Ohio Culinary Schools
Tucked into the Midwest, Ohio offers fresh produce and beef to chefs all over the state. There are over 11.5 million residents in Ohio, many of whom live in the state's largest cities of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. Some of the greatest restaurants in Ohio are located in these cities, including Scioto Ribber, Restaurant Salaam, and 9 Tables.
Next to the constant access to fresh food, Ohio's cost of living is one of its most attractive features. The cost of living in Ohio is 9% below the national average. This is important to know if you plan on owning your own restaurant and pricing menu items.
There are 18 culinary schools in Ohio, many of which are located in or near Cincinnati. These schools have certificate, Associate's degree, Bachelor's degree, and Master's degree programs. The overall average cost of tuition is $7,147, which is made even more affordable with the average scholarship award of $2,360.
Before you can choose a school, it's important to really think about what type of degree you want. A certificate only requires one year of full-time study, while an Associate's degree requires a two-year commitment. You should plan on four years to earn a Bachelor's degree. The complexity and thoroughness of your education moves up with each degree.
There are some tasks you may be expected to do every day in a kitchen. This includes tasks like dicing vegetables, filleting beef, cleaning fish, and other apparently mundane tasks. However, these are some of the most important tasks in a kitchen, so you'll need to perfect them throughout the course of your program. You can expect to learn the technical skill early on and then practice it throughout.
However, it's not all about routine kitchen skills in Ohio. You also learn higher-level chef skills like running a kitchen, supervising staff, planning a menu, and creating appealing dishes. These skills can prepare you for sous chef or executive chef positions.
There are three main avenues you can pursue as you begin your culinary career: restaurant work, catering work, or private chef work. Restaurant work tends to be the most popular, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of working chefs work for restaurants. If you are business-minded, you can also pursue a business opportunity by opening a restaurant or starting a catering company. Self-employed chefs typically have to work longer hours than chefs employed by a culinary company.
Ohio has many prominent culinary employers. Some of these include Community First Solutions, Landry's Restaurants, and Blue Koi Sushi and Wraps.
Ohio does not currently have any certification or licensure requirements for chefs. This offers lots of freedom to chefs as well as restaurants that hire them. Although no certification is required, there are third-party certification companies. The American Culinary Federation has one of the most trusted certification programs in the country.
Your culinary salary is influenced by many factors, the most important of which are seniority and experience. You can expect to earn a lower salary when you start out as a line chef. However, your earning potential will likely increase as you move through the ranks of sous chef and executive chef.
The hospitality industry is continuing to grow across the entire country, which can lead to a greater career outlook for chefs. Cooks can expect a 13% increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010). Chefs should not anticipate a significant change in demand in that same time frame (O*Net, 2010).