Has the wild popularity of television chef shows and chef celebrities motivated you to become a chef? The chef job market is growing: many working families are too busy to do their own cooking these days and prefer to eat out. With the right kind of training classes or courses and one of the many available culinary degrees, you could create a very satisfying career.
Becoming a chef takes more than just a love of cooking. It takes training and restaurant experience--and the way to get restaurant experience is to get the right training first. Your courses may take anywhere from 9 months (certificate or diploma) to 2 years (associate's degree), 4 years (bachelor's degree), or a year or two longer (master's degree). Culinary degrees are offered at countless vocational and technical schools, community colleges, and universities across the country.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2006 there were about 115,000 chefs and head cooks. That number is predicted to rise by 8 percent--between 2006 and 2016. Chefs' and head cooks' median annual earnings in 2008 were $38,770, while food service managers earned $46,320.
Whatever your culinary aspirations, getting the right training and earning an appropriate degree could set you apart from your competition.