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Culinary Arts as a Career

Looking to start a culinary arts career? The field of culinary arts has a wide range of employment possibilities, and there are many paths you can take after completing your Branford Hall education. As a culinary arts graduate, you may find a job as a:

  • Sous chef
  • Line cook
  • Prep cook
  • Grill cook
  • Caterer
  • Pastry chef
  • Short order cook
  • Assistant cook
  • Head chef

Professional Settings

A kitchen setting is the main location for those in the culinary arts. Cooks, chefs, and bakers work in a fast-paced, exciting environment. Oftentimes, weekend and evening hours are required. Chefs can work in a wide array of locations, such as:

  • Restaurants
  • Fast-food restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Hotels
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Cafeterias
  • Hospitals
  • Private households

Employment Outlook

Details on the job outlook for chefs and cooks can be found in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.  According to this handbook, employment of cooks is expected to grow by 4 percent from 2014 to 2024. The handbook goes on to say, “People will continue to eat out, buy takeout meals, or have food delivered. In response, more restaurants will open and cafeterias, catering services, and nontraditional food-service operations, such as those found inside grocery stores, will serve more prepared food dishes. These circumstances will increase demand for cooks.”

Earnings/Salary for a Culinary Arts Career

The salaries for a culinary arts career across the country differ based on the employees’ years of experience, level of skills, and geographic location. Entry-level chefs, cooks, and bakers typically earn less than more experienced ones. But as you gain more on-the-job experience and perform satisfactorily in your job, you can expect your salary to increase over time. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to learn more.

Culinary Arts Certification

While taking a certification exam is not required for students of the culinary arts program, earning a certification gives you credibility and marketability in your culinary arts career. We encourage graduates of the Culinary Arts program to take ServSafe® certification exams through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, as well as restaurant management certification exams. This will give you the added advantage of entering your new job field with proven skills and certifications that are recognized all over the country.

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