Career Advice
Your destination for expert career guidance
🔍

Chef

A fast-paced career for food lovers in a dynamic environment.

"Being a chef is great as you have to cater for many palettes and the work is very varied. And if you do it well everyone loves you"

If you have a passion for cooking and would love to work in the fast-paced environment of a commercial kitchen then becoming a Chef could be for you. Depending on which path you take, working as a Chef could see you planning menus and creating recipes to training staff and managing budgets.

There are several available career options available in this industry. An entry-level position as a Commis Chef will see you learning the ropes in a kitchen. You could then progress your career and take on a speciality such as becoming a Pastry Chef, a Pizza Chef or even a Breakfast Chef. If it’s a leadership role you’re after, you could become a Head or Executive Chef, managing your own kitchen and staff. There are no required qualifications to work in these roles but it’s common to undertake an apprenticeship and gain a vocational qualification.

With our appetite for dining out not waning, there’s a 16.7 per cent job growth trajectory forecasted for the next five years for those wanting to work in this field.

Undertaking a career in the food industry as a chef is generally suited to those who have an interest in food and cooking. Being creative, having good time management skills and the ability to work well in a team and remain focused are all valuable traits to have in this profession.

Industry insights

What does the job market look like?

Job opportunities

Chef jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
16.7%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Chefs

What's it like to be a Chef?

What Chefs are saying about their role

Most rewarding aspects

Good opportunity in future to achieve your own business
Job security
Organisation of your day is key

Common challenges

Standing for hours
Working around long hours
Coping with pressure
Chefs surveyed from SEEK

Compare roles

What are the options for Chefs?

Commis Chef
Most common salary$55k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
A junior or entry-level role in commercial kitchens.
Entry requirements: No minimum entry requirements. Find out more
Breakfast Chef
Most common salary$55k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Specialise in preparing breakfasts in a commercial kitchen.
Entry requirements: Qualifications are not essential, but a Certificate III is recommended. Find out more
Pizza Chef
Most common salary$60k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Specialise in the art of pizza making.
Entry requirements: A Certificate III is recommended, by not essential. Find out more
Demi Chef
Most common salary$55k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Take charge of a specific kitchen station and hone your technical skills.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification and apprenticeship are usually required. Find out more
Sous Chef
Most common salary$65k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Work under a Head Chef as the second-in-command of a commercial kitchen.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification and apprenticeship are usually required. Find out more
Pastry Chef
Most common salary$60k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Specialise in techniques for preparing pastries and baked goods.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification and apprenticeship are usually required. Find out more
Chef de Partie
Most common salary$60k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Oversee a section of a commercial kitchen and supervise junior staff.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification and apprenticeship are usually required. Find out more
Head Chef
Most common salary$60k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Lead a commercial kitchen, including menu design and managing the chef team.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification, apprenticeship and experience are usually required. Find out more
Executive Chef
Most common salary$110k
Job growth16.7%
Satisfaction
Lead a commercial kitchen, including administrative and financial responsibilities.
Entry requirements: A vocational qualification, apprenticeship and experience are usually required. Find out more