A Culinary Arts Salary Overview


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Culinary Arts Salary

Culinary arts may be defined as the art of cooking. ‘Culinary’ means something related to cooking or kitchens. The scope of this relatively new field is gradually expanding as young people increasingly join this field.

With the ever-growing demand of culinary skills, job opportunities are being created in this particular field for people who want to select culinary arts as their career of choice. With this said people are interested in the culinary arts salary.

One of the reasons why many people choose culinary arts as their profession is because of the challenges it offers. For many, the ability to be creative and satisfying the palletes of their customers on a regular basis makes the job interesting and rewarding.

There are different areas of expertise in the field of culinary arts and there are many categories and job titles. The most common category is of course in the Restaurant sector.

This basically involves all the people providing cuisine in restaurants and other food services establishments ie. caferterias,buffets,etc. There are various levels of jobs in the restaurant as well. Chefs and cooks specifically cook ingredients according to recipes. Head chefs or Executive chefs coordinate all dining operations of a restaurant,hotel,or other eating establishment.

The food preparation workers perform repetitive activities and clean culinary equipment. There may also be divisions like Fry cook,vegetable cook,grill cook and other positions depending on the size of the establishment.

Most large establishments or specialty chain restaurants are run by a professional chef which usually have a larger staff and better salaries while a small individual restaurant obviously has fewer employees and fewer opportunities for career advancement.

Another field of culinary arts is the Hospitality sector which include hotels,resorts,and spas. This is a sector that has been rapidly growing and consequently giving rise to many culinary art careers. The specifications of a career in hospitality vary according to specialization or the type of hotel,resort,or spa one is serving. Some careers include Food and Beverage Controller,Food and Beverage Manager and Banquet Services Manager.

Salaries of chefs,cooks,and other culinary positions vary based on a number of factors, the primary among them being work environment or style of the organization you work for.

Fine-dining restaurants usually pay a lot more than smaller individual restaurants(depending if they have a certain niche or clientele). Other top-paying establishments include luxury hotels,resorts,spas,and private catering companies.

The lower paying jobs are generally cafeterias, cruise ships, and fast food restaurants.

Besides work environment, your personal qualifications also matter. Previous work experience is of course an added benefit, along with a natural creative flair.

A degree or diploma is usually very useful since according to the US Census Bureau, most of the people in the culinary arts sector only have a high school degree. Having a degree in any formal discipline gives an added edge to your resume. Bachelor’s degree holders earn almost twice as much as non-degree holding people.

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The salaries range depending on the type of establishment, as I’ve mentioned earlier and geographical locations.

A suburban establishment typically pays a line cook $8-$14 per hour, while a line cook in San Francisco gets around $10-$22. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Statistics,

Chefs and Head Cooks had an hourly salary ranging from of $7.66 to $25.86, restaurant cooks from $6.58 to $13.21, and institution and cafeteria workers from $6.10 to $13.34 and fast food cooks from $5.68 to $9.13.

Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of chefs and head cooks were $34,370 in May 2006. * Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of cooks, private household were $22,870 in May 2006. *Median annual wage-and-and salary earnings of institution and cafeteria cooks were $20,410 in May 2006. * Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of restaurant cooks were $20,340 in May 2006. * Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of fast-food cooks were $15,410 in May 2006.

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In the management areas, Median annual earnings of salaried food service managers were $43,020 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $34,210 and $55,100. * The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,400, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,810. *

It is important to research the career options and earning range of a particular establishment or area before deciding to join. Nowadays, many interesting courses in culinary arts are also made available for students interested in cuisine. A formalized degree at the college level, a graduation, gives an added advantage as well.

Culinary art is a fast-evolving field and has numerous career possibilities. It also provides job satisfaction for people interested in cooking and service. Typically, like any other industry, careers in this sector are determined by personal ability and work environment.

* All figures according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov.