There has been significant growth in the food industry around the world that has resulted in a rise in culinary degrees and programs being offered by several prestigious institutes and colleges. The growth in the food industry has made it possible for more people to pursue their passion in the industry as certified chefs.
By pursuing a culinary degree from an accredited college or institute, you can be assured of a stable and lucrative job. If you wish to pursue a culinary degree, you can achieve your dream and follow your passion. With the rise in job opportunities in the culinary world, you as a culinary artist can benefit from virtually endless work opportunities.
What Is The Scope of a Culinary Arts Degree?
When we speak of attaining a culinary degree, you should know it is more than just working as a cook at an eatery. Even though your interests may be similar, a degree from a good culinary arts school will enable you to avail a large spectrum of opportunities. You will not have to consider your curriculum vitae only for local restaurants. In fact, you could go wherever you want.
There are several types of culinary arts that could get you a highly lucrative job even though the start may be difficult. It may take a few years to attain the required amount of experience, complete the required degree and work one step at a time towards your culinary dream. According to the BLS, here is the countdown of best paying careers in the culinary world:
When you venture out on your journey to become the ultimate chef, like all culinary students, you too will ultimately want to become the executive chef of a three-star Michelin restaurant. It does not get any bigger than this. The executive or managing chef, or the restaurant owner, is the ultimate designation in the food industry. The common point among all three is they are bosses and they call the shots. All creative authority lies with them when they are in the kitchen.
As an executive chef, you would be considered a top professional in the industry. You may initially begin your way up from the entry level once you finish your formal culinary program but even when you do become an executive chef, it requires tremendous amounts of creativity and innovation to uphold your credibility for the job. The average salary as an executive chef can range from $41,500 to $74,170.
As a lodging manager, you will need certain amount of hospitality training. If you attain a hospitality management degree from a university, you can earn a decent salary, but at the same time, you will have to handle a lot of responsibility as well. You will have to oversee a large staff. The job also requires you to take care of the dining restaurants and facilities and hotel settings. Your designation would be equal to a hospital administrator or executive chef.
The more time you spend gaining experience as a low ranking employee, the more chances there are of you reaching the higher ranks. Yet, as a lodging manager, if you opt to pursue a Master’s degree in hospitality management, you will be able to bag a good job right out of school. The average salary you can bag annually as lodging manager ranges from $28,300 to $94,330.
Food and scientist: who would not love mixing up the two words? You could work all day in the lab, trying and making the best foods. However, the field is not exactly as it sounds. In fact, it is quite a technical field that involves a large amount of biology and chemistry that needs to be learned during the formal education. In order to be a food scientist, you will have to go to a proper school to attain the four-year degree of food science. This could be a great option for you if you like science and food!
Food scientists work in the labs and in industries in the food production section to help and weed out any problems that arise connected to food safety, preservation, taste, packaging, texture, and product development. In the last couple of years, the different technological mediums including shows and documentaries on TV and other inside looks at the food manufacturing which puts in the limelight the process of how our food is made and its source. As a food scientist, you would find this is your daily routine.
If you opt to educate yourself well in the field, this could lead to a highly rewarding career opportunity in the long run. You can easily make from around $39,940 to up to $118,390.
In 2015, a survey by the BLS showed the median income for culinary professionals as
1. Chefs and Head Cooks: $41,500
2. Bakers: $24,170
3. Cooks: $21,720
4. Food Prep: $20,180
The different culinary arts fields that have been seen to be rich in opportunity include
If you have ever salivated while watching a delicious life-size chicken pie on the magazine page, you should know it was not just put there by mistake after being baked. It is the food stylist’s job to make the food seem life size and heavenly graphically it gets the readers hunger senses triggering and seduces them in to desiring for that food.
As a food stylist, you are required to carefully construct the food in order to make it look highly appealing to the person. You, as a food stylist, get to play around with chemicals, concoctions, and the best of the food world that there is in order to get a steamy, seductive and hunger inciting look. You will be required to play with colors and find ways to make the foods look extra juicy and fresh. Therefore, you would be the beautician of the foods. These jobs can be found hand in hand with photographers, marketing companies, food magazines and even TV cooking shows.
A personal chef, of course, as the name suggests, are chefs who cater to individuals and private houses. You, as a personal chef, would be required to work for a sole client or many clients. You would be expected to prepare meals and cater to events that would be according to your client’s choice and needs.
This has become quite popular and has a high market value. Most personal chefs are expected to prepare food for a week or two-week time span. This would require you freezing foods and re-cooking them for the client. Being a personal chef could give great returns financially and is much less stressful than any other job in the culinary industry. Most personal chefs work independently.
As a caterer, you are mostly going to be in the restaurant where you are associated to the kitchen but will not actually work in the kitchen. The techniques and methods may be the same but you have to cook for large quantities of people and make food that can hold up on a buffet line or when serving times tend to be longer. You may also be expected to set menus. Several caterers run their own businesses and provide service for events, hotels, lunches and weddings.
Cruise Ship Chef
If you love cruising and you love food, this is the perfect dream job for you. Being a chef and travelling while you are at it could not get better. You may not like the job if you wish to be at home and live the 9 to 5 professional life as the job requires hard long months out on the ocean. However, if you have a passion for wanderlust and are great at cooking, this is the ultimate job for you. You would have to work long hours in the kitchen and prepare highly elaborate fine dining dishes. The work could take up long hours and be slightly agonizing but the travelling would make it all worth it if you love it.
Another great option for you could be running your own bakery as pastry chef or baker if you love baking. There is a great market and bakeries are highly profitable during holidays and birthdays.
Cooking Food Instructor
Several culinary school instructors work in the food service industry. You will also find some who only concentrate on the teaching aspect of the cooking world. A majority of the instructors we see carry certifications or degrees that prove their expertise. By attaining a degree or certificate in culinary arts, you can also become a cooking instructor. If you have a passion for teaching and cooking, this great option combines the two.
The jobs that are higher up in the culinary hierarchy tend to have more prerequisites, including formal education, like a bachelor’s degree along with two-year industrial experience. Jobs can usually be found in several educational settings that could include private and public enterprises.
Part-time Culinary Jobs Available To Professional Chefs
If you have watched reality shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef, you would have seen how difficult it could be to work in a professional kitchen. You are signing up for longs hours of grueling tasks and a hectic, bustling work environment. Life in a professional kitchen can be hectic and fast-paced. This is a scenario you could expect specifically if you are an entry-level cook, however the good news is you have options to work part-time in the culinary field and can pursue a second job at the same time.
1. Chef Instructor: The best way to make the most of your passion and not have to work in a grueling and fast-paced environment is becoming a chef instructor. Initially, you may require some full-time investment on the art by getting a degree and gaining some hands-on experience preferably working under a well-known chef instructor. You can also give classes and provide beginner level training during the evening.
2. Educational Facilities and Old Age Homes: This could be less rewarding yet easier as compared to working in a five-star restaurant. However, settings like nursing homes and schools along with other cafeterias all need skilled cooks to create and serve meals. You may not be able to unleash much of your creativity here but you can find this comparatively easier as a part-time option.
3. Prep Cook/Culinary Associate: The culinary world needs culinary associates, as they are the ones doing the grueling work, including chopping vegetables, prepping the food or cutting the meat. You would be expected to show up before the restaurant opens to commence the preparations for the day that would lead to meal service at the right time.
If you want to build a career in the culinary world, you have to work long hours. Yet, at the same time, pursuing a career in the culinary arts can be rewarding, both financially and on a personal level as well.