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Culinary Arts School: More than a Flash in the Pan

If food is the language of love, culinary arts school will turn you into a regular Casanova -- only better paid.

by Kelly Richardson
Trade School Columnist

If you never thought your ability to make a flakey souffle or sumptuous soup would amount to anything, think again. With some training from a culinary arts school, you could be earning top dollar to satisfy the palates of clients.

Degrees in:
-- Culinary Arts
Degrees in:
-- Pastry Chef
Degrees in:
-- Baking

The field of culinary arts may be rich with excitement and diversity. And according to the International Association of Culinary Professionals, 21st century technology will play an increasing role in the profession as well. To that end, the ideal culinary arts school is a place where taste, texture, and technology converge. You may have the ability to cook, but formal training in a world-class facility will develop your skills to the maximum. Once trained, there are a variety of unique culinary positions that you'll love. Here are a few.

Culinary Arts Positions

  • Executive Chef. Executive chefs may be the rung of the culinary arts ladder. Most work in high profile restaurants, bistros, and eateries. Some executive chefs are hired to cook exclusively for organizations or clientele.
  • Head Cook. Head cooks may leave culinary arts school to become managers of food lines. Successful candidates in this position may have communication and management skills that keep the kitchen running smoothly.
  • Pastry Chef. This is an excellent culinary arts position to begin your career. Pastry chefs are mainly in charge of desserts, including selection of menu items and dish preparation.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006) reports a bright future for culinary arts school graduates. It's no surprise that the opportunities will go to chefs with formal training. Here's what you may expect once you graduate.

The Culinary Arts Career Profile

  • Certification. The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 100 formal training programs featuring two- and four-year degrees and certifications.
  • Salary Potential. Median hourly earnings of chefs and head cooks were $14.75 in May 2004, with the middle 50 percent earning between $10.71 and $20.28.
  • Job Growth. Overall employment of culinary arts professionals is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations over the next decade.

Perhaps the best part of a career in culinary arts is that you may never know where the profession will lead. Graduate from an accredited school and find out just how far you can really go.

Sources

International Association of Culinary Professionals
Occupational Outlook Handbook

About the Author

Kelly Richardson covers the local education and technology scenes in major cities across the country. His articles appear in educational journals, periodicals, and e-zines.