17 Jobs with Cooking (With Salaries and Primary Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 29, 2022 | Published September 7, 2021

Updated September 29, 2022

Published September 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Jobs with cooking range in salaries and responsibilities. Depending on your goals and experience, there are opportunities in both entry-level and upper management positions. If you are interested in pursing a job that involves cooking and food, understanding the jobs available to you can help you decide on the career path you are best suited for. In this article, we discuss 17 jobs with cooking, provide their respective salaries, and state their primary duties.

Related: How To Highlight Food Service Skills for Your Resume

17 jobs with cooking

Here is a list of 17 jobs if you want to work in the culinary industry:

1. Fry cook

National average salary: $14.97 per hour

Primary duties: Fry cooks set up workstations and assist other professionals with food preparation. When necessary, fry cooks assist those working on the grill with cooking. They also maintain organization within the walk-in freezer. Fry cooks keep their general work area clean. They keep a record of kitchen supplies and ingredients to ensure the kitchen has everything necessary for the workday.

2. Pantry cook

National average salary: $15.08 per hour

Primary duties: Pantry cooks make cold appetizers, which include salads, bruschetta, and other cold meals. These professionals garnish dishes with ingredients like spices and nuts. Pantry cooks prepare vinaigrette and dips to combine with other recipes. They sterilize kitchen equipment and check food plating. Pantry cooks also recommend new recipes to add to the menu.

3. Salad prep

National average salary: $15.08 per hour

Primary duties: Salad preps navigate salad and fruit preparation. These professionals also work with other cold foods and oversee low-level cooks. They ensure all ingredients are fresh and that the required equipment is functional. Salad preps subsequently ensure that knives required for food preparation are sharp. They clean and sanitize all work areas, weigh ingredients to ensure proper proportions, and cut meats, poultry, and seafood.

4. Grill cook

National average salary: $15.94 per hour

Primary duties: Grill cooks slice, cut, shred, and tenderize meat. Part of their responsibilities includes braising and grilling meat and vegetables. These professionals check to ensure that all ingredients remain fresh and safe for consumers to eat. Grill cooks monitor for cross-contamination in the kitchen to prevent unnecessary bacteria from growing on food. When necessary, they prepare meals depending on customers' particular preferences. These professionals need to monitor several orders and require good time management skills.

5. Prep cook

National average salary: $16.26 per hour

Primary duties: Prep cooks primarily wash and cut vegetables and meat. They oversee basic cooking duties. For example, prep cooks reduce sauces and parboil food. Prep cooks ensure the kitchen area is clean by washing dishes, sanitizing surfaces, and cleaning other messes. These professionals also prepare basic meals like salads, entrées, and other simple meals.

6. Line cook

National average salary: $16.58 per hour

Primary duties: Line cooks set up cook stations by stocking them with the supplies required for cooking. They prepare food on food lines, cut and mix ingredients, and make sauces. Line cooks typically work in bigger restaurants and cook specific parts of meals. Line cooks grill, fry, chop, and stir ingredients to create recipes.

Related: How To Write a Line Cook Resume (With Tips and Example)

7. Catering chef

National average salary: $17.75 per hour

Primary duties: Catering chefs prepare balanced and cost-effective menu items. They prepare food for events and discuss event requirements with their customers and clients. They prepare menus with their clients to ensure it suits the needs of both them and their guests. Catering chefs need to store food properly during transportation to the event location and respect overall food safety standards. These professionals work with several chefs and other cooking staff.

8. Swing cook

National average salary: $16.99 per hour

Primary duties: Swing cooks, otherwise called a chef de tournant, change stations repeatedly. When another kitchen professional is absent or when more work is needed for a particular station, swing cooks work for that station. They assist the head chef with menu items and general meal preparation. Swing chefs typically change stations multiple times during their shifts and oversee the preparation and cooking of multiple aspects of meals.

