Chef Salary in Australia 2023


Have you ever considered becoming a chef?

Because you really should!

If you’re passionate about cooking, you definitely need to consider a career as a chef in Australia. Of course, you must be wondering what a chef’s salary is in Australia for 2023 – but we’ll get to that in a minute.

What’s more important is understanding what being a chef entails. Chefs work in varying capacities depending on their area of specialization, including restaurants, cafes, hotels, and even catering companies. They are tasked with preparing, cooking, and also presenting food to customers. And in some cases, they might even be included in planning the menu, managing inventory, or training other kitchen staff. Overall, though, it can be a truly rewarding career, especially if you have a genuine interest in cooking. Like most other careers, being a chef can also be pretty demanding at times, specifically in terms of the long work hours and the need to stand in front of a burning flame even when it’s scorching hot – though, of course, this would largely depend on what kind of chef you choose to be.

Nevertheless, if you’re considering pursuing a career as a chef, prospects are bright for you in Australia, both in terms of job opportunities and earning potential.

Average Salary of a Chef in Australia


Now to address the elephant in the room, let’s consider a chef’s salary in Australia in 2023. Obviously, we can’t provide a definite figure because it will vary depending on the type of setting you’re working in as well as your skill level. For instance, a chef working in a small café in a small city in Australia will definitely not earn as much as a chef working in a top-notch restaurant in Sydney. Not to mention, your salary will also not stay the same as you climb further up in your career, i.e., the salary for an entry-level chef will be very different from that of an experienced or executive-level chef.

According to Indeed, the average salary of a chef in Australia in 2023 is around $ 62,886 annually. But if you consider the level of experience, SEEK cites the annual average salary for a chef in Australia as somewhere between $ 55,000 and $ 90,000. Thus, the salary for an entry-level chef should be somewhat close to $55,000 annually, while that of a more experienced chef, say, with 2 to 3 years of relevant practical experience, would be approximately $ 60,000 to $ 80,000 annually. And for an executive-level chef, the average yearly salary lies around $110,000, as per the estimate at SEEK. The good news, though, as we mentioned before, is that there is lots of room for growth and improvement. So, if you invest your time and effort in becoming a chef in Australia, you will find it to be a very rewarding career.

Demand for Chefs in Australia


A chef’s salary in Australia in 2023 directly depends on the demand for chefs in Australia. And to that end, things are looking pretty good. You see, the hospitality industry experienced a burst of growth post-COVID, which means that the job market for chefs is hustling and bustling at the moment. In fact, most employers are even willing to offer competitive salaries in an attempt to retain top talent. Still, of course, the demand also significantly varies with the specific location. Overall, though, it’s a good time to become a chef in Australia. According to the Australian government, around 937,100 individuals are currently employed in the accommodation and food services industry. Of course, this figure includes more than just chefs, but the point is that the overall industry for chefs is pretty big in Australia. Not to mention, this specific job sector has experienced 7.2% growth in the past, thus indicating a good chance of growth in the future as well. So much so, it’s predicted that the accommodation and food services industry will grow by another 13.2% in the coming future. And as far as market demand is concerned, this is a pretty good number.

The data shows that the restaurant and food service industry as integral to the Australian economy because not only does it contribute a large share in employment opportunities, but it also makes up a big share of the country’s GDP. It is important to note that this sector roughly encompasses all fast food chains, restaurants, cafes, takeaway services, etc. Moreover, the hospitality industry experienced a significant boom following the pandemic, and now, the number of chefs in Australia is predicted to be approximately 73,800. Hence, it’s safe to say that the market size is sufficiently big.

Just these past 30 days, 6,124 jobs have been advertised for chefs (and related roles) on SEEK, while 1,044 new jobs have been published on Indeed in the last 14 days. And considering that these two websites are the major job boards for Aussies, this is a good enough indication of the employment scenario for chefs. Therefore, if you’re interested in becoming a chef, Australia would be a great option for you to settle in because a chef’s salary in Australia in 2023 is very rewarding.

As for the question of whether chefs are included on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List in Australia, they definitely are! And that’s obviously great because it means that qualified chefs who meet the criteria for a skilled visa have the chance to avail priority processing of their visa application to Australia. Not to mention, the very inclusion of this occupation on the list in the first place is proof of how significant the demand for skilled workers is in the hospitality, food, and beverage industry of Australia. Though, of course, meeting the pre-defined eligibility criteria for the skilled visa is another story altogether. Nevertheless, if you’re considering migration and you also love to cook, maybe you should think about becoming a chef – it’s a very promising field.

How to Become a Chef in Australia?

How to become

The first and most obvious prerequisite for becoming a chef is knowing how to cook. Plus, a passion for food and cooking will also help you go a long way. However, to officially become a chef in Australia, you probably need to complete a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery, and that typically takes close to a year. Additionally, a diploma in hospitality management will also be helpful. But if you’re applying for immigration on the basis of your chef status, you might need to provide proof of 2-year chef-related education. This is not an industry requirement but rather a formality imposed by the immigration department to ensure the entry of top talent only when offering permanent residency. Also, before you can call yourself a chef, you will need to complete a vocational placement course as well along with a skill assessment from a relevant government body.

It takes somewhere around 6 months to 3 years for you to transition from apprentice to qualified chef in Australia. This will, again, depend on the type of chef you choose to be as well as your level of dedication, but it’s pretty doable. As to what this training entails, it basically just involves working at a restaurant or eatery (for at least 4 days a week) and attending Technical and Further Education (TAFE) classes to gain the necessary practical experience. On average, it takes about 3 years for most people to become full-fledged chefs.


A chef’s salary in Australia in 2023 is a pretty attractive figure, but this also means that it can get quite competitive. The work hours can be long and demanding, and there will be times you’ll feel insanely overworked. You will also need to invest 3 years or so in training hard to prove yourself. But like all professions, hard work and determination can take you very far. Even the starting salary for an entry-level chef is close to $ 55,000, but as you gain experience and get further ahead in your career, you can take this number up to $ 90,000. In fact, if you become qualified enough to be an executive chef, you can even start earning $ 110,000 – which is obviously great! And the best part is that chefs are on the PR list as well, so you can even migrate to Australia to work as a chef here, provided that you meet all the requirements for a skilled visa.

As for the job market and overall expected industry growth, things are looking quite good for Aussie chefs, with expected growth in this sector in the coming future. So, if you’ve ever wanted to become a chef, now is probably a good time to explore the passion there because there’s immense potential and opportunity for growth, especially in Australia. There’s really no better example of doing what you love while still earning the big bucks, and thus, we definitely recommend pursuing a career in the culinary sciences if you are passionate about cooking!

If you are planning to come to Australia, you have come to the right page. We will keep you informed with our up-to-date information, news and blogs.

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