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Commercial Cookery International Student Australia

International Student Commercial Cookery Courses

Chef Courses in Australia

Commercial cookery is a very popular course for international students in Australia. Chefs are in high demand in restaurants and café across the country. In fact, the role of chef is in high demand worldwide, with the opportunity for trained chefs to be sponsored or perhaps be eligible for skilled migration in Australia.

Cook versus Chef?

In Australia, you are generally considered a Cook if you hold a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery. However, a chef generally holds Certificate III + Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery (or Kitchen Management) + often a Diploma of Hospitality Management (Cookery Stream). Some colleges deliver all three programs, while other colleges include the content of the Certificate III in the Certificate IV, thus they teach the Certificate IV + Diploma. Regardless of the package, you can expect to be studying for at least 92 weeks in order to qualify for the Graduate Work Stream of the 485 Graduate Visa.

Commercial Cookery Course Options

There are various ways in which you can gain commercial cookery qualifications.

In the past, a student would study  the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery,  followed by Certificate IV in commercial Cookery,  and then generally Diploma of hospitality Management.

At the moment,  many colleges were transitioning  to the Certificate IV in Kitchen Management, as this is going to phase out the Certificate III Commercial Cookery.

he courses you study will depend on the college you attend, and when you begin. The course combinations will all give you the same outcome.

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

Certificate IV in Kitchen Management

Diploma of Hospitality Management

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

The Certificate III in Commercial Cookery is often the entry-level into the industry. It is generally delivered over 1 to 1.5 years, and includes practical training in a kitchen environment.

During the course you will study the principles of cooking and food preparation, which may include the following topics (plus others).

  • safe work practices

  • hygienic practices for food safety

  • safe food handling practices

  • working effectively as a cook

  • preparing dishes using basic methods of cooking

  • preparing appetisers, salads, stocks, sauces & soups

  • preparing poultry, meat, vegetarian & seafood dishes

  • producing cakes, breads, pastries & desserts

If you study the 1.5 year version, you will also study the units listed in the section below this.

Most students who study the 1-year duration will continue into a Certificate IV upon successfully completing this course.

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If Commercial Cookery sounds like the perfect next step, please reach out for a free consultation to learn your options and understand how it all works.

Certificate IV in Kitchen Management

The Australian education system is slowly transitioning into the Certificate IV in Kitchen Management (fazing out the Certificate III & IV in Commercial Cookery).  As long as a student graduates with the required units of study,  it does not matter which combination of courses is taken.

As a result, some colleges are already teaching the Certificate IV in Kitchen Management over 18 months (this course is a combination of the Certificate III Commercial Cookery + Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery units).

However,  for graduates who have completed the Certificate III Commercial Cookery, some colleges currently deliver the  the Certificate IV in Kitchen Management or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery over 6 months.

For either course, the topics tend to focus more on operations and management.  They may include:

  • maintaining, storing & receiving stock

  • planning & budgeting for recipes

  • creating recipes for special diets

  • planning cooking operations

  • designing the menus

  • safety measures

  • managing conflict

  • leading people

  • managing budgets

  • coaching

  • providing good customer service

Most students will continue into the Diploma of Hospitality Management (Commercial Cookery Stream) upon successfully completing this course.

Diploma of Hospitality Management

There are various versions of this course.  It might be called:


  • Diploma of Hospitality Management

  • Diploma of Hospitality Management (Sous Chef)

  • Diploma of Hospitality Management (Commercial Cookery Stream)

It is generally taught between 6 months to 1 year,  depending on the college (generally for 6 months in a packaged program).

This course includes some food preparation training, though it predominantly focuses on the business side of the industry.  Units of study may include:

  • enhanced customer service

  • managing conflict in the workplace

  • preparing & monitoring budgets

  • legal risks & complying with the law

  • staff timetables

  • monitoring operations

  • establishing & managing business relationships

  • managing work health & safety practices

  • planning & managing food safety programs

Tuition Fees to Study Cookery

Many Australian colleges teach commercial cookery, with tuition typically ranging between $16,000-$25,000 for tuition, depending on the education provider (institution).

In addition, students are generally required to purchase a chef’s kit (knives, uniform, etc) and pay for resource fees. These fees generally add an additional $1,000-$2,000 to the cost of your program.

Get a Free Consultation about becoming an International Student to learn more about your options.

485 Graduate Work Stream Visa

Many graduates will be eligible to apply for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485 - Graduate Work Stream for the job of Chef at the conclusion of the course. Most colleges have created their program to meet the 92-week Australian Study Requirement. Thus, graduates might be eligible for this 1.5-year temporary work visa.

We advise a consultation with a migration agent or migration lawyer on any long-term goals you might have through studying. 

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