Although TV makes the job of a chef seem glamorous, there is a lot of hard work that's required to make the cut. Twelve-hour days are pretty regular, and you need to get used to standing on your feet all day, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To become a chef, you can either start working in a kitchen and work your way up to a chef's position or get formal training at a culinary or technical arts school. Even if you get some schooling, you'll still have to start at a low position and work your way up to the top.
But you might want to think twice about culinary school. Michael Louis Kelly, the attorney involved in a lawsuit against the parent company of Cordon Blue, told NPR, "You can't go to school, accumulate $30- or $40- or $50,000 in debt, and then go into an industry where you're going to have to start out at $8 or $12 an hour anyway."
Newbies who start out may make $29,000 a year as line cooks, says NPR.