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Chef

A fast-paced career for food lovers.

What's it like to be a Chef?

A Chef is a professional cook, trained in all aspects of food preparation. They generally work in commercial kitchens; these can take on a wide variety of forms, from fine dining restaurants, to cafés, to foodtrucks. Many Chefs focus on a specific cuisine, while others choose to specialise in certain aspects of cooking, like baking or pastry making.

Chef

Tasks and duties

  • Pre-service: Checking the inventory and ordering required ingredients. Preparing for service may include things like cleaning, cutting and marinating the food.
  • Service: Communicating with floor and other kitchen staff, cooking and serving food.
  • Post-service: Ensuring the work environment is spotless is essential.
info
Source: SEEK job ads

How to become a Chef


SEEK Learning
There are no required qualifications to become a Chef, but it’s common for Chefs to complete an apprenticeship and gain a vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816).

  1. Decide what type of restaurant you want to work in and what cuisine you’d like to cook.
  2. Apply for an apprenticeship with a TAFE or private college.
  3. Many experienced Chefs branch out into owning their own restaurants or cafés. Owning and running your own business can be complicated and demanding, so it’s a good idea to supplement your cooking skills with some business training.

Explore commercial cookery qualifications

Get started in the industry with a trade-based, vocational qualification.

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Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

This certificate gives you the skills to prepare food and menu items and may provide a pathway into roles in cafes and restaurants.
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Certificate III in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery provider logo

Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery

This qualification provides the skills to prepare for a supervisory or team leader role within a commercial kitchen.

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Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery provider logo
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery provider logo
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Skills and experience employers are looking for

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Chefs rate their role?

Latest reviews from 25 Chefs surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.4
Job satisfaction
3.7
Career progression opportunities
3.6
Job security
3.7
Pay / Salary
3.1
Variety of work
3.8

Latest reviews

All
Positive
Negative
Nov 2018
Being a chef takes a certain type of person
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Chef
The good things
If you have a creative side you get to express it daily through food. Helps build a strong character also with the fast paced environment and stressful situations
The challenges
Long hours not great pay hard work no family time
Read more
Jun 2018
Chefs build on challenges but the beauty in the art and design keeps me alive..
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate in Institutional Catering and Hotel management
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
kitchen department
The good things
Being an individual who runs the kitchen,you get satisfaction and a good feeling everytime someone is pleased with your food.If your awesome at what you do,people will always be hungry for your food....
The challenges
Looking at working hours,you likely have to work nights ,weekends and even holidays.You remain standing for hours risking kitchen hazards burns and cuts.You have no social life and almost no tim...
Read more
Aug 2019
Chef
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Cookery (Commercial)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Chef
The good things
Good things about my role,you always learn something new about the food you are cooking.Nowadays food has gone to a new levels,style,technique,most important is that cooking should come from your hear...
The challenges
You need to be very calm and composed.At times due to workload it becomes difficult to think of any other thing apart from your job when it comes to take additional responsibilities and be a leader an...
Read more
Jun 2018
i would never recomend this job to anyone i like
Reviewer's Qualification
chef
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
bakery
The good things
to be honest it is the worst job I ever had they always promise you more hours ect they cut hours and want you to do more work I just hate the way they treat people my pets get treated better
The challenges
less hours more work no breaks
Read more
Jun 2018
Chef is under estimated job but it is worth it will never change it to any other
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of business
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
All rounder
The good things
U need a passion for the job, u will get another family in work place
The challenges
There is always customer not happy, bit just keep doing what ur love
Read more
Jun 2018
You don't have to be crazy to work here, you have to be stone cold insane.
Reviewer's Qualification
Food Safety Certificate
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Vegan food
The good things
Working in a dangerous, high pressure environment isn't for everyone, but as part of a skilled, tightly-knit, committed team, it's an exhilarating experience. Also, it's really satisfying to make peop...
The challenges
Demanding physical work, low pay, and long hours are pretty much par for the course in commercial kitchens. It's really important to look after yourself and your team mates.
Read more
Jun 2018
Chef is a hard work but the advantages are great and opportunities are wide
Reviewer's Qualification
culinary arts
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
asian chef
The good things
make happy and satisfied your clients
The challenges
fullfilments
Read more
Jun 2018
Chef,If you can travel and learn.I loved it
Reviewer's Qualification
Commercial cookery 1,2&3
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
As a chef, I have travel as a chef also to living and learning overseas. As a chef seen some amazing food. Amazing places
The challenges
Give up seen friends,parties, a social life. Weddings threw to 21st parties. But you have to live and breath it if you want to be a chef
Read more
Jun 2018
Catering Chef: love doing bulk production work!
Reviewer's Qualification
CertIII in hospitality
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
a love of cooking great dishes that satisfy
The challenges
Coping with pressure and still maintaining a high standard
Read more
Jun 2018
Being a chef is hard job but can be rewarding
Reviewer's Qualification
Commercial cookery certificate three
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Not applicable
The good things
Being a chef is an exciting job and can be very rewarding if you have the passion for it, it will take you many places around the world if thats what you want, i spent two years in Canada and it was a...
The challenges
A chef is not an easy job for those wanting to become a chef remember the hours can be long, you work weekends and public holidays, though you get to meet a variety of characters. The most important t...
Read more
info
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Chefs?

Find out how the job market is trending

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NSW
VIC
WA
QLD
TAS
SA
NT
ACT

Job opportunities

Chef jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
16.1%
2019
2024
Source: LMIP. Chefs

Latest Chef jobs on SEEK

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Source: SEEK job ads

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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data