Introduction

Cookery courses combined with the culinary arts will provide essential knowledge and skills for international students to become business owners or to work in the hospitality industry. Cookery courses help you develop service skills in both the kitchen and at the front with customers. After graduating, you can work in various hospitality roles such as a Chef, Cook, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Head Chef, Chef de Partie, restaurant manager, bar manager, café manager or hospitality business owners.

Why study cookery courses in Australia?

The number of international students studying cookery courses remains high in Australia, inspired by the high standards of restaurants, café and bars, and a compelling reputation of culinary schools. The multiculture also makes Australia well known for the diversity of cuisine where people are surprised and delighted with different food from around the world. It is not surprising that Australia is the second most preferred country to study professional cookery and culinary arts.  

Most schools provide many intakes in a year, so you can start your education journey when it is most suitable to your circumstances. You also can study Commercial Cookery and Patisserie courses with limited or zero background in the field. You will be taught the very basic skills in the culinary arts.  

A high chance of getting a desired job and staying longer in Australia is also additional attraction. It is predicted that there could be approximately 81,000 job vacancies for cookery program graduates in the next 5 years in Australia. By studying 2 years or more in cookery courses, international students may be eligible for Post Study Working Visas (e.g, Visa 485 – Graduate Work Stream, 485 – Post Study Work Stream and 476 – Skilled Recognised Work Visa) that allow you to work full-time and stay longer in Australia. Especially, international students can attempt to get temporary working visa and permanent residency (visa 189, 190, 482, 186, 491, 191) after they become a chef. 

Different from studying in European countries, international students in Australia are usually allowed to work up to 40 hours fortnightly. However, due to the serious labour shortages, the work hours of student visa holders have been temporarily relaxed. They are able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any sector of the economy until June 2023. Working while studying helps you gain more hands-on experience and earn a higher salary to cover the living costs.  

Read more to learn what courses you should study to be a chef in Australia. 

What cookery courses are available for international students?

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery  

You will be provided with necessary knowledge and skills required to be a qualified cook. This course also trains you with the skills to maintain safety and quality of food preparation and guides you how to work effectively in the kitchen. The duration for this course differs among education providers and types of study, but generally, it takes you about 40 weeks of intensive training to finish. 

Certificate III in Patisserie  

If you wish to learn the entry level skills to work as a pastry cook, this course is designed for you. You will be equipped with the ability to complete the full process of making cakes, desserts and petit fours. Similar to Cert III in Commercial Cookery, you would need to spend one year to complete this course.  

Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery  

With this course, you can gain hands on culinary experience to prepare a wide range of food, from salads, stocks, appetiser, soups, meat, seafood, to breads, pastries and cakes. In addition to culinary training, you will be provided with supervisory skills to manage the kitchen, for example, skills to estimate the cost of food and labour, to order food supplies, and to coordinate cooking operations. After successful completion of this course, you may be qualified to be a cook in Australia.  

Certificate IV in Patisserie  

Cert IV in Patisserie provides you a pathway to work in various places where you prepare and serve patisserie products, including restaurants, patisseries, catering companies, hotels, pubs, café and coffee shops.  

Diploma of Hospitality Management (Commercial Cookery Stream)  

This course is best designed for students who completed Certificate III or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery or students who have a sturdy foundation of cooking as it provides a pathway to work as a departmental or small business manager. Diploma of hospitality management covers a list of managerial knowledge and skills, which consists of budgeting, marketing, rostering and human management. After finishing this course, you will be able to enter the workforce with multiple choices of jobs, such as a head chef, chef de cuisine, chef pâtissier, sous chef, restaurant manager, bar manager, kitchen manager, unit manager catering operations, and other jobs relating to hospitality (club manager, motel manager, and front office manager).  

Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management  

This course offers you specialised managerial knowledge and skills combined with a broad range of hospitality skills to coordinate hospitality operations. Successful completion of this course allows you to become a highly skilled senior manager who is responsible for making strategic management decisions. In other words, by studying this course, you will be able to be a head chef, executive chef, executive sous chef, operation manager, café owner or manager.  

What are entry requirements for international students to study cookery courses?

You are most likely to satisfy entry requirements for a cookery course. With Certificate III and Certificate IV, all you need is completing Year 10 or equivalent. For Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management, completing Year 12 or equivalent is required.  

For international students, you need to prove your English proficiency to study and work in Australia. Most schools require IELTS overall score of 5.5 with no sub-band below 5.0. If you do not have the English score required, the English pathway program is an option for you. Many schools offer English programs together with cookery courses. If you pass these English programs, you will be eligible for studying cookery courses. 

How much does it cost to study cookery courses in Australia?

The total fees, including tuition fees and non-tuition fees, are different between education providers and courses. Generally, the fees for Certificate III and Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery and Patisserie are ranging from $AUD 10,000 to $AUD 30,000, depending on the quality of staff, facility, and the brand name of schools. 

