Design menus, create recipes, and cook food.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Chefs do?

Food Network fans know: Chefs aren’t sissies, they’re Soldiers. As ready to fight as they are flambé, theirs is a delicious war. Instead of guns, their weapons are Wüsthofs. Instead of bombs, they drop bacon grease. And instead of grenades, they throw chili powder.

Every day is a new battle to bake, roast, fry or sauté. The mission, however, is always the same: Whether you work at a five-star restaurant, roadside diner, cafeteria or hotel, serving steak or succotash, your job is making food that people want to eat.

If that sounds easy, it isn’t. Along with salt and pepper, it requires sweat, stamina and superhuman taste buds. Depending on your rank — Line Cook, Sous Chef or Executive Chef — your job is more than cooking dinner. It’s also designing menus, procuring and preparing ingredients, creating and testing recipes, setting prices, managing kitchen staff and policing food safety.

Because cooking is creative, you’ll suffer for your art, working long and awkward hours, slaving over hot stoves and serving demanding customers, often going home with cuts, blisters and burns.

Your reward: You’ll eat like a king — and be treated like one, too. Foodservice royalty, your robe is a double-breasted white jacket and your crown a special white hat. Your spatula, meanwhile, is your scepter and your title — “Chef So-and-So” — a hard-won version of “Your Majesty.” Playing with your food has never been so sweet.

Should I be a Chef?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Baker Chef, Chef Assistant, Chef, Broiler Or Fry, Chef, Department, Chef de Patite, Chef, German, Chef, Italian See More

    How to become a Chef

    Chefs often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9kcfaa&chl=no+college+%2859%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,59,59
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