How to become a Caterer

Caterers organise and control the operations of establishments involved in catering and dining, such as restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and canteens.

Personal requirements of a Caterer

  • Good communication and organisational skills
  • Able to remain calm in difficult situations
  • Able to work as part of a team

Education & Training for a Caterer

You can work as a caterer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications and you may like to consider a VET course. You may need to be 18 years or older to undertake some units. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a caterer through an apprenticeship or traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

To serve alcohol, caterers must be at least 18 years old and hold a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate. RSA short courses are widely offered by TAFE institutes and Registered Training Organisations.

Duties & Tasks of a Caterer


  • discuss catering arrangements with clients
  • talk with the chef to plan the menu
  • supervise the purchase and storage of food
  • supervise provision of all crockery, cutlery, detergents and kitchenware
  • ensure there is adequate security for food and equipment
  • keep records of payments and expenses
  • plan, coordinate and supervise the activities of workers in dining rooms, kitchens, bars and other areas
  • manage staff hiring, training and rostering
  • ensure the dining rooms, kitchen, storage facilities and other work areas are kept clean and conform to health regulations
  • attend to complaints concerning food and service.

Employment Opportunities for a Caterer

Caterers work in large hotels, hospitals, schools, catering firms, department stores and other retail outlets. They also work in industrial and defence centre canteens, restaurants, licensed clubs and casinos. Self-employment is possible. Positions tend to be filled by promoting an experienced person from within the organisation. People who intend to run their own business are advised to gain experience, both on the job and by studying an appropriate course.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.8%

NSW 31.6%

NT 0.9%

QLD 19.9%

SA 6.6%

TAS 1.9%

VIC 26.4%

WA 10.9%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 46%

Female 54%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 8.3%

Not completed Year 12: 19.8%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 25.2%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 17.1%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 17.2%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 18.7%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 5.5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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