Tips on How to Become an Executive Chef

An executive chef fulfills the same roles as a head chef, except that they tend to work more in hotels and larger establishments. Their responsibilities are to not only cook food but also plan menus, estimate food costs, and supervise other members of staff.


Becoming an executive chef requires a lot of hands-on training and at least three years of work experience. Most executive chefs start off as an assistant chef or even a prep/line cook.

Executive Chef Cutting Vegetables.



An executive chef almost always has some sort of ServSafe certificate. In-class training is available depending on which city you live in. You can search under the “Class Locator” field to see if there is a program close to you. If not, there is online training available at, which costs $125 and can be completed in less than 90 days. There is also an online exam which can take 60-90 minutes to complete, and costs $36.


A diploma takes one to two years to complete, and is a great way for future chefs to receive proper hands-on training by experienced professionals. Diplomas in the culinary field are available in culinary schools and chef colleges as well as some trade/technical schools, community colleges, and universities.


You do not need a degree to become an executive chef, however, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can guarantee immediate employment through externships. If you don’t want to spend the money on a four-year bachelor’s degree program, an associate’s degree is generally cheaper and could take one to two years to complete. Both types of degrees are available in various culinary schools, as well as colleges and universities.


As an executive chef you could work for any of the following:

  • Hotels
  • Cruise Ships
  • Catering companies
  • Resorts
  • Convention Centers
  • Spas
  • Hospitals
  • Corporate Kitchen
  • Even the White House!


Executive chefs can make an average $40,000, and up to $70,000 if they have over 20 years of experience.

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20 Responses to “Tips on How to Become an Executive Chef”

  1. Alli Yusuff Says:

    I will like to be a chef ( italian executive chef ) am of the above names and i am from nigeria.

  2. AMIR SALAR Says:




  3. Jo Davis Says:

    Hey! I’m only 15, but i really want to be a head chef. i love to cook and eat, i love every thing about food! i can’t wait till i graduate. i’m gonna go to a really good culinary school and study hard! can’t wait!

  4. mbayani Says:

    hi my name is mbayani from tanzania l am a chef from ngorongoro in kudu lodge pls l have a question ,l want to take diploma course and l want to learn through entrnet pls should l succeed and how much should l pay ?

  5. BIMBO Says:

    I love every thing about catering.

  6. ishona :} Says:

    hey im 16 studing cooking its the best career ever but im still confused about which type of foods to cook like french spamish ect any help out there

  7. Donray Says:

    Im only 11 years old i want to become a famous exutive chef i want cook all types of food (Chinese,Italin,Amarican) and way more other types of food i want to be the best at what i do and want nothing more than succes so you are my motivation to become a exutive chef please help me out on any websites i can gather information on and i give hope to all you who want to be what you want to be

  8. Amnen Says:

    i have a naturally talent for cooking and i make my on sauce at the age of 15

  9. Lonnie brown Says:

    Hi I am a American citizen and would like to know how to apply for Australian culinary arts schools

  10. hamza Says:

    Hi I am From Sudan i am chef pastry&bakery chef i will like to be executive pastry chef i have over 20 years hand Experience i want to learn through intrnet pls should succeed and how much should i pay .

  11. okufuwa Janet Says:

    I wanna be a chef, how will I go about it?

  12. Apryl Says:

    I am 15, from Jamaica I want to become an executive chef and I am near to selecting my subjects that I need to pursue in 10th grade…do I have to have all three sciences? which are biology. physics and chemistry?

  13. Lavinnia smith Says:

    I am from jamaica and i’m 15 years of age… I’m in 4th form and moving onto 5th as of september… I have an exquisite delight and passion for culinary and would like to pursue it after high school. I do food and nutrition and family and resource management which is basically a hospitality subject. Anyways what are the basic steps to go through in hopes of becoming an executive chef?

  14. Philip M. Titus Says:

    I’m a Kenyan citizen and I work with Javahouse hotel; I wish to attend the servsafe classes for a certicate. How can I pay the fees for me to get started?

  15. sam Says:

    will taking 4 years of culinary arts affect it at all?.

  16. Irene Dixon Says:

    Where Do I go from here: Hello , I started my culinary career in 2006 complete culinary school on Seattle Washington, landed my first career with NCL in Hawaii, started in the utilites, sanitation, discovered by chef David on NCL gave me my first shot as NCL newest talented Carving Chef, stayed around about four years, homesick and land bound found my self with BAMCO been with the company since 2010 to present they opened a cafe on Duke campus, I’m ready to move on no advance in eight years, I’ve grown my talents have been fortified, spread my wings adventure maybe opening my own Resturant, what’s next

  17. kalana bandara Says:

    Im just 16 and in from sri lanka i wanna take a digre on executive chef. Still im searching for a cource ..can you please let me know a standard university to complete my digree..

  18. Ray Says:

    Hi.. i`m ray from India i just want to be a Executive chef and i`m trying hard to get admission in best CookingSchool.I`m 19 years old and i love cooking food and beverages.

  19. Decontee MCcritty Says:

    Hi, my name is Decontee MCcritty I am from Africa most especially Liberia, i have this great passion for cooking.i practice at home each and every day with this great desire, how can i go about making my dream being a reality?

  20. khadeeja Smith Says:

    hi, I am a 16 year old jamaican and i want to pursue a career in the field of foods. i really enjoy the homey feel of the kitchen and i am willing to work hard enough to be the greatest i can be however i am quite unaware of where i should go from culinary school.

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