One of the most challenging professions in the hospitality industry, which consists of both authority and innovation, is cooking.

The kitchen requires people who have relevant skills both in the culinary and administrative areas.

Any individual who appreciates cooking may have thought about working as a gourmet chef someday. It might sound easy, but it requires sheer talent and countless hours of work.

Superprof offers instructive training and learning courses for you to become an expert in culinary arts. However, an officially approved license or degree is required to work as a chef in the USA.

Most chefs make their name because of their skills and time invested during those extended hours in the kitchen.

Nonetheless, if you wish to become the head chef at your restaurant, you might want to apply for a few master's degrees in the culinary arts.

A chef enjoying his job
Culinary arts require chefs to be disciplined and respectful about their profession. But this doesn't mean the job has to be boring. In fact, a requirement of becoming a chef is to be cooperative and friendly with chefs working under you. It is the chef's responsibility to lead a positive and fun environment in the kitchen. (Source: Unsplash)
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How To Become A Chef

The first query that comes to mind when considering this profession is regarding the qualifications for chefs.

Well, one of the first requirements for becoming a chef is to gain a license. Then, you must go through the procedure of learning at a culinary school or institution.

However, some additional steps might polish your cooking skills, add to your experience, and train you to deal with hot situations in the kitchen.

Step 1- Have Experience

Understanding how the kitchen works is essential to becoming a chef. Yet, be cautioned; you may receive ordinary assignments like cleaning dishes and making garbage runs at the start.

Notwithstanding, one needs to be open-minded and patient, as this stage is considered the rite of passage for budding chefs.

Step 2- Get Certified

Culinary schools require one to four years, according to the program.

The most widely recognized degrees are; diplomas, associate certificates, or four-year bachelor's degrees, while expert's culinary degrees are limited in the United States.

The chef education requirements oblige you to get a bachelor's degree. However, individuals who acquired their culinary certificates can swiftly climb up the culinary ladder.

A culinary expert preparing a meal in his kitchen
Expert chefs are people with great familiarity with food sciences, nutrition, and balanced diets. It is a requirement for becoming a chef to be accountable for cooking meals that offer pleasure to the observant eye and the appetite. (Source: Unsplash)

Here are some different ways you can get a culinary education:

Culinary School

Whether you are joining a culinary school for a degree, a diploma, or some certification, they will help you better understand the culinary journey.

Indeed the fees of these schools and institutes are high, but their faculty, training sessions, private environment, and facilities are appreciable. Culinary school is the best way to start your career as a chef.

Community Colleges

Community colleges primarily provide an associate degree or a certificate, unlike culinary schools, which offer a proper four-year bachelor's degree.

These colleges are low-cost, and they design short courses which only cover subjects of your interest and give you a well-rounded degree.

Vocational Programs

A vocational program is the quickest way to obtain an education in culinary arts.

It allows working under some outstanding seniors and skilled juniors and directly encourages you to enter the kitchen professionally.

Step 3 – Gain Experience

A degree, diploma, or training is excellent, but being a chef also necessitates experience to polish one's skills and make one attuned to the pressures of working in the kitchen.

Therefore, to start your work as a professional chef, one should get experience, whether it is through an internship or apprenticeship.

Step 4 – Get Your First Job

Whether as a commis or high-end chef, you can land your first cook position with your experience or by applying for systems administration openings.

From here, you can move gradually up to the top assistant chef and, in the end, to a high-end specialist.

Types Of Chefs

There are different types of chefs such as:

  • Head chef, who is the specialist and also called chef de cuisine
  • Sous chef is the second-in-command and works under the head chef
  • Chef de partie oversees a particular area or station of the kitchen
  • Commis is the one with the least experience and is a fresh graduate of culinary school, often working under chef de partie
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Job Growth

Chefs are profoundly viewed as the main cooks and are responsible for the kitchen and the work environment.

A culinary expert's command might include administering inexperienced cooks just as other kitchen laborers.

Chefs also have to prepare menus and oversee dishes' arrangement, just as creating plans. In addition, the chefs are responsible for inventory management.

