, 6.9%
  • Other Skills, 57.1%
  • See All Sous Chef Skills

Best States For a Sous Chef

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sous chef. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Washington. Sous chefs make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $71,633. Whereas in Rhode Island and Delaware, they would average $60,211 and $60,196, respectively. While sous chefs would only make an average of $58,585 in Washington, 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. District of Columbia

Total Sous Chef Jobs:
67
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
2.3
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. Nevada

Total Sous Chef Jobs:
71
Highest 10% Earn:
$80,000
Location Quotient:
1.95
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. Hawaii

Total Sous Chef Jobs:
12
Highest 10% Earn:
$94,000
Location Quotient:
0.82
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 Sous Chef Employers

1. Aramark
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$42,051
Sous Chefs Hired: 
342+
2. Sodexo Operations LLC
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$39,232
Sous Chefs Hired: 
221+
3. Taneko Japanese Tavern, Inc
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$47,366
Sous Chefs Hired: 
184+
4. Marriott International
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$41,693
Sous Chefs Hired: 
156+
5. Compass Group
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$42,771
Sous Chefs Hired: 
141+
6. Hyatt Hotels
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$43,206
Sous Chefs Hired: 
134+

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