Culinary Arts Career

chef-500Chefs direct cooks within the kitchen of a restaurant or other food service establishment, handle food-related issues, and provide leadership to the food service staff.

Chefs and head cooks are usually the most skilled cooks within a kitchen and apply their knowledge of food and creativity to create and prepare recipes. In addition, they hire and train staff, establish work schedules, prepare supply and food cost estimates, order supplies, comply with local regulations, enforce observation of safety and sanitation standards and ensure efficient and profitable operation of the food service establishment.

Culinary Arts Snapshot

Individuals pursuing a Culinary Arts Career can expect to work in a kitchen setting, spending most of their time standing and bending. Most chef’s and head cooks work in restaurants. Short order cooks and those at lower paying positions work in fast-food restaurants and other food service establishments like hospitals and cafeterias.

Here is more information on a career in culinary arts (statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Online Online):


is the average earnings for chefs and head cooks per year.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High School diploma or equivalent.

Culinary Arts Education

Those planning to pursue a career in the Culinary arts often attend a formal cooking school. These individuals become chefs in advanced positions and may need to become certified through the American Culinary Federation. However, there are many opportunities for cooks who have not met the typical culinary career requirements. On-the-job training is often provided for those working in fast-food and for food preparation workers.

Culinary Arts Job Outlook

Chefs and head cooks are expected to grow by 9% between 2014 and 2024 which is faster than the average occupation.

Culinary Arts Salary

Median annual salaries for chefs and head cooks ranged from $23,150 to $74,170 as shown by the Occupational Employment Statistics survey program. The average salary was $41,500 per year in May 2015.

Culinary Arts Duties

Many chefs and head cooks spend much of their time coordinating the work of the other kitchen staff. They often act as executive managers. Others spend their time creating dishes and preparing meals. Short-order cooks work to prepare the food by measuring, cooking, and mixing ingredients. Food preparation workers perform routine tasks supervised by chefs and cooks. They get the ingredients ready for cooking by measuring, stiring, and slicing.

Culinary Arts Career

Becoming a chef requires special skills and abilities in addition to knowledge with specific tools.

Chef Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Chefs:Typical Work Activities:
•Critical Thinking
•Management of Personnel Resources
•Time Management
•Active Listening
•Judgment and Decision Making

•Oral Expression
•Oral Comprehension
•Problem Sensitivity
•Information Ordering
•Deductive Reasoning
•Inductive Reasoning
•Near Vision
•Arm-Hand Steadiness

•Food Slicers
•Food Thermometers

•Creative Thinking
•Making Decisions
•Solving Problems
•Establishing and Maintaining Relationships
•Getting Information
•Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
•Resolving Conflicts

Related Careers


High School Diploma or Equivalent

Food Preparation Workers

High School Diploma or Equivalent

Food Service Managers

High School Diploma or Equivalent

What Do Related Careers Pay?