Five Ways to Prepare for Culinary School
Many of us love to dream up new and exciting dishes. With a Culinary Arts associate degree from Lackawanna College, that dream will transform into a fulfilling career!
Our program emphasizes the skills and knowledge a working leader in the food industry needs to know. Our courses cover important topics, such as cooking techniques, nutrition, food safety and sustainability. The result? You’ll leave our classrooms prepared for success.
There are myriad benefits to a career in the culinary arts, and one is salary. The average annual wage for chefs and head cooks in 2021 was $50,160. This number grows with experience. For example, the average Executive Chef’s salary in the United States is currently about $73,500. And in the private chef market, salaries can be up to $10,000 higher.
A Strong Job Outlook
Jobs in the culinary arts are booming, too. A 25% growth in employment is expected by 2030 for roles like chefs and head cooks. With an associate degree, you’ll have the skills, experience and confidence to make you a strong candidate for one of these positions.
How to Prepare for Culinary School
Exploring culinary schools near you but don’t know where to begin? Start simple with the following steps.
1. Build experience in a restaurant.
If you’re curious whether a career in the culinary arts is the right fit, now’s the time to build some experience. Look for entry-level openings in restaurants. You may not start in the kitchen, but you’ll experience the fast pace of the culinary world firsthand. This means you’ll hit the ground running with applicable experience when you begin your degree. Moreover, chefs take note of restaurant work on a resume. Even starting small shows commitment and passion!
2. Understand relevant skills.
Research the most relevant traits and skills you’ll need for a career in the culinary world. Do you have a creative streak and pay close attention to detail? Do you enjoy working with others? Are you an excellent multi-tasker? If this sounds like you, you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction. Other important skills include knife handling and a knowledge of basic kitchen terms. The best culinary schools will help you develop these skills, but it never hurts to start early.
3. Choose your specialization.
There are various areas of specialty in the food industry. Before applying to culinary schools near you, consider what sounds exciting. You may see yourself as a cook or chef working in a restaurant. Perhaps you’re interested in catering work providing big meals for events like weddings. Maybe you’re someone who wants to bake professionally, instead. These are all options for you with a Culinary Arts degree!
4. Know the requirements for admission to culinary school.
Every program has specific admission requirements. Explore them before applying to make sure you’re prepared. It’s common for programs to require a high school diploma or GED. Some want you to submit a resume or statement of purpose. With your documents in order, you’ll be ready to apply. At Lackawanna College, we recommend that you connect with an admissions counselor to get up-to-date, relevant information about the application process. We’re here to help!
5. Identify your inspiration.
In any career, success starts with inspiration. Ask yourself: What do you love about the culinary world? Creating a delicious meal for loved ones? Seeing others smile when they taste your dish? That inspiration will drive you to succeed in culinary school. Soon, you’ll be living that inspiration every day.
If a Culinary Arts associate degree sounds exciting to you, apply today!