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Head Chef

Lead and supervise a commercial kitchen, from menu design to management of a chef team.
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Job growth
Projected job growth in 5 years
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Typical salary
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What's it like to be a Head Chef?

A Head Chef is a senior chef who is the leader of a kitchen, usually in a small to medium-sized business.

Head Chef

Tasks and duties

  • Plan, design and cost menus, liaise with supplier and manage kitchen budgets.
  • Supervise kitchen staff and resolve issues as they arise.
  • Work closely with restaurant manager, chef team and customer service to ensure the business runs smoothly.
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Head Chefs usually take on a supervisory role within the kitchen, which means that they have significant duties beyond food preparation.

A Head Chef is similar to an Executive Chef, and it is unlikely that a Head Chef and an Executive Chef would be working within the same kitchen.

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What can I earn as a Head Chef?

Find out the average salary for a Head Chef across Australia

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Latest Head Chef jobs on SEEK

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How to become a Head Chef


SEEK Learning
To become a Head Chef in Australia, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in cooking while also gaining a TAFE qualification in cookery. Employers generally require that you have completed year 10.

  1. Complete an apprenticeship or traineeship. Full-time apprenticeships usually last for 36 months. Concurrently, complete a qualification in cooking, such as a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (or equivalent).
  2. Once you’ve gained your qualification, ensure you have a food safety supervisor certificate.
  3. Work your way up the kitchen ladder to become a Commis Chef, then Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and then a Head Chef.

Explore related qualifications

SEEK users who have worked as a Head Chef have studied these qualifications.

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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 III in Hospitality

This certificate prepares you for a career in the hospitality industry and for roles in restaurants, hotels and cafes.
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Certificate III in Hospitality provider logo
Certificate III in Hospitality provider logo
Certificate III in Hospitality provider logo
Certificate III in Hospitality provider logo

Diploma of Hospitality Management

This diploma provides you with the skills and knowledge needed to work in management positions within the hospitality industry.
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Diploma of Hospitality Management provider logo
Diploma of Hospitality Management provider logo
Diploma of Hospitality Management provider logo
Diploma of Hospitality Management provider logo
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

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Is Head Chef the right role for me?


How do Head Chefs rate their role?
Average ratings calculated from 131 Head Chefs surveyed on SEEK
Work-life balance
3.4
Job satisfaction
4.0
Career progression opportunities
3.8
Job security
3.9
Pay / Salary
3.4
Variety of work
3.9

Job market trends for Head Chefs
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Job opportunities

Head Chef jobs on SEEK
4,572
Jobs on SEEK right now
Source: SEEK
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Role Reviews

Latest Head Chef reviews

Latest reviews from 119 Head Chefs surveyed on SEEK
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Positive
Negative
Oct 2018
Chef... It's not for everyone, but if you find a place that you love, it's not work, it's the best fun you'll ever have and vet paid for it!
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced Diploma of Telecommunications Network Engineeringp
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Recipes and COGS
The good things
I work in catering and events. The beauty of this is that everything is pre-planned. You have the time to organise yourself properly. But keep in mind at times they all. Add up and time is stretched. ...
The challenges
The challenges every year chef faces are simple. Quality, consistency, staffing, food cost % and labour %. The biggest challenge where I work is accommodating for very specific dietaries. Some die...
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May 2021
Be a chef they said it will be fun they said.
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of Applied Science (Food Safety)
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen
The good things
If you are someone that loves the action and confusion of day to day life this job is perfect. Always on the move and enjoys a challenge this is the job for you. There’s always work available for the ...
The challenges
One of the hardest challenges of the role is work life balance. You will hear chefs refer to other jobs as normal jobs(9-5). You are at work so other people can have a good time and depending on where...
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews