Summary Report for:
35-1011.00 - Chefs and Head Cooks
Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.
Sample of reported job titles: Banquet Chef; Certified Executive Chef (CEC); Chef; Chef, Instructor; Cook; Corporate Executive Chef; Executive Chef (Ex Chef); Executive Sous Chef; Head Cook; Line Cook
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.
- Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
- Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
- Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.
- Supervise or coordinate activities of cooks or workers engaged in food preparation.
- Inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.
- Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.
- Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services.
- Check the quantity and quality of received products.
- Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
- Plan, direct, or supervise the food preparation or cooking activities of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain, hospital, or hotel.
- Coordinate planning, budgeting, or purchasing for all the food operations within establishments such as clubs, hotels, or restaurant chains.
- Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.
- Prepare and cook foods of all types, either on a regular basis or for special guests or functions.
- Meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies.
- Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers.
- Collaborate with other personnel to plan and develop recipes or menus, taking into account such factors as seasonal availability of ingredients or the likely number of customers.
- Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
- Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
- Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
- Record production or operational data on specified forms.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Blast freezers — Blast chillers
- Cappuccino or espresso machines — Cappuccino makers
- Carbonated beverage dispenser — Carbonated beverage dispensers
- Commercial use barbeque ovens — Braziers
- Commercial use blenders — Blenders
- Commercial use broilers — Broilers; Salamanders
- Commercial use coffee grinders — Commercial coffee grinders
- Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers — Commercial coffeemakers
- Commercial use convection ovens — Convection ovens
- Commercial use conveyer toasters — Conveyer ovens
- Commercial use cutlery — Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Oyster knives; Serrated blade knives (see all 7 examples)
- Commercial use deep fryers — Electric deep-fat fryers; Gas-powered deep-fat fryers
- Commercial use dishwashers — Commercial dishwashers
- Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Food dicers
- Commercial use food grinders — Meat grinders
- Commercial use food processors — Food processors
- Commercial use food slicers — Bread slicers; Meat slicers; Slicing machines
- Commercial use food warmers — Steam tables
- Commercial use graters — Box graters; Food shredders; Fruit zesters; Plane graters
- Commercial use griddles — Griddles
- Commercial use grills — Grills
- Commercial use heat lamps — Infrared heat lamps
- Commercial use high pressure steamers — Pressurized steam cookers
- Commercial use hot dog grills — Hot dog cookers
- Commercial use icing sets or bags — Cake decorating tools
- Commercial use juicers — Juice extractors
- Commercial use measuring cups — Dry or liquid measuring cups
- Commercial use microwave ovens — Commercial microwave ovens
- Commercial use mixers — Mixers
- Commercial use pasta machines — Pasta machines
- Commercial use peelers — Vegetable peelers
- Commercial use pizza ovens — Pizza ovens
- Commercial use ranges — Electric ovens; Electric stoves; Gas ovens; Gas stoves
- Commercial use rice cookers — Rice cookers
- Commercial use rolling pins — Rolling pins
- Commercial use rotisseries — Rotisserie units
- Commercial use scales — Portion scales
- Commercial use smokers or smoke ovens — Food smokers
- Commercial use steamers — Steam kettles
- Commercial use toasters — Toasters
- Commercial use waffle irons — Waffle makers
- Commercial use woks — Woks
- Desktop computers
- Domestic apple corer — Apple corers
- Domestic double boilers — Double boilers
- Domestic garnishing tools — Parisian cutters
- Domestic kitchen or food thermometers — Instant-read pocket thermometers; Meat thermometers; Refrigerator thermometers
- Domestic kitchen tongs — Kitchen tongs
- Domestic knife sharpeners — Knife sharpeners
- Domestic mandolin — Mandolines
- Domestic melon or butter baller — Melon ballers
- Domestic sifter — Sifters
- Domestic strainers or colanders — Sieves; Strainers
- Domestic trash compactors — Garbage compactors
- Domestic vegetable brush — Vegetable brushes
- Domestic whipped cream maker — Cream whippers
- Fire blankets — Fire suppression blankets
- Fire extinguishers — Kitchen fire extinguishers
- Ice dispensers — Ice-making machines
- Ice shaver machines or accessories — Ice shaving or crushing equipment
- Non carbonated beverage dispenser — Juice dispensers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Axxya Systems Nutritionist Pro software; Food Software.com IPro Restaurant Inventory, Recipe & Menu Software; GNOME Gnutrition; Nutrition analysis software
- Data base user interface and query software — Barrington Software CookenPro Commercial; CostGuard software; Culinary Software Services ChefTec; ReServe Interactive Table Management Software (see all 6 examples)
- Desktop publishing software — SoftCafe MenuPro
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Sage MAS 90 ERP
- Financial analysis software — Delphi software
- Internet browser software
- Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — EGS F&B Control
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Google spreadsheet; Microsoft Excel
- Time accounting software — ADP eTIME
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Detailed Work Activities
- Plan menu options.
- Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
- Cook foods.
- Record operational or production data.
- Communicate with customers to resolve complaints or ensure satisfaction.
- Check quality of foods or supplies.
- Estimate supplies, ingredients, or staff requirements for food preparation activities.
- Inspect facilities, equipment or supplies to ensure conformance to standards.
- Train food preparation or food service personnel.
- Coordinate timing of food production activities.
- Coordinate activities of food service staff.
- Manage food service operations or parts of operations.
- Perform human resources activities.
- Create new recipes or food presentations.
- Determine prices for menu items.
- Schedule equipment maintenance.
- Plan special events.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 92% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Telephone — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 81% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 70% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 70% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 48% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Very important.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 52% responded “Very important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Important results.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 30% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 37% responded “More than half the time.”
- Consequence of Error — 31% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 33% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|11||High school diploma or equivalent|
Interest code: ERA
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$19.95 hourly, $41,500 annual|
|Employment (2014)||128,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Faster than average (9% to 13%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||30,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Chefs and head cooks . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.