Chefs and Head Cooks


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+6.4% (as fast as the average)

Most Common Level of Education

High school diploma or equivalent


What Chefs and Head Cooks Do

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.

Other Job Titles Chefs and Head Cooks May Have

Banquet Chef, Certified Executive Chef (CEC), Chef, Cook, Executive Chef (Ex Chef), Executive Sous Chef, Head Cook, Kitchen Manager, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Executive Chef ,

Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace

I oversee 124 cooks and 8 chefs that prepare hundreds of dishes for over 4,000 people every day. My alarm goes off at 3 am and I am in the kitchen by 4:30-5am. The first thing I do is walk the line and check to ensure that everything is clean. I check the product that has come in to ensure freshness and check-in with my chefs to make sure we have everything we need for the day. My day typically doesn't end until 7-8pm.

Chef ,

Broken Spanish

I spend my day cooking and overseeing my kitchen staff to ensure we deliver the best products to our customers. I also do a lot of tasting and experimenting with new flavors for our menu.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • 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.
  • Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of cooks or workers engaged in food preparation.
  • Check the quantity and quality of received products.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.