Job Skills and ConditionsProfessional chefs have a love for food and are passionate about its preparation. You need to be artistic, creative, detail-oriented, flexible and organized. Good math skills, hand-eye coordination and a keen sense of smell and taste are imperative. Successful chefs have a good sense of teamwork and understand the importance of professionalism.
Chefs and cooks are on their feet for long periods and often work evenings, weekends and holidays. They need to be able to function in close quarters during busy periods, lift heavy objects and work near hot ovens and grills. While the kitchen staff of hotels, clubs and restaurants can expect evening and weekend shifts, institutional professionals such as those who work in schools, hospitals and corporate dining facilities are more likely to have conventional work schedules.
Job LocationsFood service plays a major role in work at:
- Cruise ships and railway lines
- CafĂ©s and bistros
- Bakeries and pastry shops
- Catering businesses
- Food research and development facilities
- Public and private schools, from elementary to university level
- Grocery and specialty food stores
- Hospitals, health service and corporate dining facilities
- Sports nutritionist
- Food service entrepreneur
Job Titles and DescriptionsAmerica's Career Infonet and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook gives detailed information about the skills, abilities, work activities and recommended educational requirements for jobs in fields.
Salaries and Projected Job GrowthSalaries vary widely according to the required skills, experience required, type and size of the food service operation. A large metropolitan area such as the DFW metroplex has more career possibilities than average, with higher salary ranges. For current information see Americaâ€™s Career Infonet and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
Professional AssociationsStudents enrolled in a training program accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation may join the ACF as junior members. Upon graduation, students who are members may apply for certification as culinarians (CC) or pastry culinarians (CPC). With so many candidates competing in the job market, it is vital to prove your culinary/pastry expertise. Certification through the American Culinary Federation demonstrates skill, knowledge and professionalism to the food service industry
Certified CulinarianÂ® (CCÂ®): An entry level culinarian within a commercial foodservice operation responsible for preparing and cooking sauces, cold food, fish, soups and stocks, meats, vegetables, eggs and other food items.
Certified Pastry CulinarianÂ® (CPCÂ®): An entry level culinarian within a pastry foodservice operation responsible for the preparation and production of pies, cookies, cakes, breads, rolls, desserts or other baked goods.