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Job Profile: Chefs and Head Cooks

mature chef preparing a meal with various vegetables

Chefs and head cooks supervise food preparation, manage kitchen staff, and handle all food-related issues in restaurants and other food establishments. Generally, a chef’s work environment is fast paced and very demanding. They often work full-time and are required to work early mornings, late nights, weekends, and holidays. In order to become a chef or head cook, one must have experience to learn required skills. Some receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. This, however, is not required; experience is key. As of May, 2012, chefs and head cooks earned $42,480 annually. With a projected employment growth of only 5 percent, this line of work is not expected to have major job opportunities between 2012 and 2022. One can expect strong competition for positions offered in upscale restaurants, hotels, and casinos.

Median Pay: $42,480

Required Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Required Work Experience: 5 years or more

Job Outlook: 5%

—Emily Scott

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