Job Description - Chefs and Cooks:
Chefs and cooks are employed in restaurants and other food service establishments. They prepare, season and cook a variety of foods.
Employment Facts - Chefs and Cooks:
Chefs and cooks held over one million jobs in 2008.
Educational Requirements - Chefs and Cooks:
Aspiring cooks and chefs can take courses in high school or through vocational school programs. In order to work as a head cook or executive chef, one must complete a formal training program
. Training programs in culinary arts are offered by culinary arts schools, two or four year colleges and the armed forces
Other Requirements - Chefs and Cooks:
Most formal training programs require that students complete an internship or apprenticeship.
Advancement Opportunities - Chefs and Cooks:
Experienced and ambitious chefs and cooks may move up within the kitchen and take on responsibility for training or supervising newer or lesser skilled kitchen staff. One's advancement opportunities depend on his or her training, experience and ability.
Job Outlook - Chefs and Cooks:
Employment of chefs and cooks, according to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow slowly through 2018. However, due to turnover in the field, there will be job openings available. Competition at upscale establishments will be stiff.
Earnings - Chefs and Cooks:
Earnings vary depending on where and in what type of establishment one works. Median annual wages of chefs and head cooks were $40,090 in 2008, while the median earnings of restaurant cooks were $22,170.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much chefs and cooks currently earn in your city.
A Day in a Chef's or Cook's Life:
On a typical day a chef or cook will:
- create recipes;
- measure, mix, and cook ingredients according to recipes;
- direct the work of other kitchen workers;
- estimate food requirements;
- order food supplies;
Also see Short Order Cook: Career Information
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition, Chefs and Head Cooks, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm (visited November 9, 2010).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Chefs and Head Cooks, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/35-1011.00 and Cooks, Restaurant, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/summary/35-2014.00 (visited November 9, 2010).
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