Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.
Chefs and head cooks work in restaurants, private households, and other establishments where food is served. They often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. The work can be hectic and fast paced. Most chefs and head cooks work full time.
Most chefs and head cooks learn their skills through work experience. Others receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. A small number learn through apprenticeship programs or in the Armed Forces.
The median annual wage for chefs and head cooks was $41,500 in May 2015.
Employment of chefs and head cooks is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Most job opportunities for chefs and head cooks are expected to be in food services, including restaurants. Job opportunities also will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Candidates can expect strong competition for jobs at upscale restaurants, hotels, and casinos, where the pay is typically highest.
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