The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Culinary Arts Career Guide: An Infographic by the Team at Kendall College’s Culinary School
Ever think about pursuing a career in the culinary arts field? Many people dream about becoming a top chef at a 5 star restaurant, however there are also 13 million jobs provided by the restaurant industry, a number that is on the rise by 2.8% in 2014. There is a wide variety of career options available outside of the restaurant kitchen with a degree in culinary arts.
Some people know from the beginning they are destined for a career in culinary arts. They were born with a taste for fine ingredients, eschewing microwavable corn dogs and cartoon-shaped macaroni for deviled eggs and mini quiches as children. They frittered away play times engrossed in their Easy Bake ovens and plastic kitchens, and spent their evenings following grandma around the kitchen.
These individuals feel more comfortable with a whisk in their hand than they do with a pen or Blackberry. They can’t name all the U.S. presidents off the top of their head, but they can list all the ingredients or duck à l’orange without hesitating. And naturally, they would turn down admission to Harvard Law in a heartbeat for a chance to go to Kendall College or Le Cordon Bleu.
For many others, however, their culinary career destiny isn’t always quite so apparent. Maybe they were picky eaters as kids, and never developed a taste for porcini mushrooms or dry vermouth. Or maybe they appreciate good food, but can’t bake a cupcake without setting the kitchen on fire. (It happens even to the best of us sometimes.)
These are people who could never imagine themselves as master chefs making world-renowned cuisine. Instead, they are interested in things like running businesses, coordinating events, and developing new technologies – not exactly things that are associated with the culinary arts. But they should be, because there are all kinds of different careers available in the industry, and for many of them understanding an Excel spreadsheet is a better baseline than knowing how to poach an egg.
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CAN YOU TASTE A CULINARY ARTS CAREER?
STUDY DOESN’T ALWAYS NEEDS TO LEAD TO THE STOVE
The restaurant industry provides jobs for 13 MILLION PEOPLE, including 115,400 CHEFS and head cooks, and 807,800 food preparation workers.
Restaurant industry jobs will INCREASE by 2.8% in 2014, outpacing the 1.8% GAIN in total U.S. employment.
THERE ARE MANY CULINARY CAREER OPTIONS BOTH IN AND OUTSIDE RESTAURANT SETTINGS
FEAST YOUR EYES ON FOOD AND BEVERAGE EDUCATION DEGREES
|COOKING DEGREE||WHO||PRE-GRAD QUALIFICATION||GENERAL DURATION*||INTERNSHIP REQUIRED|
|Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Culinary Arts||Students interested in careers at the highest levels of the culinary industry, both inside and outside restaurants.||Completion of general education coursework||Four Years||Yes|
|Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Culinary Arts||Students interested specifically in the kitchen environment.||Completion of general education coursework||Two Years (full-time), Four Years (part-time)||Yes|
|Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Baking and Pastry||Students who want a very focused program specializing in baking; it may lead to careers in restaurants, bakeries, or elsewhere.||Strong interest in the specialty of baking||Two years||Yes|
|OTHER DEGREES AND LEARNING OPTIONS||WHO||PRE-GRAD QUALIFICATION||GENERAL DURATION*||INTERNSHIP REQUIRED|
|Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Hospitality Management; Beverage Management||Students wanting to work in the rapidly growing world of specialty mixology, wine, beer and liquor.||Completion of general education coursework||Four years||Yes|
|Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Hospitality Management; Restaurant/Food and Beverage Management||Students who want to own and/or operate establishments in the food industry and beverage industry.||Completion of general education coursework||For years||Yes|
|Culinary Certificate Experience||Students who want to gain a greater understanding of food and have a higher level of home cooking skills.||Strong interest in cooking and baking||10 weeks to one year||No|
* Time to completion ma vary depending on student’s course load and successful completion of the courses.
A FULL MENU OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE CAREERS
|RESTAURANT CAREERS AND EXAMPLES|
|EXECUTIVE CHEF||A restaurant’s executive chef is generally in charge of planning menus, kitchen sanitation, food quality control, production scheduling, purcashing supplies, food presentation, training kitchen staff, and assigning duties. Typically they have significant experience and a formal education||$69,494||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts|
|PASTRY CHEF||Chefs specializing in making pastries or other baked goods, with some going on to own their own businesses.||$33,000||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Baking and Pastry|
|SOUS CHEF||The sous chef performs many of the same duties as the executive chef and requires similar training.||$44,627||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts|
|NON-RESTAURANT COOKING CAREERS AND EXAMPLES|
|PRIVATE CHEF||A private chef serves one or more clients, preparing all of their meals. These chefs may provide meal planning and meal services.||$200-$500 per day||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts|
|PROFESSIONAL CATERING||A person or company who plans, delivers, and prepares food for events or occasions. A caterer may be self-employed, work for a restaurant or hospitality company, or even operate out of a mobile delivery vehicle.||$32,000-$75,000 depending on location and size of company||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts|
|NON-RESTAURANT CAREERS AND EXAMPLES|
|FOOD TECHNOLOGY||A person who may work directly with food in the development of recipes or ingredients, improve food products, and set standards for food production and packaging.||$60,000||B.A. Culinary Arts|
|PUBLIC RELATIONS / MARKETING||Types of careers include: account executive, advertising manager, ad sales director, communications specialist, event coordinator, market analyst, market researcher, media buyer, media coordinator, product development manager public relations director, or sales manager.||$40,000||B.A. Culinary Arts||B.A. Hospitality Management|
|RESTAURANT AND FOOD CONSULTING EDUCATION||A person who provides advice to restaurateurs as tehy open a new restaurant or attempt to revive a failing one.||$52,000||B.A. Culinary Arts||A.A.S. Culinary Arts||B.A. Hospitality Management|
|EDUCATION||High school, college, or culinary instructor.||$53,000 varies depending on level||B.A. Culinary Arts|
|WRITERS AND EDITORS||Includes: cookbook writer/editor, food critic/reviewer, food photographer, food stylist, or recipe writer/editor.||$47,000||A.A.S. Culinary Arts||B.A. Hospitality Management|
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