Pursue Your Education at a Culinary Trade School
To pursue a career as a chef, you should learn how to prepare a variety of cuisine, create a menu, manage a staff, and sell your ideas. A chef is an artist and a business person at once, and must know how to source foods and prepare meals that appeal to the right audience.
Trade schools can be a great place to begin your culinary education, where you can gain a background in the culinary arts. Your education may include training on the plants, animals, and grains used to produce food, as well as nutrition, sanitation, business principles like accounting and management, and more.
Start Your Career in the Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
There are a number of career paths available to a culinary trade school graduate, including restaurant chef, pastry chef, and restaurant manager. Other careers include:
Most chefs typically work in restaurants or hotels, while others work for catering and events companies. Restaurant work usually involves long hours, late and early shifts, and weekend work. The culinary industry is usually very competitive, so a trade school education can be a good first step. Advanced training is generally required of all chef positions, but you can often qualify for management positions through direct experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for chefs and cooks to grow by 11 percent through 2016. The median annual salary of a chef & head cooks in 2011 was $46,600 per year, with household cooks earning $31,080. Food service managers, like restaurant and catering managers, earned a median salary of $52,620.