What does a Sous Chef do?

Chefs can be found at the heart of every kitchen. Chefs can be employed by restaurants, hospitals, schools, office complexes, private person or any other place that has a kitchen. A Chef is responsible for the preparation of a wide variety of cuisines. Some Chefs specialize in a particular area of the food industry, and some adopt a variety of styles. The goal of any Chef is to prepare food that is tasty and people enjoy eating

There are no specific education requirements to hold a position as a Chef. A person's experience and quality of cooking are enough to land a job at most establishments. For higher-profile employment, a degree in culinary arts is highly preferred. These degrees are obtained from local colleges, vocational institutions or dedicated culinary arts schools. Working as a chef can be a high-pressure career. Possessing good organizational and time management skills will ensure success in this field.

What responsibilities are common for Sous Chef jobs?
  • Collaborate with kitchen management on menu items
  • Attend all staff meetings
  • Prep kitchen before meal times
  • Prepare menu items as ordered
  • Ensure proper preparation of all food to be served
  • Assist head chef with large projects when requested
  • Maintain a clean kitchen at all times
  • Work in a safe and efficient manner
What are the typical qualifications for Sous Chef jobs?
  • Degree in the Culinary Arts (preferred)
  • 3+ years in a kitchen environment
  • Understanding of different culinary profiles and techniques
  • Capable of following instructions without variation
  • Ability to regularly lift 35 lbs
  • A desire to learn new flavors and techniques
  • The capability to work safely, efficiently and neatly
  • Willingness to work nights and weekends
  • Comfortable working long shifts of up to 12 hrs
EducationAssociate's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.3 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Sous Chef make?

Confident
$59,220 /yr
Total Pay
$43,906
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$15,315
 /yr

Additional Pay

$59,220

 / yr
$32K$207K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Sous Chef Career Path

Learn how to become a Sous Chef, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Chef
$53,374/yr
L4
Adjunct Chef
$90,976/yr
L7
Head Chef
$63,261/yr
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
21%
2 - 4
37%
5 - 7
3%
8+
39%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Sous Chef Insights

Read what Sous Chef professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Merrill GardensMerrill Gardens
Executive Chef
Jan 25, 2022

“I really enjoy working here at Merrill Gardens because of the residents who are so approachable and friendly.”

Cescaphe Event GroupCescaphe Event Group
Event Chef Manager
Apr 8, 2021

“There wasn't any downs working here it was a great opportunity for me and i learned a lot”

Danesfield House Hotel and SpaDanesfield House Hotel and Spa
Head Chef
Oct 8, 2021

“Poor rates of pay for more junior staff for what is ultimately and ‘out of the way’ hotel.”

Union Square Hospitality GroupUnion Square Hospitality Group
Sous Chef
Nov 11, 2021

“Work and life balance is the best I ever had in all my years in the industry.”

Kneaders Bakery & CafeKneaders Bakery & Cafe
Pastry Chef
Jun 20, 2022

“Pay was barely acceptable based on my experience but you possibly get a raise twice a year”

Duck & WaffleDuck & Waffle
Chef
Mar 10, 2020

“Pay is ok but NOT WORTH the trauma I experienced working for this awful restaurant.”

Hideaway PizzaHideaway Pizza
Pizza Maker
Apr 13, 2022

“It's a good job if your trying to make some money as a college student.”

Mitchells & ButlersMitchells & Butlers
Chef
Jun 3, 2020

“Good online learning system which is giving a very good way to progress depends on individual skills.”

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Sous Chef Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of chefs

In the typical day of a chef, these professionals are responsible for overseeing kitchen operations, which includes preparing food, and managing staff and inventory. Head chefs create menus and supervise prep, while other chef positions work at various food stations.

Being a chef can be a rewarding career. The best part about working as a chef is the opportunity to delight restaurant goers with your culinary creativity. It takes time and effort to get established, but the trade-off is the opportunity to work at many places like catered events, hotels, and specialty restaurants.

Chefs starting out may not make great money, but income increases as you gain experience and move up in your career. The average pay for a chef in the U.S. is $59,220 per year. Salaries can change based off of what kind of restaurant you might work for or if you decide to go and become a private chef.

When becoming a chef, keep in mind the physical demands of the job, as kitchen work requires long hours on your feet and a lot of repetitive movements. Kitchen atmospheres can be stressful, especially during peak hours, and most chefs work nights and weekends.

Related Careers

Executive Chef
$78,784
Sous Chef
$59,220
13% skills overlap
General Manager
$81,810
No skills overlap
Food Service Manager
$56,050
13% skills overlap

Sous Chef Jobs