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Hospitality Chef and Head Cook
Salary Range Jobs Available
$34,200 - $86,800 21,900+

What Does a Chef Do?

Chefs are responsible for designing and creating the meals that establish a restaurant’s reputation. That requires creativity, unflappability and a strong work ethic.

Chefs and head cooks oversee daily food preparation at restaurants, hotel dining establishments, cafes, private households and many other places where food is served. The type of restaurant where a chef or head cook works will determine the scope of duties, as smaller establishments often combine roles. 

They need to be multitaskers who communicate well — even in a hot and noisy kitchen.

Chefs work demanding hours, including weekends and holidays. However, pride in the food they create makes these hours worthwhile.

For most chefs, the social aspect of the job is a bonus. In addition, this career offers many opportunities to learn, grow and even own your own business. 

Keep reading to learn more about how training will help you reach your goals.

Young female chef takes a break from food prep
Becoming a chef requires hard work and a commitment to the craft, but the payoff can be a good salary and deep satisfaction with your work. (Credit: FXQuadro/Shutterstock)


  • Plan menus and ensure ingredient quality
  • Create new recipes
  • Keep up with culinary trends
  • Assign prices to dishes and services
  • Develop a network of suppliers and vendors
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of chefs you manage
  • Inspect supplies, equipment and work areas for cleanliness
  • Manage administrative operations
  • May order food and supplies

How To Become a Chef: FAQs

The bottom line:

This creative career will both push you and reward you. Being able to cook for a living is a dream come true for some, but it requires years of hard work. If you know this is the right career for you, check out the training opportunities near you. SkillPointe has hundreds of training partners, so you can find the best program for you and get started on your next chapter. 

Ebony Magae, SkillPointe chef ambassador

Becoming a chef is worth it

Ebony Magae loves being a sous chef and teaching students skills they need to succeed in the culinary industry. 

"I am a caregiver naturally, but cooking was always in my heart," says Ebony, who was in nursing for years before she switched careers. 

Her only regret? That she didn’t make the leap sooner. 

"I wish I would have known it was this fulfilling 20 years ago!"

Find Chef and Head Cook Training In Your Area

Salt Lake City

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Chef's Apprentice College Credit Certificate

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Fort Pierce

Chef's Apprentice Technical Certificate

Earn valuable Technical (College Credit) Certificates at the same time you’re completing an A.S. Degree—get double the value and additional...
Fort Pierce

Culinary Operations Apprenticeship

Students enrolled in Career Training programs build increasingly sophisticated skills in 150-hour modules. Apprenticeship programs feature on-the-job...

Chef Apprentice College Credit Certificate

The Chef Apprentice Certificate is designed to prepare students with a theoretical and practical foundation for a successful career in the culinary...
Los Altos Hills

Apprenticeship: Culinary Arts

Students will study first aid, food safety management and other safety issues related to food service operations. They will learn how to assess the...

TTC Adult Apprentices

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Culinary Apprenticeship

Express creativity as part of a team that designs menus, organizes catered events, and develops unique dining experiences Read More

Chef's Apprentice Certificate

The Chef's Apprentice Certificate is a 12 credit hour certificate program that provides basic fundamental skills needed for entry into the culinary... Read More

Chef’s Apprentice, College Credit Certificate

Core Courses FOS 2201 - Food Service Sanitation Management 3 Credit Hours FSS 1001 - Culinary Techniques 3 Credit Hours FSS 1202L - Food Production I... Read More

Chef's Apprentice (Hospitality and Tourism Institute) Technical Certificate

This program is designed for students interested in the culinary industry, focusing on the fundamental knowledge and skills one needs to work safely... Read More

Hospitality Management -Culinary Apprenticeship Major, A.A.S.

The Hospitality Management programs provide quality learning experiences to enhance initial employment opportunities and to improve technical and... Read More

Culinary Arts Apprenticeship, A.A.S

Since 1991, the program and Scott Community College have operated in the Quad Cities. Apprentices work at one of the 65 approved apprenticeship sites... Read More

Culinary Apprenticeship, A.A.S

This is a hands-on apprenticeship program that includes 6,000 hours of full-time work to develop skills in addition to selected classroom experiences... Read More

Culinary Arts Apprenticeship, A.A.S

Since 1991, the program and Scott Community College have operated in the Quad Cities. Apprentices work at one of the 65 approved apprenticeship sites... Read More
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