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.

Median Annual Wage: $41,610

Education: Associate's degree (44%); Post-secondary certificate (22%); High school diploma or equivalent (11%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Chef; Cook; Banquet Chef; Executive Sous Chef; Head Cook; Line Cook; Certified Executive Chef (CEC); Chef, Instructor; Corporate Executive Chef; Executive Chef (Ex Chef)

Browse Job Listings

Browse Schools

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Chefs and Head Cooks.

More Food Preparation and Serving Related Careers

  • 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.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of cooks or workers engaged in food preparation.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.
  • Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.
  • Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services.
  • Check the quantity and quality of received products.
  • Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
  • Plan, direct, or supervise the food preparation or cooking activities of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain, hospital, or hotel.
  • Coordinate planning, budgeting, or purchasing for all the food operations within establishments such as clubs, hotels, or restaurant chains.
  • Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.
  • Prepare and cook foods of all types, either on a regular basis or for special guests or functions.
  • Meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies.
  • Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers.
  • Collaborate with other personnel to plan and develop recipes or menus, taking into account such factors as seasonal availability of ingredients or the likely number of customers.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
  • Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
  • Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
  • Record production or operational data on specified forms.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Chefs and Head Cooks.

  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Chefs and Head Cooks.

Search Local Job Listings