Chefs

(NOC 6321)

in All Sales and Service

This group includes various types of chefs who plan and direct food preparation and cooking activities and who prepare and cook meals and specialty foods. They work for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, clubs, and similar businesses, and on ships.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 140 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Sales and Service

  • Estimate -505 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 6125 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Chefs most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 55% of Chefs who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $36,746. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$12.95

Minimum

$16.12

Median

$26.44

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,196

Minimum

$29,137

Median

$55,573

Maximum

Compared to: All Sales and Service

Hourly Pay

$12.55

Minimum

$18.36

Median

$22.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$2,949

Minimum

$16,629

Median

$45,086

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes various types of chefs who plan and direct food preparation and cooking activities and who prepare and cook meals and specialty foods. They work for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, clubs, and similar businesses, and on ships.

Job duties

Executive chefs:

  • Plan and direct food preparation and cooking activities of several restaurants in an organization, restaurant chains, hospitals, or other businesses with food services.
  • Consult with clients regarding weddings, banquets, and specialty functions.
  • Plan menus and make sure food meets quality standards.
  • Estimate food requirements and may estimate food and labour costs.
  • Supervise activities of sous-chefs, specialist chefs, chefs, and cooks.
  • Arrange for equipment purchases and repairs.
  • Recruit and hire staff.
  • May prepare and cook food on a regular basis, or for special guests or functions.

Sous-chefs:

  • Supervise activities of specialist chefs, chefs, cooks, and other kitchen workers.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques and new equipment to cooking staff.
  • May plan menus and purchase food and kitchen supplies.
  • May prepare and cook meals or specialty foods.

Chefs and specialist chefs:

  • Prepare and cook complete meals or specialty foods like pastries, sauces, soups, salads, vegetables and meat, poultry and fish dishes, and create decorative food displays for special events like banquets.
  • Instruct cooks in preparation, cooking, garnishing and presentation of food.
  • Create new recipes.
  • Supervise cooks and other kitchen staff.
  • May plan menus.
  • May request food and kitchen supplies.

Sample job titles

  • assistant chef
  • banquet chef
  • chef
  • executive chef
  • head chef
  • master chef
  • pastry chef
  • sous-chef
  • specialty foods chef
  • supervising chef

Skills

This work requires initiative, imagination, and creativity. Knowledge of basic nutrition and cooking methods is needed. You should understand and apply the rules of hygiene, sanitation, and occupational safety. Organization, time management, and the ability to perform under pressure are important. You must have good physical health, physical stamina, and manual dexterity. You will be required to establish good working relationships with a variety of co-workers and customers and display a professional attitude.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • Cook's trade certification, which is available in Nova Scotia, or equivalent credentials, training and experience, are required.
  • Executive chefs usually require management training and several years of experience in commercial food preparation, including two years in a supervisory capacity and experience as a sous-chef, specialist chef or chef.
  • Sous-chefs, specialist chefs and chefs usually require several years of experience in commercial food preparation.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) for cooks is also available to qualified chefs upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
  • Chef de cuisine certification, administered by the Canadian Culinary Institute of the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks (CFCC), is available to qualified chefs.

Other considerations

There is some mobility among the various types of chefs in this group. Executive chefs may progress to managerial positions in food preparation companies.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,280

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

28.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
71.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37.4

median age

Compared to: All Sales and Service

102,605

employed in 2016

56.4%

employed full-time

5.8%

self employed

60.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
39.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
37

median age

Where will I likely work?

60.3%

Halifax

11.7%

Cape Breton

10.5%

Annapolis Valley

10.1%

Southern

7.4%

North Shore

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

86.2%

Accommodation and food services

5.0%

Health care and social assistance

2.3%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

1.8%

Retail trade

1.4%

Manufacturing

What is the age of Employment?

32.0%

25-34

23.0%

35-44

19.0%

45-54

13.0%

15-24

10.0%

55-64

3.0%

65+

Compared to: All Sales and Service

30.0%

15-24

17.2%

45-54

17.2%

25-34

16.1%

55-64

13.8%

35-44

Top levels of education

33.1%

College Diploma

$31,050 median annual income
24.1%

Trade Certification

$37,415 median annual income
20.6%

High school

$21,162 median annual income
9.7%

Bachelor

$26,890 median annual income
8.6%

Less than high school

$27,222 median annual income

Compared to: All Sales and Service

39.8%

High school

$15,705 median annual income
19.7%

Less than high school

$9,866 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$20,644 median annual income
9.9%

Bachelor

$21,262 median annual income
8.0%

Trade Certification

$21,234 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Baking and Pastry Arts

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to serve as professional bakers and pastry specialists in restaurants or other commercial baking companies. They include courses in bread and pastry making, bread and pastry handling and storage, cake and pastry decorating, baking industry operations, product packaging and marketing operations, and counter display and service.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Culinary Arts/Chef Training

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to provide professional chef and related cooking services in restaurants and other commercial food businesses. They include courses in recipe and menu planning, preparing and cooking of foods, supervising and training kitchen assistants, managing food supplies and kitchen resources, aesthetics of food presentation, and familiarity with or mastery of a wide variety of cuisines and culinary techniques.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to serve under the supervision of chefs and other food service professionals as kitchen support staff and commercial food preparation workers. They include courses in kitchen organization and operations, sanitation and quality control, basic food preparation and cooking skills, kitchen and kitchen equipment maintenance, and quantity food measurement and monitoring.

Institutions providing this program

Futureworx Career College

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Apprenticeship Training

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Cook

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

Contacts

Canadian Culinary Federation, Halifax Branch
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Sector Council
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.