Chef or Cook

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A chef or cook plans, prepares and cooks food by using a variety of cooking techniques. A chef usually works in a hotel or a restaurant. They may also work for a contract catering company, providing food for events. Cooks are more likely to work in hospitals, schools, works canteens, cafes or fast food outlets.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The salary for a commis chef (entry level after qualifying) or a chef de partie (the head of a kitchen area) varies greatly depending on the size of restaurant but is generally between £18,000 and £25,000. With experience, moving up to sous chef level, salaries can be between £25,000 and £35,000.

Head chefs can earn up to £45,000 a year, sometimes more, depending on the type of establishment.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

There is a big demand for chefs and cooks all over the country. Look in Jobcentre Plus offices or on the Find a Job service on GOV.UK for current vacancies, as well as trade magazines such as The Caterer.

What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be:


Getting On


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The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Tel: 020 7921 0420
Website (2):
Twitter: @Springboard_UK

Springboard UK promotes career opportunities in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries.

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