• Careers and Employment Outlook

    Chefs, head cooks, and food preparation and serving supervisors held 941,600 jobs in 2008. Food preparation and serving supervisors held 88 percent of these jobs and chefs and head cooks held the remaining 12 percent. Nearly half of chefs and head cooks were employed at full-service restaurants (those that had table service). About nine percent each were employed by hotels and the special food services industry that includes caterers and food service contractors. Eight percent were self-employed.

    Forty-three percent of food preparation and serving supervisors were employed by limited-service eating places, made up mostly of cafeterias and fast food restaurants and other places that offer simple carry-out food items. Another 25 percent were employed by full-service restaurants. Supervisors are also found in schools, the special food services industry, and a wide variety of other places that serve food.

    Job Outlook
    Job opportunities are expected to be good, despite slower than average employment growth, due to the large numbers of workers who leave the occupation and need to be replaced. However, keen competition is expected for jobs at upscale restaurants that generally pay more.

    Employment change. Employment of chefs, head cooks, and food preparation and serving supervisors is expected to increase by 6 percent over the 2008-18 decade, which is more slowly than the average for all occupations. Growth will be generated by increases in population, a growing variety of dining venues, and continued demand for convenience. As more people opt for the time-saving ease of letting others do the cooking, the need for workers to oversee food preparation and serving will increase.

    Job prospects. Job openings for chefs, head cooks, and food preparation and serving supervisors are expected to be good through 2018; however, competition should be keen for jobs at the more upscale restaurants that tend to pay more. Workers with a good business sense will have better job prospects, especially at restaurant chains where attention to costs is very important. Although job growth will create many new positions, the majority of job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. The fast pace, long hours, and high energy levels required for these jobs often lead to high turnover.

     This information can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website at : http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos330.htm