Related: Cook Skills to Include on Your Resume

9. Kitchen manager

National average salary: $41,814 per year

Primary duties: Kitchen managers, otherwise called head chefs, manage pantries and inventory to secure all food. These professionals also monitor customer service and ensure customers receive good service from kitchen staff. Kitchen managers manage staff, as well as schedules and overall company culture. They provide employees with career growth opportunities and opportunities to develop their skills. Kitchen managers manage ingredient orders and communicate frequently with suppliers.

10. Pastry chef

National average salary: $18.38 per hour

Primary duties: Pastry chefs oversee the creation and decoration of desserts. These desserts include cakes, cupcakes, pies, and other pastries. Pastry chefs order ingredients and supplies for the restaurant and assist other professionals with pastry production. They develop new pastries and recipes as necessary. They also create orders based on customer needs and customizations.

11. Sous chef

National average salary: $19.42 per hour

Primary duties: Sous chefs navigate food preparation and various cooking activities. They focus primarily on larger meals and speciality foods. These professionals work in restaurants and hotels, as well as cruise ships and similar businesses. Sous chefs typically work as entry-level members of management teams. They delegate tasks and responsibilities to other cooking professionals and supervise kitchen stations. Sous chefs work closely with chefs of all levels.

Related: How to Become a Sous Chef

12. Junior chef

National average salary: $20.51 per hour

Primary duties: Junior chefs assist other cooking professionals with meal preparation and cooking. They create new recipe ideas, lead kitchen staff, and oversee menu changes. They create preparation lists for kitchen crew and maintain food storage. Junior chefs ensure kitchen staff comply with health and safety regulations and prevent cross-contamination of various ingredients. They also create preparation lists for kitchen crew.

13. Bartender and server

National average salary: $14.26 per hour

Primary duties: Bartenders and servers greet patrons and customers. They provide their customers with menus and ensure all customers receive their food and beverages. When necessary, they provide recommendations for which beverages and food to order. These professionals typically work in nightclubs, lounges, and hotels. Bartenders and servers provide good customer service and arrange tables.

Related: 33 Server Interview Questions

14. Restaurant manager

National average salary: $20.99 per hour

Primary duties: Restaurant and kitchen managers share several responsibilities. They hire and train restaurant employees. They also establish schedules for all restaurant employees and navigate food supplies. Restaurant managers coordinate both front-end and back-end restaurant operations. They oversee budgeting, costs, and overall expenses. These professionals also coordinate financial reporting and communicate frequently with investors. Restaurant managers perform troubleshooting and administrative tasks. They also help kitchen staff with general troubleshooting for computer systems and machinery when necessary.

Related: Top 10 Restaurant Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

15. Private chef

National average salary: $62,573 per year

Primary duties: Private chefs work for specific employers and navigate weekly menus to ensure clients eat a variety of meals. These professionals shop for ingredients and organize the kitchen to ensure they work as efficiently as possible. They also clean the kitchen after preparing meals. Depending on their employment contract, private chefs are also on call for snacks or smaller meals during the day. They navigate client specifications and allergies to ensure their diets suit their needs. When they prepare too much food, private chefs package and freeze meals for the future.

16. Executive chef

National average salary: $63,810 per year

Primary duties: Executive chefs create new entrées for kitchen menus and navigate food safety regulations. They hire and train new cooking professionals. Executive chefs also research recent food trends to keep the restaurant updated. They remain updated with innovation in culinary technology to find the most efficient ways to cook foods. They also navigate the dietary needs of customers and ensure the menu has options for various requirements.

17. Butcher

National average salary: $18.02 per hour

Primary duties: Butchers work primarily with cutting and grinding meats, which they sell to customers after preparations. They clean and maintain their equipment and tools to ensure they cut meats properly. Butchers also need to weigh, package, and price their items. They preserve meats to ensure they remain fresh for later sales. Their daily responsibilities include keeping records of sales, budgeting properly, and keeping inventory.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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