The fees to study Diploma or Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management are similar to Certificate III and Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. However, the schools usually offer the package that combines multiples of courses to reduce studying time and costs for international students. One common package is the combination of Cert III and Cert IV in cookery. The time to complete Cert III is one year and the time to study Cert IV is one year and a half. However, if you finish Cert III and want to pursue Cert IV, you only need to spend 6 months for this. 

To explore which course or which package suits your financial circumstance and your plan, contact us today. Our expert team will offer you free counselling and a free school application process.

Where can you study cookery courses?

Many international students arrive in Sydney to study cookery courses. However, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide are also attractive locations for training and working in cookery professions, with an admirable cluster of famous businesses, education providers, and professionals working in this industry. Below are well-known institutes that provide Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery, and Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Managements.  

  • TAFE Queensland  
  • TAFE NSW 
  • TAFE SA 
  • Le Cordon Bleu  
  • Queensland Academy of Australia (QAT)  
  • National Institute of Education and Technology (NIET)  
  • Imagine Education Australia  
  • Canterbury Technical Institute  
  • William Angliss Institute  
  • Mastery Institute Australia (MIA)  
  • Gamma Education and Training  
  • SERO Institute 

You may find the best courses for Certificate III and IV in Pattiserie from: 

  • TAFE Queensland  
  • Le Cordon Bleu  
  • Gamma Education and Training  
  • Academia 

For international students, graduation from cookery courses does not guarantee them to be qualified as chefs yet. Read more to explore how to become a chef in Australia.  

How to be a qualified chef in Australia?

Three years is the estimated time for international students to finish cookery training and make the transition from an apprentice to qualified chef. This section will describe three specific steps to become a qualified chef.  

Step 1: Study cookery courses  

Certificate III and/or Certificate IV in cooking provides you with essential knowledge and skills to cook and work in the kitchen. However, you are only qualified to be a cook after finishing this course. Graduation from Diploma and/or Advanced Diploma of Hospitality management is compulsory if you wish to become a chef.  

Step 2: Get one year of working experience 

After completing your study, you need to work in the kitchen for at least one year to be eligible for a skill assessment designed for a chef. 

Step 3: Pass the skill assessment  

Once you pass a full Skill Assessment via Trade Recognition Australia (TRA), you will be qualified as a chef. However, what should you do to get the skill assessment? Is it a straight way to get it? Find out the answers in the next section. 

How to pass skill assessments for a Chef in Australia?

There are 4 steps to pass the skill assessment:  

Step 1 – Job Ready Program Registration and Eligibility (JRPRE) 

You must:  

  • have a qualification directly related to your nominated occupation that was awarded by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) as a result of studies in Australia  
  • The assessment fee for this step is $200. 
  • From 15 July 2022: JRPRE will no longer require for Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Management students to be eligible to apply Graduation Visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work Stream. However, this stage is still required if you would like to apply for skill nomination visas (subclass 190, 189, 491) or Employer sponsored visa (subclass 482, 494). This regulation is a temporary change, and it will be eligible for students who graduate before 30 June 2023. 

Step 2 – Job Ready Employment (JRE) 

You must:  

  • complete at least 1725 hours of paid employment over a minimum of 12 months from your JRE start date  
  • find suitable employment that is approved by Trades Recognition Australia 
  • have completed a Skills Progress Report (self-assessment record of the skills and activities you have undertaken in your workplace as you develop your skills in your occupation) six months after your JRE start date or when you are deemed eligible for Step 3 (see below for details)  
  • The assessment fee for Job Ready Employment is $450.

Step 3 – Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) 

You must:   

  • provide evidence of paid employment in your occupation for at least 863 hours over a minimum of 6 months from your JRE start date  
  • provide an acceptable Skills Progress Report (SPR), Employment Verification Report (EVR) and any other required evidence confirming you are performing the expected tasks and duties to a suitable standard for your occupation.  
  • have your employer sign your EVR and confirm they agree to the assessment being conducted at your workplace  
  • You must pay $2540 for the assessment fee. 

Step 4 – Job Ready Final Assessment (JRFA) 

You must:  

  • have a successful Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) outcome  
  • have completed the employment requirements of Job Ready Employment (JRE) by providing evidence of paid employment in your occupation of at least 1725 hours over a minimum of 12 months from your JRE start date 
  • The fee for Job Ready Final Assessment Review is $65.

How much can a chef earn in Australia?

After becoming a chef, you can enjoy working and living in Australia. The salary of chefs depends much on their experience and their positions in the kitchen. According to Payscale, annual salary of a Kitchen Chef is ranging from $36,916 to 57,885 while Sous Chef can earn from 42,638 to 64,184. The salary package for Head Chef is higher, from 45,120 to 77,122. And the highest salary scale is for Executive Chef who can get up to 108,804 per year. 

What is the PR pathway for a chef?

Once passing the skill assessment and becoming a qualified chef, you are eligible to apply for a range of permanent visas, including visa 189, 190, 482, 491, and 186. 

Interested in studying Commercial Cookery and Patisserie in Australia?

Contact SOL Edu & Migration today and our team will figure out the best way to get a PR for you.