WHAT DO CHEFS DO?
Order up! Today's special is a great job! Chefs, also known as head cooks, are in charge of kitchens, overseeing the preparation and cooking of food at restaurants, diners, and other operations where somebody can get a bite to eat. Chefs make sure that the kitchen is a well-oiled machine, managing the kitchen staff to make sure food prepared quickly and as delicious as possible, as well as maintaining records, ordering food, and enforcing food safety standards.
In addition, chefs will hire staff, plan menus, create recipes and make sure that those under him comply to his standards and make sure every plate has that little sprig of parsley on it that nobody eats.
HOW MUCH DO CHEFS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2010, the median income for chefs was $19.53 per hour, or $40,630 a year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Experience is key. Most chefs start in other positions in the kitchen, from dishwasher, cook, etc., and learn the skills they need on the job to move up. However, some chefs will gain experience through training at a community college or trade school, with 2- and 4-year degrees are available. Chefs looking for more advanced training can get involved in apprenticeships through culinary schools and other organizations. These typically last 2 years.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Creativity: Chefs are often in charge of creating new and innovative dishes that will bring in customers. Knowledge of ingredients and how to use them in a creative way will serve you well.
- Leadership Skills: Chefs are in charge of the entire kitchen, from the dishwasher to the cooks. Being a good leader, who can assign tasks, hire the right people, motivate workers in a high stress environment will help you immensely.
- Hand-Eye Coordination: Chefs work with knives and must have excellent technique when cutting and preparing food. Hand-eye coordination is needed.
- Sense of Taste and Smell: Delicious food brings in customers. Chefs are the last line of defense to make sure each piece of food is safe, prepared correctly and tasty.
- Time Management Skills: Kitchens get busy quickl, food can get ruined easily if you cannot manage your time. Great time management will help you avoid burned or spoiled food and angry customers.
- Business Acumen: Chefs must understand the restaurant business. You have to balance your expenses with your profits, manage the kitchen staff, minimize waste, and keep the kitchen running smoothly.
CAREER PATHS FOR CHEFS
THE FUTURE OF CHEFS
According to the BLS, jobs for chefs will not grow much between 2010 and 2020.