Restaurants are thriving. Our extremely mobile society continues to rely on pre-packaged foods, prepared foods, fast foods, diners, food bars, and restaurants routinely, and it is not expected to change its habits any time soon. Jobs within the food industry are enormous. The culinary arts job outlook for services in pre-packaging foods, food research, and development, for cafeterias, hospitals, and care centers is energetic.
Catering services have also taken a boost as more companies hire catering services as a convenience for their employees, and more office buildings incorporate food bars and coffee shops into their floor plans. Health resorts, sports facilities, and whole grain bakeries also hire the special skills of a culinary arts graduate.
From School to a Chef’s Position
Your culinary arts job outlook is very good from the perspective of the number of specialized positions you could go into; nutrition, bakeries, food research, and cafeterias all have a high demand for specialized culinary arts skills.
However, graduating directly from a culinary arts school into a chef’s position can be difficult without prior experience in the food service industry. The in-demand chefs often started their careers in a line-cook or prep-cook position. They worked their way up. The companies they work for trained them and pay them well for their services.
What your courses prepared you for was management level cooking or baking positions. If you are already associated with a restaurant, your courses completed the final requirements for a head chef or executive chef position. If you are coming straight out of school, you may have to begin your experience by working for a small restaurant or as the sous chef or assistant cook in a larger one.
Your Future in the Culinary Arts
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014-2015, the culinary arts job outlook is expected to grow 5% over the next ten years for chefs, head cooks, food preparation, and food handling supervisors. Restaurant growth has been stable, with the highest number of head cook jobs in Nevada and Alaska.
Your success in the culinary arts is really only limited by your imagination. We have become a food conscious society, enjoying the arts of fine cuisine, engineering our tastes toward exotic, healthy, or allergen cautious specifications, constantly on the go, but taking our to- go food products with us. We are a society that enjoys new recipes, innovative ideas in presentation, and food service conveniences.
Wherever you go, there will be a demand for food services. You can choose to work within a tourism sector that comes to life only six months out of the year, or in a city bristling with businesses and entertainment. You could decide with your degree, to give cooking classes or work with a hospital creating menus for diabetics or other special needs diets. You could discover that your true expertise is in desserts, specializing as the pastry chef for a restaurant or the bakery chef at a grocer. You could become a wedding cake specialist or open a desserts shop.
If your heart is set on becoming a master chef, than then complete your certification in the culinary arts and look for cooks’ positions within the restaurant industry. Choose restaurants with a reputation for delivering quality foods or that have the potential to become highly rated with a little extra loving care.
Make reading recipes a part of your daily habits, and experimenting with new recipes a favorite part of your day. Be bold. Be enterprising. Suggest new menu items you know you can deliver and that will be agreeable to the public. Use your imagination always so that when that appetizing platter rolls around, the customer will say happily, “now that looks good enough to eat.”