Las Vegas Culinary Careers, Jobs, & Salaries

Las Vegas Culinary Careers, Jobs, & Salaries

In recent years, Las Vegas has become a true oasis in the desert for foodies. Once known for large all-you-can-eat buffets, the city now boasts ritzy hotels led by international chefs like Charlie Parker, André Rochat, Joel Robuchon and Claude Le Tohic from Paris.

Cooking students can bet on satisfying their appetite for culinary success at cooking schools in Las Vegas.

Culinary Careers

The job of chefs is the same in nearly every restaurant, regardless of location. Chefs and cooks prepare, cook, season, and arrange a variety of foods served in restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, and other food-serving establishments.

Chefs are responsible for creating recipes and ensuring appealing presentation, while other cooks and food preparation workers prepare individual foods for meals, with duties such as peeling vegetables and monitoring temperatures.

Many chefs in large restaurants, such as those in the Las Vegas casino hotels, rise through the strict brigade de cuisine hierarchy. This may mean they start in a specific kitchen station as a cook (stations include pastry, soup, fish, and roast), rise to chef de partie (the chef who supervises a particular station in the kitchen), then become sous chef (the deputy chef or sub-chef), and finally chef de cuisine or executive chef.

Most top chefs pursue formal training through culinary institutions or vocational programs in the culinary arts, culinary management, or pasty arts. Many programs include an externship or apprenticeship opportunity. Though many cooks and food preparation workers leave the industry, some may go on to cooking school to have more formal training and increased responsibility.


According to the latest numbers, chefs, cooks, and other food prepartion workers were employed in just over 36,000 positions in restaurants, fast food establishments, cafeterias, and in private households in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas area has the highest concentration of chefs in the U.S. Most chefs work for restaurants, while some cooks are employed in schools, universities, hospitals, and other institutional facilities.

Chefs and supervisors work full-time for restaurants. Nearly a third of cooks, and half of food preparation workers work part-time.


In Las Vegas, salaries can vary greatly depending on geography, the type of establishment, and the level of skill.

Chefs and head cooks: $46,050
Median annual wages range from $35,510 to $52,280

Food prepartion and serving supervisors: $35,980
Median annual wages range from $28,050 to $42,950

Restaurant cooks: $30,260
Median annual wages range from $24,700 to $36,010

Resorts and amusement parks have a high concentration of chefs, and pay some of the the higher wages.


Overall, the outlook for chefs and other culinary professionals is fairly strong through 2018. The outlook for Las Vegas in particular is tied to the city's tourism industry.

According to the BLS, roughly 245,000 jobs will be added to the food service industry over the next several years. Chefs, head cooks, first-line supervisors and managers will see employment growth of between 6 and 7% (though as usual, competition will be keen for head chef positions in high-end restaurants). Employment of cooks and food preparation workers is expected to increase across the country by about 6% through 2018.

Culinary Schools in Las Vegas

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