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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.

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.

What can I earn as a Chef?

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The most common salary for a Chef is between $55k and $65k
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.

20 institutions offering this qualification
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17 institutions offering this qualification
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Self motivation
  • Organisational skills
  • Resilience
  • Willingness to learn
  • Task management

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Team work
  • Time management
  • First aid certification
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Responsible service of alcohol licence
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Chefs rate their role?

Latest reviews from 54 Chefs surveyed on SEEK

Work-life balance
3.6
Job satisfaction
4.0
Career progression opportunities
3.9
Job security
4.0
Pay / Salary
3.3
Variety of work
4.0

Latest reviews

AllPositiveNegative
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advanced diploma in Hospitality Management specializes in pastry n baking
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Pastry, bakery
The good things
Diversity in work
The challenges
Coming up with new ideas every day
Jun 2018
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
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Junior sour
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Banquet
The good things
I can say .. the good think of Demi pastry becouse I'm was a Demi pastry before .. on my career of pastry for 6 years. I'm very enjoying and be able to work on my own and create some new cake and have...
The challenges
Be able to work on your own.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate 3 in commercial cookery
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
I learn new things every week
The challenges
You need patience to coach the younger people
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of business
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
State manager in kitchen department
The good things
Good opportunity in future to achieve your own business and link with different suppliers. Gain more knowledge of company revenue.
The challenges
In franchise it’s hard to make your own decisions, but you will share your ideas in meetings.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Cert III Commercial Cookery
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen Management
The good things
Never unemployed. Fun working with others. Working in a managerial role.
The challenges
Maintaining Food Quality. Staff Management. Function Co-ordination. Dietry Requirments.
Jun 2018
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
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate of commercial cookery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
The good things
Getting to work with equally passionate chefs and working with fresh produce, and receiving positive feedback from customers make it feel like you feel worthwhile in your role.
The challenges
Working around long hours can be challenging, but so is the role of a chef, like anything in life its all about communication and thats the key in this industry.
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
diploma in hospitality
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
appetizers, entree, and mains section
The good things
builds your confidence in the kitchen, you get to train junior chefs and pass on your experience
The challenges
to be on your toes every time you step on your section
Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Commercial Cookery 3, Hospitality 4
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
The good things
Job security and lifestyle
The challenges
Staff
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

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