Chefs use their cooking skills and leadership to ensure that the kitchen staff works together to make food that pleases guests safely and efficiently. Enhancing many of their skills on the job, chefs not only cook and prepare the food but also use their imagination to come up with dishes and new recipes and for restaurants to offer.
Being a chef can be the right choice if you come up with new ideas in the kitchen and love to cook and don’t mind taking on a creative role. How much income you can make as a chef depends on the type of restaurant, how much experience you have or other settings you work in, and whether you specialize in a particular kind of cooking. Having the option to run your own restaurant or kitchen is a possibility that gives you some flexibility with your work schedule and can increase your earnings.
Chefs work in kitchens to make sure that food is safely prepared and cooked and is fresh. They spend most of their time using equipment to grind, cut, slice, and heat food. Apart from preparing food, they often create their own menus and recipes, ensure the kitchen is sanitized and adequately stocked, teach other chefs, and lead the kitchen squad so that work is well coordinated. Chefs who are restaurant owners also manage business tasks like accounting, scheduling, and marketing.
Chefs spend prolonged periods standing in crowded kitchens that can be harmful, so having physical stamina and taking safety precautions is essential to prevent accidents and handle the physical work. A good sense of smell and taste and creativity enable chefs to make yummy recipes. Business expertise and Leadership skills are especially helpful for head chefs and the self-employed.
After earning a high school diploma, they can gain the skills required to work as a chef by successfully completing a culinary arts program or through on-the-job training as a cook. While learning on the job, expect to have an experienced chef teach you and mentor you cooking methods. Promotion to a chef position can occur after working for several years. By joining in a culinary arts program, you’d do hands-on work to learn to prepare and cook food in a kitchen safely. The program may also require participation in an apprenticeship to have work experience. Optional certification from the ACF (American Culinary Federation) is available for chefs with work experience.
As of May 2019, the median pay for chefs and head cooks is $51,530 a year or $24.78 an hour; this means that half of the chefs earned more than that, and half made less money. How much money chefs make annually varies from under $28,370 for the bottom 10 percent to over $86,990 for the top 10 percent. Chefs working for restaurants averaged 47,980 annually, while chefs working for performing arts companies did better and made $69,150 annually on average.
The Majority of chefs cook in restaurants that are often self-owned and may be busy environments. Others work for food services companies, hotels, or attractions; offer catering services or cook for individuals in their private residences. They frequently work with other culinary professionals in the kitchen to make sure food is prepared securely and on time. It’s normal to work a full-time schedule with overtime and irregular hours. Chefs who own their restaurants or who are caterers can choose to work plans that are more family-friendly and regular, although management tasks require additional hours outside the kitchen.
How Much Do Chefs Make
Careers in the U. S:
Culinary chefs can make money throughout their careers as they gain kitchen experience and become skilled in making certain foods, like pastries or vegetarian dishes. Promotion as a kitchen manager, an executive chef, or general restaurant manager also leads to higher income opportunities, as does working for high-end organizations. A glance at how experience alone can affect a typical chef’s compensation, as of March 2018(1):
- Entry-level: $19,763 – $56,729
- Mid-career: $22,069 – $54,779
- Experienced: $22,900 – $56,475
- Late-career: $24,525 – $61,045
Careers in Europe:
- Commis Chef or Trainee £13,000-£18,000
- Chefs de Partie or Section £16,000-£21,000
- Sous Chef £22,000-£26,000
- Chefs de Cuisine/Head Chef anywhere between £20,000-£30,000
These salary averages are based on United Kingdom Chefs.
Careers in Asia:
A mid-career Executive Chef with 5-10 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of S$69,000. An experienced Executive Chef with 10-20 years of experience makes an average total compensation of S$75,076. In their late-career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total salary of S$72,000.
Job Growth Trend
An increase in customers wanting both high-quality and healthy meals at restaurants and high turnover in the field provides opportunities for new culinary chefs to join the profession. Between 2016 and 2026, chefs and head cooks can expect an above-average employment growth of ten percent, leading to around 14,200 new jobs. With the focus being on quality, restaurants especially seek experienced chefs. Those who want to work at upscale restaurants can expect high competition for these higher-paid chef positions.