Employment of chefs and head cooks is projected to experience little or no change from 2010 to 2020. Population and income growth is expected to result in greater demand for more high-quality dishes at a variety of dining venues, including many up-scale establishments. However, employment growth will be tempered as many restaurants, in an effort to lower costs, use lower-level cooks to perform the work normally done by chefs and head cooks.
Job opportunities will be best for chefs and head cooks with several years of work experience. The majority of job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. The fast pace, long hours, and high energy levels required for these jobs often lead to a high rate of turnover.
There will be strong competition for jobs at upscale restaurants, hotels, and casinos, which tend to pay more. Workers with a combination of business skills, previous work experience, and creativity will have the best job prospects.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition