If you have ever watched the Hell’s Kitchen show, a reality TV series created by celebrity British chef Gordon James Ramsay, you would have realized how interesting this job can be. All it requires is an uncanny knack to understand the finer points of cooking. Not surprisingly, in recent years, an increasingly large number of students have opted for courses related to this field. Simultaneously, the number of hotel management and culinary schools have also increased in the endeavor to impart quality education and skills. Being a chef can be a rewarding career choice, as this industry has excellent career opportunities.
Average Pay Range
Executive chefs are the highest-paid among all chefs in the culinary world. Their salary depends on the following factors:
- Years of work experience
- Type of employer
- Work location
- Size of the hotel/restaurant
- Educational qualifications
In general, a high school qualification is the minimum requirement, but nowadays, just a high school diploma is not enough, unless it is backed by some excellent work experience. Normally, a bachelor’s degree in hotel management or culinary sciences is preferred by employers.
The salary per year, according to data compiled in 2010, for those having a work experience of around four to five years is between USD 35,000 to USD 50,000. Those placed in luxury hotels and restaurants in the top cities command higher salaries than those working in small-time restaurants. Those who are hired for large-scale corporate firms earn a decent pay and also enjoy benefits like accommodation, health insurance, and other benefits. They are responsible for preparing meals and other dishes for corporate and business events. The salary for skilled and experienced professionals is between USD 50,000 to USD 90,000. Generally, those hired in corporate firms are the ones who have many years of work experience. Salaries in the range of USD 70,000 to USD 90,000 are possible after a chef has invested many years in the profession.
The executive chef basically manages the entire kitchen. The job entails various other management activities related to the hotel industry. These professionals monitor the entire cooking process, design menus, ensure hygiene of the kitchen, oversee and train staff members, and look after all aspects of customer satisfaction. Starting from something as simple as tablecloth to keeping an eye on the quality of food served, they hold a very responsible position. Besides, they also manage budgets and accounting related to the kitchen. They have to look after food store rooms, ensuring that the items don’t perish under unfavorable weather conditions. Lastly, they should be abreast with the latest trends in the food and beverage industry.
Being a chef is definitely a challenging job and requires complete dedication to one’s craft. Though the salary can be a criterion for choosing this career, love for good food and a passion for cooking remain paramount to succeed in this job.