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Chef Green Job

Chefs prepare, cook and present food in hotels, bars and restaurants.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 45 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 4.8% fewer Chef jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a chef, you would:

  • develop recipes, plan menus and create new dishes
  • research new ingredients and suppliers
  • prepare and cook dishes and desserts
  • control stock and inspect deliveries
  • maintain food safety and hygiene standards
  • supervise kitchen staff to make sure food is of high quality, presented well and served on time

Working environment

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work at a restaurant, in an NHS or private hospital, at a school, at a college or on a cruise ship.

Your working environment may be hot, humid and physically demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can study for a higher education qualification in:

  • culinary arts
  • professional cookery
  • bakery and patisserie technology
  • food and nutrition

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information

You could take a college course to get into this industry. Courses include:

  • hospitality and catering
  • professional cookery
  • culinary skills
  • a T Level in Catering

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
For more information

You could get into this career by doing an apprenticeship. There are several available for this role, including:

  • Production Chef or Commis Chef Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Chef de Partie Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Senior Culinary Chef Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship

These take between 1 and 2 years to complete.

You can also train to be a chef by doing an apprenticeship in the armed forces:Army; Royal Air Force; Royal Navy

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start work as a kitchen assistant or trainee commis chef in a restaurant or catering company and work your way up while learning on the job.

More information

Career tips

You'll need a food safety certificate as a chef. Training courses last 1 to 2 days and are widely available through local authorities, colleges and private training providers.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a chef from

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With experience you could progress from being a commis chef, preparing and cooking dishes, to sous chef, supervising staff and running a kitchen when the head chef is away.

As a head chef, you could train to move into restaurant or hospitality management. If you work for a chain, you may be responsible for managing several sites.

You could also set up a catering business or open your own restaurant.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of food production methods
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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