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4 Steps You Need to Take Before Becoming a Professional Chef


Have you been dreaming about becoming a professional chef? While this is a common goal among culinary enthusiasts, one thing that prevents many people like you from pursuing their dream is misunderstanding about how to achieve desired results. While the field is competitive, you can obtain the necessary credentials to be considered for a job by walking through these steps.

Get Professional Experience

All professional chefs start at the bottom, so you will need to find an entry-level position in a kitchen. Rather than finding a front-of-house position as a host or a waiter, look for a position that gives you hands-on experience with meal preparation. In addition to giving you experience that you can add to your resume and getting used to how a kitchen operates, it may reinforce your commitment to pursue your dream.

Become an Apprentice

Your next step is to apply with a private college or technical school to become an apprentice and student. When searching for the right program, avoid looking at the timeline for the program and the cost. Instead, look at the level of expertise that you will obtain through the program. Where do graduates typically work? Are they recruited? What is the percentage of graduates that obtain positions immediately after graduating?

Complete a Private College Culinary Program

Spend time mastering your skills in the culinary program that you select. You may be inclined to rush through the program so that you can start working as soon as possible, but this approach can backfire. Give each concept and lesson your full attention so that you can be a true expert in the kitchen. This is also the time to obtain HAACP training and to complete all other certifications that may be required for positions in your area.

Find Your First Job

You may dream about working in a 5-star restaurant after graduation, but you may still need to gain experience and prove your expertise. Your first job may be at a less reputable restaurant, but it will help you to eventually move up to the position that you want to obtain. As is the case with any professional field, you must put in the time in order to succeed.

This is the general progression that many professional chefs follow, but you may deviate from this path. The most important factors to pay attention to are a progression in kitchen experience and the completion of all certifications and professional training programs.