Becoming a chef in Australia

Working as a Chef in Australia

Check out what it takes to become a Chef in Australia and the steps you need to take to work in the industry

Becoming a Chef

Fill out our questionnaire and we’ll help you find the most suitable Chef courses in Australia.

Migrating to Australia

Check the available visa requirements and cities to study and work as a chef in Australia.

Finding Chef Jobs

Check out what are the best ways to find high paying chef jobs in Sydney, Melbourne, and other cities.

A Chef in Australia

Chefs and cooks are in demand in Australia. Many of the restaurants around Australia employ many foreigners as chefs. These chefs can be on all sorts of visas from student visas, employer sponsored visas, working holiday visas and general skilled migration visas. To work as a chef in Australia there are certain requirements that you must meet.

To work as a qualified chef in Australia you will usually need to have a Cert IV in Commercial Cookery (or international equivalent qualification). You can however, study here in Australia as an international student.

The courses available are:

  • Certificate III & IV in Commercial Cookery
  • Diploma of Hospitality Management

There is a lot of work for skilled and qualified chefs in Australia.

Unlike several other trades, there’s currently no licensing required to work as a chef in Australia. Many chefs work their way up working different roles in a kitchen. Starting as a cook assisting with simple dishes, moving up to different level chefs.

If you’re interested in studying commercial cookery you’ll find the information from the Commercial Cookery course details page and you can also watch some interviews with our students.

Why become a Chef?


Courses available in multiple cities

Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.

Relatively short courses

It takes between 12-24 months to become a qualified as a Chef in Australia

Chefs are in demand

Chefs have a high proportion of full-time jobs (72%)

High paying jobs

A qualified chef earns $1,250 a week, on average

How to become a chef in Australia?

International students can become a qualified chef in as short a time as 2 years. In fact, because chefs are in demand in Australia, you may even be able to obtain the graduate work visa when you finish a course and potentially additional work visas in the future.


Can I do an apprenticeship if I am an international student?

Unfortunately, international students cannot undertake an apprenticeship in Australia. However, there are many international colleges that offer the course that allows you to become a qualified tradesperson in Australia. Most of these courses include at least 360 hours of work experience with a qualified trades person.

I have completed half my apprenticeship or trade qualification back home. Can I get qualified in Australia?

If you have completed a partial qualification from outside Australia, you may be able to apply for partial credit transfer, so you get credit for some components of an Australian qualification. A city and guilds level 3 from the UK, may be considered comparable to an AQF level 3 under certain circumstances. This is judged on a case by case basis depending on the content of the course studied.

Getting a work visa in Australia

The occupation of chef is on the Immigration and Border Protection Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This means that if you are qualified in these teaching positions, you may then be able to apply for independent general skilled migration (Permanent work visas). This means that you may be eligible for Skilled Independent (Subclass 189), State Nominated (Subclass 190) or Regional Nominated (Subclass 491 visas).

You may also be eligible for the Temporary Graduate Work visas if you study these courses in Australia.

Apart from this, skilled chefs may also apply for the employer sponsored visas.

What visas require a skills assessment?
For most countries, only General Skilled Migration visas require a skills assessment. However certain countries require a skills assessment before they can obtain an employer sponsored (482) visa.

  • Most skill assessments are done through Trades Recognition.

Requirements for the skills assessments

  • Have a trade qualification or education equivalent to Australian standards (Cert IV in Commercial Cookery)
  • Have at least 3 years post qualification experience
  • Have worked in the field for at least 12 months over the last 3 years

Skilled Independent (Subclass 189)

189 visa allows the visa holders access to a permanent work visas, without being linked to only one employer.

State Nominated (Subclass 190)

This is a permanent visa that does not require employer sponsorship.

Regional Nominated (Subclass 491 visas)

It’s originally a temporary visa that may lead to PR. It’s not employer sponsored and requires you to commit to living and working in a regional area.

How to find a chef job?

The best way to find a job is through networking. The easiest way to do this is to go directly to restaurants and ask if they are looking for any workers. You might have to go around to a few restaurants but usually, someone on the site will be looking for workers or will know someone who is.

In my opinion applying for jobs online is difficult in this line of work. If you get desperate it is worth a try, but I think you will be far better off networking at pubs, bars or better yet onsite.

How much do chefs earn in Australia?

A qualified chef with their own knife kit who is working for a restaurant can expect to be paid anywhere from $30 – $40 per hour. A cook can expect to be paid roughly $20 – $30 per hour.

What qualification would I need?

You would generally need a Cert IV in Commercial Cookery or equivalent.

Chef Employers


Frontline Recruitment Group

Location: NSW, QLD, ACT, VIC
Phone: 0262301170

Hospoworld Resourcing

Location: NSW, QLD, VIC, WA
Phone: 0396661506

Pinnacle People

Location: NSW, QLD, VIC, WA, ACT, NT, TA
Phone: 0282983111


In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

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How to become a chef in Australia | Requirements and Courses was last modified: July 3rd, 2020 by PTA