The bosses likewise must ensure the kitchen is always clean and organized.

The market for jobs has become highly competitive in the modern age. Therefore, numerous people are moving from one place to another, searching for occupations, which are scant.

By becoming a chef, one can be utilized within several different sectors worldwide.

Pretty much every café utilizes a chef to work or supervise the kitchen activities. In 2006, food service workers, cooks, and chefs occupied 3.1 million employment vacancies.

They worked in hospitals, colleges, schools, carrier catering administrations, and offices of nursing care.

A few culinary experts are employed to provide services within traveling ships. As a result, such chefs gain the advantage of making quality trips to various world regions.

Other chefs are recruited abroad in food administrations firms. They get to enjoy benefits since they can secure jobs anywhere they go.

A gourmet meal
Professional cooking is not just about feeding food to people. It is a kind of art that requires delicacy, precision, and presentation. One of the requirements for becoming a chef is to fully understand the art of cooking, garnishing, and serving. (Source: Unsplash)

Careers In Foodservice In USA

Hotel businesses all over the world are tremendously growing, especially in the United States of America. This gives job opportunities and opens doors for many talented chefs.

There are restaurants, big or small, cafes and bakeries in every nook of the state. Quality places require skilled and fresh graduate chefs ready to be trained under head chefs.

Culinary professionals have bright careers in food service. They can get jobs in dining facilities and other private and public platforms.

Chefs can be versatile and work in many different settings.

For example, they might work in cafés, cook food in external locales, or even work in voyage boats or aircraft.

Private chefs partake in trips with their clients to cook special meals throughout the journey for them.

Knowledge of culinary art opens the door to many jobs and avenues such as:

  • Airlines
  • Food processing companies
  • Food manufacturing
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Cruise liner
  • Catering

How Much Do Chefs Earn?

The income for a culinary expert or head cook is $53,380 each year or $25.66 per hour, as indicated by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A cook needs appropriate tools and quality products, which can come at a high expense on the off chance that you go the conventional schooling course.

Since they oversee kitchen staff and supervise meals, culinary experts are also called head chefs.

Chief culinary specialists acquire their salaries by routinely working 12-hour a day. In addition, they are responsible for being punctual during the first part of the day to check the delivery of food supplies.

Moreover, they need to stay late to shut the kitchen down and plan for the following day.

Roughly, there are around 134,000 culinary specialists and head chefs in the United States of America.  They obtained an average salary of $47,390 annually in 2016, as stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Leader culinary specialists are the highest experts in the kitchens. They plan menus, recruit and train kitchen staff, and administer the activities of secondary culinary specialists.

Top assistant chefs go about as the second-in-order. Expert chef specialists specialize in food types like baked goods, meat, soups, vegetables, and mixed greens.

The BLS projects occupations for chef specialists and head cooks to develop by 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is somewhat quicker than the 9% development anticipated for managers of food arrangement laborers.

Furthermore, over the 7% expected for all positions in the country.

An increasing population with open cash flow will demand better dishes, which will drive cafés to employ more experienced cooks.

This way, skilled and deserving chefs will gain careers in the foodservice industry. It's an excellent opportunity for those with prolonged cooking experience and outstanding business instincts.

More opportunities might increase the competition, leading to more profitable spaces, like classy cafés, five and seven-star diners, and clubs.

Additionally, many foundations by reputable networks and private organizations conduct annual dinners, fundraising parties, and business conferences.

All such events require gourmet meals prepared by top-class chefs. Hence, such organizations prefer to recruit young talent and train them to become high-quality cooks.

This is by far one of the most luxurious careers in the foodservice industry.

Chefs receive handsome salaries, job security, additional facilities, and the possibility of greater exposure in the future.

These well-off organizations also encourage the chefs to achieve administration degrees in culinary practices. Parent organizations also adopt culinary arts students for training and brighter futures.

If you are still confused regarding the qualification, requirements, or procedure to become a chef in the USA, you should sign up at Superprof for quality assistance.

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