What You Need to Know About Chef or Head Cook
Career Description 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.
- Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services.
- Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.
- Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
- Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
- Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.
- Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
Chef Needed Skills
When polled, Chefs and Head Cooks say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Management of Personnel Resources: Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Related Job Titles
- Head Cook
- Certified Executive Chef (CEC)
- Personal Chef
- Culinary Chef
- Head Pastry Chef
Is There Going to be Demand for Chefs and Head Cooks?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 146,500 jobs in the United States for Chef or Head Cook. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14,100 new jobs for Chef or Head Cook by 2026. The BLS estimates 20,300 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Chef are Utah, Arizona, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Maine, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
The salary for Chefs and Head Cooks ranges between about $26,320 and $81,150 a year.
Chefs and Head Cooks who work in New Jersey, Hawaii, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
How much do Chefs and Head Cooks make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$65,780|
What Tools do Chefs and Head Cooks Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Chefs and Head Cooks may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Email software
- Delphi Technology
- Internet browser software
- Culinary Software Services ChefTec
- Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro
- SoftCafe MenuPro
- EGS CALCMENU
- ADP eTIME
- Menu planning software
- ReServe Interactive
- Sage MAS 90 ERP
- GNOME Gnutrition
- IPro Restaurant Inventory, Recipe & Menu Software
- Barrington Software CookenPro Commercial
How do I Become a Chef?
What education is needed to be a Chef or Head Cook?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Chef?
Chefs and Head Cooks Sector
The table below shows the approximate number of Chefs and Head Cooks employed by various industries.
Those who work as a Chef or Head Cook sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.