Sous Chef - Job Description, Salary and Career Outlook

sous chef

Serving as the second-in-command in the kitchen, the sous chef reports directly to the executive or head chef. Most people consider them as the “enforcer” of the executive chef’s policies as they help keep the kitchen running like a well-oiled machine.

Typically, the sous chef is seen as the apprentice to the executive chef who acts as his or her mentor. For those looking to advance their culinary career, this position offers on-the-job training and is considered a stepping stone to eventually becoming an executive chef.

Top Culinary Schools for Sous Chefs

Matching School Ads

Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you're going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that's focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination.

Please Call 855-816-4001 to speak to a customer representative.


  • Culinary Arts (C)
  • Culinary Arts (AS)
  • Culinary Arts (D)
  • And more...

Get hands-on training with Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America. We offer programs in culinary arts, pastry and baking, and hospitality and restaurant management at campuses across the United States.


  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando - Associate Degree in Culinary Arts
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta - Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando - Diploma in Culinary Arts (Spanish Version)
  • And more...
Locations: TuckerOrlando

Passionate about a culinary career? Get hands-on training from professional chefs at Lincoln Culinary Institute. Choose from day or evening classes, earn a Diploma or Associate Degree. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.


  • Culinary Arts
Locations: Columbia

Love to cook? Turn your passion into a career at the Culinary Instituteof Virginia. Earn your Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Science in less than 2 years.

Please Call 844-289-5375 to speak to a customer representative.


  • Culinary Arts
  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Food Service Management
Locations: NorfolkNewport News
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.


  • Caterer
  • Within 6 months of graduation, over 90% of new graduates land jobs in their fields of study.
  • Offers an $18k College Completer Scholarship for transferring students who meet requirements.
  • All professors hold advanced degrees, many with MBAs and PhDs.
  • Classes start every 8 weeks, and curriculum is updated regularly with input from industry leaders.
  • More than 85% of students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants.
  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC/NCA).


    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.


      Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education. This accelerated program provides the opportunity to earn a respected Master of Arts in Teaching degree and be recommended for a teaching credential.


        Get a hands-on education at Lincoln College of Technology. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus


          Locations: Columbia
          Work toward your degree online with Concordia University. We offer online Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs in educational leadership, and curriculum and instruction.


            Sous Chef Job Description

            The sous chef has an enormous amount of responsibility and considered vital to the success and efficiency of a commercial kitchen. Normally, you’ll find them running the kitchen when the executive chef isn’t working or available.

            Their exact duties and responsibilities may change from type of restaurant or establishment to the next, but they are always second-in-command.

            Duties and responsibilities include:

            • Making sure the implementation of the executive chef’s orders are followed
            • Involved in menu planning and development of new dishes
            • Guaranteeing that the ingredients used are high quality
            • Inventory control and ordering of needed supplies
            • Ensuring that the high standards of food safety and sanitation are followed
            • Supervising all kitchen staff
            • Scheduling staff and assigning tasks
            • Working with executive chef to keep up with latest restaurant trends
            • Monitoring the training of staff
            • Oversees food production for quality and cost standards
            • Hiring and firing of kitchen staff
            • Demonstrates proper use of equipment and cooking techniques
            • Serving as a liaison between kitchen staff and customers
            • Helping expedite orders
            • Jumping in to work as an auxiliary cook when needed
            • Showing complete loyalty to executive chef
            • Performing any function necessary for the success of the kitchen

            Sous Chef Salary Expectations

            The national median pay for a sous chef is almost $35,500 according to’s January 2013 data. Some make well over $50,000 a year.

            Like most careers in the culinary arts, a sous chef’s actual salary may be affected by a number of factors such as years of experience, the cost of living, competition, success of restaurant and the type of to become a sous chef

            Career Outlook

            According to the 2012-13 projections report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), sous chefs (along with chefs and head cooks) will see little growth in their industry. However, there will be opportunities for new positions resulting from natural turnover within the culinary industry.

            How to Become a Sous Chef

            You will find that most sous chefs have attended formal culinary programs, usually acquiring an associate’s degree in culinary arts. Even with formal training, an aspiring sous chef should expect to enter the industry at-or-near entry-level positions such as a prep cook or kitchen assistant to gain practical experience.

            Another route could be the American Culinary Federation (ACF) which does sponsor apprentice programs which includes 2-to-3 years of both classroom and hands-on training. After completion of the ACF program, you would become a Certified Sous Chef (CSC).