Alyssammayhew’s Blog

January 15, 2009

Occupational Outlook For Cooking School Graduates

Filed under: Uncategorized — alyssammayhew @ 4:13 pm

I’m sure many potential chefs have wondered, “What is the occupational outlook for cooking school graduates in the USA?”

A new web page has been added to the chef training school: Culinary Institute in Houston, Texas, to describe just this.  Here we give you a brief overview of these statistics.  This information was originally obtained from, the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2008-2009 edition.

In 2006 , Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers held 3.1 million jobs.  The distribution of jobs among the various types of chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers was as follows:

Food preparation workers 902,000
Cooks, restaurant 850,000
Cooks, fast food 629,000
Cooks, institution and cafeteria 401,000
Cooks, short order 195,000
Chefs and head cooks 115,000
Cooks, private household 4,900
Cooks, all other 16,000

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Job Outlook

Job opportunities for chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers are expected to be plentiful because of the continued growth and expansion of food services outlets, resulting in average employment growth, and because of the large numbers of workers who leave these occupations and need to be replaced.

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Job prospects. Job openings for chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers are expected to be plentiful through 2016; however, competition should be keen for jobs in the top kitchens of higher end restaurants. Although job growth will create many new positions, the overwhelming majority of job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who leave this large occupational group. Many chef, cook, and food preparation worker jobs are attractive to people seeking first-time or short-term employment, additional income, or a flexible schedule. Employers typically hire a large number of part-time workers, but many of these workers soon transfer to other occupations or stop working, creating numerous openings for those entering the field. At higher end restaurants, the fast pace, long hours, and high energy levels required to succeed also cause some top chefs and cooks to leave for other jobs, creating job openings.

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Earnings

Earnings of chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers vary greatly by region and the type of employer. Earnings usually are highest in elegant restaurants and hotels, where many executive chefs are employed, and in major metropolitan and resort areas.

Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of chefs and head cooks were $34,370 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $25,910 and $46,040. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,160, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $60,730. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of chefs and head cooks were:

Other amusement and recreations industries $46,460
Traveler accommodation 40,020
Special food services 36,450
Full-service restaurants 32,360
Limited-service eating places 27,560

Median annual wage-and-salary earnings of cooks, private household were $22,870 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $17,960 and $31,050. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $14,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,040.

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(www.culinaryinstitute.edu)

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