Chefs and Head Cooks: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Chefs and Head Cooks jobs information
pros and cons of being a Chef and Head Cook

Chefs and Head Cooks

Other names for this job might include Banquet Chef, Bread and Pastry Baker, Cake Froster, Cake Icer, Cake Maker, Cake Mixer, Certified Executive Chef (CEC), Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Chef de Froid


  • $45920
    Salary
  • 65%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

D



Chefs and Head Cooks: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Chef and Head Cook is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Chefs and Head Cooks direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

  • Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.
  • Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
  • Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
  • Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.

Read more about what does A Chef and Head Cook really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$45920 per year

Hourly wage
$22.07 an hour


Chefs and Head Cooks with little to no experience tend to make between $23150 and $30840 while the more experienced ones make over $57110 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
DC$29.24$60820
NJ$27.98$58200
MA$26.84$55840
FL$26.36$54820
RI$25.71$53480

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Chef and Head Cook is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Chefs and Head Cooks are DC, NJ, MA, FL and RI.

However a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Chef and Head Cook is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Chefs and Head Cooks make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)

We asked other Chefs and Head Cooks what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Associates degree followed by Certificate.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, General
Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef
Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Restaurant, Culinary, and Catering Management/Manager
Culinary Science/Culinology

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Chef and Head Cook successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Chefs and Head Cooks have these 5 skillsets.

Monitoring
Speaking
Coordination
Social Perceptiveness
Time Management

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Chefs and Head Cooks is they are good at Dependability. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Dependability
Attention to Detail
Adaptability/Flexibility
Stress Tolerance
Integrity
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Chef and Head Cook and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Chef and Head Cook as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Salary is below average
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
65%

Is this job meaningful
49%


Working hours
More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)


On a normal working week Chefs and Head Cooks work More than 40 hours per week.

65% of Chefs and Head Cooks said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Persuaders and The Builders


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.



How we can help

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Career type

Food and Hospitality
Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services

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Job Description
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Related to Chefs and Head Cooks Career Information

Chefs and Head Cooks job description, Chefs and Head Cooks salary, Chefs and Head Cooks information, what is the job of a Chef and Head Cook like, pros and cons about Chefs and Head Cooks, colleges and universities for Chefs and Head Cooks, is Chefs and Head Cooks the right career for me, Medium careers to get into, careers in Food and Hospitality

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm
http://www.acfchefs.org/
http://www.restaurant.org/
http://www.personalchef.com/

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Chefs and Head Cooks
Written by: Stanley Tan
Chefs and Head Cooks direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.
3 / 5 stars

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