Tourism & Hospitality

Chef

words by Year13

What’s it all about?

Do you think you might be the next Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson? If you do, then this gig’s for you! In a chef apprenticeship you’ll get trained in all the skills needed to become a great chef. It’s about everything food related!

Will it suit me?

To complete a chef apprenticeship and work in this industry, you need to cope well under pressure, work quickly, prepare and cook food with skill and grace, work really well in a team, know how to take orders, and being creative is a bonus! You have to have completed schooling to at least Year 10, and then have completed hospitality certificates III or IV, or both, at TAFE, which require you to be at least 18 years old, so if you’re younger, you can sometimes enrol in school programs to attain the equivalent while you’re in Years 11 and 12, or you can wait to do your certificates when you leave Year 12.

What will I learn?

Budding chefs will be taught all about food, food technology, how to prepare it, how to cook it, how to present it, international cuisines, about the hospitality environment, responsible service of alcohol, etiquette, customer service and more.

How long will it last and what is the wage?

A chef apprenticeship is 4 years long and a 1st year apprentice can expect to earn around $250 a week, while a 4th year apprentice can expect around $450 a week. Remember that you’re learning while you earn money for working, and all the skills, artistry and expertise you’ll have when you’re done!

What careers will there be for me and what will I earn?

As a qualified chef you can expect to earn around $50,000 a year on an average salary in a good restaurant or hotel kitchen, and it goes up from there, the more prestigious your career gets. Some chefs are on $75,000 to $100,000 a year! You may prefer commercial cooking, rather than work in a smaller café, or establish your own restaurant, café or food bar. Maybe you’ll develop a chain of eateries, write recipe and cookery books, or produce your own food range. Whatever you do, people will always want to eat, so this career is a sure thing!

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