How to become a Cook

The range of duties carried out by cooks varies depending on where they work. In hotels, clubs, restaurants and takeaway food outlets, cooks often specialise in preparing and cooking a particular type of food (fried chicken, pizza or barbecued meat, for example). They may also specialise in national cuisine (such as Thai, Vietnamese, French or Italian). Other specialisations include entrees, desserts, international and bakery cooking.

Personal requirements of a Cook

  • Enjoy cooking
  • A high level of personal hygiene
  • Able to manage time and work under pressure
  • Good communication skills
  • Punctuality
  • Able to stay calm in difficult situations
  • Able to work well in a team

Education & Training for a Cook

You can work as a cook without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You can also become a cook through an apprenticeship or traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

moderate growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.9%

NSW 30%

NT 1.1%

QLD 22.4%

SA 8.9%

TAS 2.2%

VIC 19.4%

WA 14.1%

Hours worked:



above average

Gender split:

Male 43.1%

Female 56.9%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 6.2%

Not completed Year 12: 21.6%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 43.2%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 16.9%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 6.8%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 5.3%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Below 35 years: 47%

Above 35 years: 52.6%

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

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