Exploring Washington State Culinary Training
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What's cooking? Your career in the culinary arts in Washington State! From resorts in the Cascades ski country to bustling restaurants and bistros in Seattle, Washington chefs and cooks are in high demand. Whether it's your dream to open your own eatery or work in one of Washington's thousands of fine restaurants, hotels, spas, resorts, specialty stores or Alaska-bound cruise ships, a local culinary school can prepare you for a great kitchen career.
Most working chefs began their careers by completing culinary training at vocational schools, reports The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They build a foundation upon which they can later take additional two and four-year culinary degree and certification courses in their specialty. The BLS predicts that hiring will remain strong in the culinary professions through 2014.
Washington Culinary Salaries Keep Pace
The BLS further reports that people who have received commercial food preparation training enter the culinary professions without having to take lower-skilled kitchen labor positions. In Seattle, Washington, wages remain at or above the pay scale for most major American cities. Salary.com reports current Seattle median pay rates for the following culinary positions and educational levels:
- Cooking Assistant
High-school diploma and combination of culinary training classes. $29,426.
- Short Order Cook
Minimum of high-school diploma. $32,076.
- Executive Chef Assistant
Minimum vocational culinary training and/or bachelor's degree. $56,712.
- Fine Dining Outlet Chef
Minimum vocational culinary training and/or bachelor's degree. $44,359.
- Executive Pastry Chef
Specialization and seven years' culinary experience plus bachelor's degree. $90,982.
Flexible Schedules a Plus in Culinary Trades
Culinary workers and chefs enjoy the benefits of part-time employment with full-time wages The BLS reports that 40 percent of cooks with culinary training work in part time positions, compared with the national average of 16 of all other workers in the American economy. That means if you're working in a cook or preparation chef position in Washington, you'll have time to enroll in advanced specializations at culinary training programs to qualify for higher-paying positions.
Culinary arts programs in Washington not only offer a wide variety of basic and vocational-oriented courses, they also provide specialized training in baking, dessert pastry, wine and spirits service, restaurant management, catering and banquet services.
If you're hungry to work in the culinary field, consider the abundance of vocational and degree programs that Washington has to offer.