Cooks and Chefs

Cooks and chefs are employed in the preparation and cooking of food, usually in large quantities, in hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and other establishments and institutions. Chefs and head cooks generally supervise cooks and other food preparation workers. There are about 107,000 chefs and head cooks employed in the United States and approximately 2.9 million cooks and other food preparation workers.


Quick Facts
Duties Prepare and cook food; plan menus; follow recipes; estimate amount of food needed for specific event or time period; order and purchase food from suppliers; use various equipment found in kitchens.
Alternate Title(s) Executive Chefs, Short-Order Cooks, Sous Chefs
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but will be strongest in cities and other locations with many restaurants
Education and Training
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Apprenticeship
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Family and Consumer Science
Experience On-the-job training
Skills
  • Business Management
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Organized
  • Problem-Solving
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements Health certificate required in some states
Career Ladder
  • Head chef
  • Cook
  • Food preparation worker
  • Kitchen helper

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