Pennsylvania Culinary Schools
The small eastern state of Pennsylvania features a wide variety of cuisines and cooking styles. As one of the country's most historic states, there is a big focus on American culture and food. Pennsylvania has 12.7 million residents, and there are thousands of tourists that cross state lines every year.
Despite the huge tourist industry and all Pennsylvania has to offer, the cost of living is only 1% above the national average. In addition to its low cost of living, Pennsylvania has lots of excellent restaurants. Some of the best restaurants in Pennsylvania are Aki Steak House, Garryowen Irish Pub, and Warehouse Gourmet Bistro & Brewpub.
There are 33 culinary schools in Pennsylvania, which is impressive given the state's small size. These schools offer a variety of certificate, Associate's degree, and Bachelor's degree programs. There are even four Master's degree programs for students that have Bachelor's degrees already. The average tuition cost in Pennsylvania is $13,395, but there are many schools with tuition costs that are lower than $10,000. In addition, there is an average scholarship award of $3,411.
One of the most important parts of starting your culinary program is deciding which type of degree you want to earn. Most schools offer certificate programs, which last one year or less, and Associate's programs, which take approximately two years to complete. A Bachelor's degree is the most thorough program, and it takes about four years of full-time study.
There are three different fields you cover in culinary school: basic kitchen skills, chef duties, and food safety. While all three parts are very important, food safety may well be the most important part of a culinary program. This part of your education covers food storage, food safety laws in Pennsylvania, and how food must be served.
In addition to these core areas, you may have the chance to take elective courses. You can take culinary elective courses that focus on different cuisines, or you can take business courses that get you ready for restaurant ownership.
You may be able to start searching for your first culinary job shortly before completing your program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 46% of chefs work in restaurants, so you may find most of your job openings in restaurants. However, there are many other opportunities to consider. Catering companies and private chef companies are always hiring skilled, educated chefs. There are also self-employment opportunities for business-minded individuals. Chefs may choose to open a restaurant or open their own catering company.
In Pennsylvania, some of the most prominent culinary employers are Peddler's Village, Riddle Village, and the Capital Grille.
In Pennsylvania, there are no licensure requirements for chefs. However, in each restaurant, one supervisory employee must take a food certification course.
If you want to pursue certification that can help you get a job, you can look into American Culinary Federation certification. This process requires you to pass a written and skills exam.
Because of the different types of chefs and work locations, there is a huge amount of variance in what chefs earn. In a kitchen, executive chefs usually earn the highest salaries because they have the most responsibility. They are followed by sous chefs and line chefs.
Across the board, the outlook for culinary professionals is strong. Job growth rates in Pennsylvania are similar to national average job growth rates. While O*Net does not predict a large change in job openings for chefs, cooks can anticipate a 12% increase in jobs (O*Net, 2010).