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!

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.

Learn more about what a Sous Chef does

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 24.1% of sous chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.4% 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.

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Sous Chef Job Description

A sous chef, an assistant to the head chef, is responsible for the preparation of the food and the kitchen in a dining establishment. They also help develop new menus, train new kitchen employees, and act as the head chef when necessary.

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Sous Chef Career Paths

Average Salary for a Sous Chef

Sous Chefs in America make an average salary of $48,716 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $70,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Sous Chef Salary
$48,716 Yearly
$23.42 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Sous Chef

The role of a sous 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 sous chef responsibilities:

  • Provide friendly, fast, and helpful customer service, through the consistent practice
  • Support senior leadership by developing and assuming basic management responsibilities assume the role of liaison between all departments within the culinary division
  • Have a valid passport and c1/d seaman's visa (dcl will provide you with documents to obtain this) complete a pre-employment medical obtain a criminal background check bring approved work shoes disney cruise line is a drug-free workplace. All new hires are required to undergo drug/alcohol testing within the first week onboard

There are several types of sous chef, including:



So, get this - as a cook, you'll spend a lot of your time cooking. Crazy, we know. But that's not all you'll be doing. In addition to the food actually being cooked properly, most people like it to be seasoned. Between the preparation and seasoning, this is where you get to be creative.

When you think of a cook, you probably think of a restaurant setting but in actuality, cooks are needed in a lot of different places, this includes schools, hospitals, and even private households. One thing that is consistent is the inconsistent schedule.

Sometimes you'll work a night shift, other times you'll work super early in the morning. You may even have to work on a holiday. And don't be surprised with a weekend shift. The good news is that formal education isn't really necessary. Sometimes culinary creativity comes naturally.

  • Average Salary: $31,803
  • Degree: High School Diploma

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

States With The Most Sous Chef Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Sous Chef Jobs By State

Sous Chef Education

Sous Chef Majors

Sous Chef Degrees


51.2 %


24.1 %

High School Diploma

13.5 %

Top Colleges for Sous Chefs

1. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition




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, 14.6% of sous chefs listed culinary on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Culinary, 14.6%
  • Food Handling, 8.4%
  • Food Preparation, 7.2%
  • Customer Service, 5.3%
  • Fine Dining, 4.8%
  • Other Skills, 59.7%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Sous Chef Resume templates

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

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Sous Chef diversity

Sous Chef Gender Distribution


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

  • Among sous chefs, 17.9% of them are women, while 82.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among sous chefs is White, which makes up 54.7% of all sous chefs.

  • The most common foreign language among sous chefs is Spanish at 48.4%.

Online Courses For Sous Chef That You May Like

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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, New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts. Sous chefs make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $70,943. Whereas in New Jersey and California, they would average $67,942 and $58,125, respectively. While sous chefs would only make an average of $55,116 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 Sous Chef Jobs: 71
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Hawaii

Total Sous Chef Jobs: 12
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. District of Columbia

Total Sous Chef Jobs: 67
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Sous Chefs

How Do Sous Chefs Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Sous Chef Employers

Most Common Employers For Sous Chef

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Bon Appétit Management$59,291$28.5163
2Goodwin Recruiting$58,420$28.09172
3Hyatt Hotels$54,995$26.4489
4Ruth's Chris Steak House$54,784$26.3450
5The Ritz-Carlton Hotel$54,465$26.19112
7Norwegian Cruise Line$52,193$25.0956
8SAGE Dining Services$51,439$24.7356
9Marriott International$51,355$24.69172
10Embassy C E S$50,458$24.2651

Sous Chef Videos

Becoming a Sous Chef FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Sous Chef?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become a sous chef. That is the time it takes to learn specific sous chef skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 7 to 9 years years to become a sous chef.

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