Tips on Learning to Become a Commis Chef

Also known as the “junior” or “trainee” chef, the commis chef is similar to an assistant chef in that they work under the supervision of the head chef. They may be required to measure ingredients, prepare food and present food, control the settings of the cooking equipment, and also kitchen clean-up.


Employers usually ask that a commis chef has at least one to two years of experience. Commis chefs tend to start off as a kitchen assistant, and train for the position by working three to six months in each area of the kitchen.

Chef Cooking on Stove.



You can get a ServSafe certificate and/or program manual online at The certificate is valid for five years and costs $95 to complete. If you want more formal training, ServSafe classes are also available in various cities and states. By typing in your city in the “Class Locator” field on their website, you can find out more information about the programs available in your area.


If you’re lacking in the work experience department, then a diploma may be a good idea. There are various types of diplomas available at different culinary institutions, chef colleges, trade/technical schools, and some universities and colleges. The cost and program length depends on which school you choose, but most diplomas tend to take one to two years to complete.


Getting a degree could be a great way to ensure promotion and job security in a restaurant, however it is not required. Degrees are more expensive than a diploma or certificate, and take the longest to complete (usually four years). An associate’s degree takes one to two years to complete and is cheaper than a bachelor’s degree. Both degree programs provide excellent hands-on training and externships so students can immediately start work at a restaurant and/or catering business.


Commis chef positions are available in any of the following:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Community Centers
  • Cafeterias
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Cruise Lines
  • Casinos
  • Bars
  • Catering companies
  • Private businesses
  • Homes
  • Retirement villages
  • Schools


A commis chef generally makes between $10,000 and $20,000 a year, depending on geographical location and restaurant size. They also tend to make more in catering companies and hotel restaurants.

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One Response to “Tips on Learning to Become a Commis Chef”

  1. Michael Says:

    Help with some culinary questions

    List the kinds of resources leaders are expected to use effectively on the job.
    What are some reliable information sources?
    What qualities contribute to developing a strong work ethic?

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