Chefs and Head Cooks

risk level
Based on 585 votes
by year 2032
or $28.32 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

12% (Minimal Risk)

Minimal Risk (0-20%): Occupations in this category have a low probability of being automated, as they typically demand complex problem-solving, creativity, strong interpersonal skills, and a high degree of manual dexterity. These jobs often involve intricate hand movements and precise coordination, making it difficult for machines to replicate the required tasks.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Originality

  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Negotiation

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Persuasion

User poll

35% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 12% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Chefs and Head Cooks will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Very fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Chefs and Head Cooks' job openings is expected to rise 15.4% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Moderately paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Chefs and Head Cooks' was $58,920, or $28 per hour

'Chefs and Head Cooks' were paid 22.6% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 172,370 people employed as 'Chefs and Head Cooks' within the United States.

This represents around 0.11% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 880 people are employed as 'Chefs and Head Cooks'.

Job description

Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

SOC Code: 35-1011.00


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stonehead (No chance) says
cooking requires taste and robots don't have a sense of taste
May 22, 2024 at 10:35 AM
G. M. (Low) says
I work in the industry and agree with the data presented
Aug 21, 2023 at 05:50 PM
Quance (Highly likely) says
because they are improving day by day it can happen in 5 or 10 years
Apr 12, 2023 at 07:57 PM
Lila (No chance) says
Unless there's a massive leap in AI and sensor technology, the possibility of a machine making high-quality, good-tasting food from scratch is low.

Recipe development will need to be done by humans. Mundane preparation and such will almost certainly be automated, so consistent and easy-to-determine doneness foods (like french fries, mass-produced and standardized sandwiches, etc.) will likely be done by robots.

However, I can see the first AI James Beard or Michelin star-winning chef probably within 50-60 years.
Dec 17, 2022 at 11:50 PM
bob (Moderate) says
Because robots are pretty smart and can do way more things at a time than humans
Dec 08, 2022 at 02:45 PM
nic (Low) says
Being a good professional chef/cook is a more difficult job than being a household cook or a regular cook. It requires experience, knowledge, and sometimes complicated techniques. Additionally, some creativity and sensory perception are necessary.
Jan 27, 2022 at 08:10 AM
luis says
A machine that helps weigh the ingredients with the exact weight to speed up cooking and can produce more food. That would be in a macro food business, thank you
May 19, 2021 at 01:07 AM
james (No chance) says
because you need people to taste the food and react to different ways of making it e.g you may need to mix something longer depending on the day
Jun 22, 2020 at 08:22 AM
Grace (Moderate) says
I love cooking and I do it pretty well, but I believe that if you give a machine the list of ingredients and clear instructions or algorithms about how to prepare a meal it can definitely do it and then learn about it.
Feb 13, 2020 at 12:49 AM
Marek says
Silly silly boy, you can’t replace chef with the machine.
Oct 21, 2022 at 12:26 PM

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