With 1.6 million people in this large state, Idaho is a fairly sparsely populated state. However, there are still plenty of excellent restaurants here. Many of Idaho’s highest-ranked restaurants are in its biggest cities, which include Boise, Nampa, and Meridian.
Idaho is known for being the potato state, so chefs here have access to some of the freshest and best potatoes in the country. Restaurants like Stax, Joel’s, and the Red Bento all feature local and fresh food. In addition to the culinary opportunities here, the cost of living is 6% lower than the national average. This can make it easier to get by on a student or new chef salary.
If you want to get a culinary degree or certificate in Idaho, there are four schools you can choose to attend. These schools are located throughout the state, making a culinary degree accessible for almost everyone. The average cost of tuition in Idaho is $4,488, and Idaho students can earn an impressive average scholarship of $2,214.
Before you can choose a program, you have to decide what type of degree you want. You can earn a certificate, Associate’s degree, or Bachelor’s degree in Idaho. A certificate generally takes about one year, while an Associate’s degree takes two years. If you decide to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, you can expect it to take about four years.
Culinary Schools in Idaho
All culinary arts programs start with a strong foundation of basic culinary skills, which you then build on and improve throughout the course of your education. You may have to learn about knife skills, food prep, how to handle different types of protein, and what food pairings work well together.
A good portion of your culinary program will be spent on hands-on skills. When you get a kitchen chef job, you’ll need to be able to carry out tasks promptly, efficiently, and correctly. You will also be expected to adhere to Idaho food safety regulations.
There are a variety of career options for you after you complete your culinary program. Restaurants are the most popular employers of chefs, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 46% of chefs work in restaurants. If you would prefer to work in quieter setting, consider working for a catering company or becoming a private chef. If you are up for the challenge of owning your own business, you can own your own restaurant or catering company. This involves hiring staff, paying bills, and managing a budget in addition to being a chef.
There are lots of large culinary employers in Idaho, including Panda Restaurant Group, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, and Holiday Retirement.
Idaho has no licensing or certification requirements for cooks and chefs, which allows you to start your career as soon as you graduate from your culinary program. Your employer may require you to prove that you are knowledgeable in Idaho’s food safety laws and restrictions.
If you want to be able to prove your level of expertise to potential employers, consider applying for American Culinary Federation certification. You can select a specific field of certification, which you achieve after passing the required skills and written exam.
Salaries in Idaho differ significantly from chef to chef. In general, executive chefs are the highest paid in the field, followed by sous chefs, specialty chefs, and line chefs. In general, the more experience you have, the more earning potential you have.
The average salary for cooks in Idaho is $19,300 per year (O*Net, 2012). O*Net reports that the average chef’s salary in Idaho is $29,600 per year (O*Net, 2012).
As a chef or cook in Idaho, you can look forward to a favorable job outlook through 2020. Cooks are in great demand, with an anticipated job growth of 27% through 2020 (O*Net, 2010). This is more than twice the national average. Chefs can expect an approximate job opening increase of 8% between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010).