Chef Certification: What it is and how to do it

The Chef Certification Program is an exciting opportunity to deliver more value for your organization and take your career to the next level. Chef skills are in greater demand than ever. The most recent Dice Technology Salary Survey found that salaries for practitioners who cultivate Chef skills rank among the top ten technology skills in the world. Now we’re offering a direct path to capitalizing on market demand.

The Certification Program focuses on practical experience in Chef, not just information learned from a book. The bar for passing an exam has been set high. This standard gives the program credibility and ensures it empowers you in your current role and career development. In other words, a Chef Certification shows you really know your stuff.

The program will expand over time, as products and features change and the technical landscape evolves.

The certification offering is categorized into a number of ‘badges’. These badges represent a specific job function that we see among Chef practitioners. Similar to leveling-up in a video game, or children’s scout badges, but with a higher bar and much bigger impact!

What is a badge?

Gather a predefined set of badges to obtain a particular level of certification.  Example badges include:

  • Basic Chef Fluency
  • Local Cookbook Development
  • Extending Chef
  • Basic Cookbook Deployment
  • Advanced Cookbook Deployment & CD Pipelines

The important thing to remember is a badge does not represent a level of certification in itself, but is an individual stepping stone on a certification path.


This model follows the DevOps principle of continuous improvement. We’re focused on cultivating the ability to iterate, release and re-release content quickly, while at the same time maintaining a coherent certification offering.

Each badge has a tightly defined scope. Suggested learning paths will be identified that may include online tutorials, instructor-led training (either online or in person), documentation, blogs, etc.

For the exams themselves we have teamed up with two of the leading names in the industry. PSI will manage the multiple choice examinations, while TrueAbility provides a hands on lab component. Together, these two companies provide an integrated user experience consisting of a multiple choice and hands-on labs exam.

All exams are taken remotely and fully proctored. To take an exam, you log into the PSI system, pick an available slot, then further instructions are provided.

Individual badges are valid for two years, after which time you will need to retake the exam.


What levels of certification will be available?

You earn badge credentials to achieve specific Chef certification levels. These certification levels, and the badges required to obtain them, are defined on the Chef training site,

The first level of certification available is Certified Chef Developer. Once this level is achieved you will be able to easily share your status on LinkedIn from your account on the Chef training site.

Why get certified?

As the enterprise increasingly employs DevOps initiatives to drive business velocity, automation skills are fundamental to achieving success. Automation skills also present a significant career opportunity for IT practitioners. As DevOps adoption continues to rise, the value of Chef capabilities is also dramatically increasing. As noted earlier, the most recent Dice Technology Salary Survey rates Chef skills among the top ten worldwide, commanding a salary of more than $130,000 annually.

Further Information

This program is designed to evolve over time. The latest information, including updates on badges, will be available on

Also, check out the FAQ at

John Fitzpatrick

John is a Training Program Manager at Chef. He also delivers training classes on Chef, and is an organiser of both 'DevOps Belfast' and 'Chef Users London' meetup groups.