What are the benefits to becoming a chef in Australia?

For hundreds of years, cookery has been at the cornerstone of society – serving quality food to patrons and creating inviting environments for conversation and thought. To this day, the world of cookery is one of respect as one of the most traditional occupations available.

However, just last year, The Australian reported a serious shortage of qualified chefs. With Australia experiencing an upturn in the number of cafes, restaurants and other facilities, there is now an opportunity for those willing to study cookery.

So, this begs an interesting question. What are the reasons why people should become a chef in Australia? Read on to find out more.

Becoming a chef is well worth the effort.Becoming a chef is well worth the effort.

1. Career progression and advancement

Unlike many positions and industries, becoming a commercial cook opens up an entire world of career opportunities. For example, after completing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, there is a possibility to work as a commercial cook in everywhere from hotels and pubs to cafes and restaurants.

While you aren't going to walk into an executive chef role on day one, the career pathway for dedicated chefs is clear. From being a prep cook, individuals can move up to being a station chef – responsible for particular areas of the operation.

After showcasing your talent and skill, further progression is possible with sous chef and executive chef positions. Of course, the more experience that you can show to potential employers, the higher chance of more senior positions.

It is also important to highlight the travel benefits of having an internationally recognised cookery education. The world of food is universal, so it's possible to live in other countries and continue your cooking career.

2. Improving pay rates

There is no doubt that being a cooking professional can bring with it long and tiring hours. However, pay rates in this industry are improving and this is a benefit to exploring the profession. This was highlighted in the Frontline Hospitality 2015/2016 Salary Guide published in July 2015.

Based on the report, three-quarters of hospitality employers expect business activity to improve in the years to come, with 80 per cent stating that this will see salaries grow as well.

Most graduates can expect around $40,000 as a starting point.

Looking closely at salaries across Australia, most graduates can expect around $40,000 as a starting point. Furthermore, as experience, reputation and skills advance, chefs can make up to $110,000 per annum. It is certainly a career that rewards hard work and effort, with those dedicated individuals able to build a successful future for themselves and their family.

3. Flexible working conditions

One of the true benefits to becoming a chef is that you can largely dictate working hours and conditions. The Frontline Hospitality guide states that close to half (44 per cent) of employees work 30-40 hours per week.

Regardless of your personal needs, it is easy to find employment where you can work on the weekends, at night or during the day. The hospitality industry is a true 24/7 sector and your services can always be utilised in some way or another.

Want to learn more about a career in cooking?

At Kenvale College, we have three commercial cookery courses at your selection. This includes:

  • Certificate III in Commercial Cookery
  • Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
  • Diploma of Hospitality (Cookery Stream)

Each one is tailored towards providing you with the best knowledge and skills for a career in the cooking industry. 

Latest Commercial Cookery Articles


Thank you for inviting us – we really did appreciate it. I must say I was really impressed by the Briar Ridge team – one of them (… Aiden) did a really great job explaining who they were, what they were about etc., and really took the time to give us the background on the person behind it all (Gwyn Olsen). He’d clearly immersed himself in the project, and I think she’d have been really pleased if she’d seen that. Happy to reach out and tell her so if you think it would help pave the way for future events.

- Anonymous, Winefest Guest 2015

I just wanted to express thanks and congratulations to all at Kenvale for the magnificent lunch provided on Thursday.

I have been to many hatted restaurants this year and can honestly say that they would have struggled to produce such fantastic dishes.

The lunch was a credit to your students and your staff.  It would be a privilege to enjoy another visit next year.

Best wishes to your graduating students for success in their career and to your staff to continue to guide students to reach such a high standard.

- Anonymous public guest at Kenvale Restaurant 2015

Ask us a question