4 Culinary Arts Careers to Consider

If you love food, then you may want to consider culinary arts careers for your future. There are several different careers in culinary arts that you can choose from that are very rewarding and exciting. Culinary arts careers are varied, and within each category, there is the possibility for specialization. They have varying degrees of pay and education requirements, so doing some research in advance will be helpful in deciding what kind of cooking career will interest you most.

Careers as Short Order Cooks

One of the most popular jobs that help people decide if they are interested in culinary arts careers is the short order cook.  Short order cooks usually work in simple to mid-grade restaurants, and their responsibilities are varied. They may do food preparation, such as cutting and chopping vegetables, as well as cooking meals like hamburgers, omelets and sandwiches.  There is rarely an education requirement for short order cooks, and they usually gain experience on the job while they work under the supervision of a head chef or kitchen manager.

Working as Professional Cooks and Chefs

Professional chefs and cooks are also popular jobs amongst those who are exploring culinary arts careers. Chefs and cooks are more likely to work in mid-grade to high-end restaurants. They often have creative control over the types of meals prepared. They may specialize in a specific kind of food, such as Italian or vegan dishes. Chefs may also be required to supervise other cooks in the kitchen. Chefs and cooks are more likely to have an education in cooking. Diplomas and degrees are obtained at vocational colleges and usually take 2 to 4 years to complete. After college, chefs and cooks often do apprenticeships under more experienced chefs. Apprenticeships help less-experienced cooks develop knowledge and get practice in their cooking careers.

Careers as Bakers

If cakes, pastries, pies and breads are more to your interest, you might be better suited for a career as a baker. When exploring culinary arts careers, sometimes people are not sure what kind of food they want to cook, but many find that baking is what they really love as they get more experience at it. Some bakers are more general, while others choose to specialize.  They may be ethnic bakers, pastry chefs or wedding cake bakers. Bakers may learn almost entirely on the job, or they may have a diploma or degree. As for chefs and cooks, a degree or diploma for a baker is usually obtained in a 2 to 4 year program at a vocational college.

Careers as Nutritional Counselors

For those who enjoy working with students in public schools or in wellness consulting firms, there are many opportunities to work as nutritional counselors. In this role, the basics of nutrition and eating healthily are provided to educate young people and adults how to eat for optimum health. In addition, nutritional counselors prepare healthy meals for others to teach them how to eat better. Some nutritional counselors come from a background in other culinary arts careers. Many others start out in the medical, fitness or nursing professions and then decide to specialize in nutritional counseling and meal preparation as a career. This can be a very rewarding career that helps many people make the right choices when it comes to eating well and getting in shape to meet fitness and weight loss goals.