Massachusetts, one of the most densely populated states in New England, offers plenty of dining options to residents and tourists. Like other New England states, Massachusetts offers chefs access to fresh, delicious seafood on a daily basis. You may find more restaurants in Massachusetts’ largest cities, which include Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. Some of the finest restaurants in Massachusetts are Area Four, Bergamot, and Journeyman.
The cost of living in Massachusetts is about 38% higher than the national average. However, it is important to keep in mind that salaries tend to be higher as well. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the median household income in Massachusetts is about $13,000 above the national average.
Massachusetts is home to 11 different culinary schools, many of which are located in or close to Boston. The average tuition cost in Massachusetts is $12,282, although tuition can cost as little as $600 at North Shore Community College. Many students are awarded scholarships, leading to an average scholarship award of $4,732. An average acceptance rate of 56% means that you have a good chance of getting into the school of your choice with a strong application.
Culinary Schools in Massachusetts
You may have to choose whether you want a certificate or Associate’s degree. A certificate can generally be completed in one year or less, while an Associate’s degree can generally be earned with two years of full-time study.
Culinary programs in Massachusetts are meant to give you a thorough education in every part of working as a chef. This includes perfecting mundane tasks like prepping vegetables for dinner service as well as more lofty tasks like planning menus and doing food pairings. Your program will start with the simpler tasks, since you will need to be fast and accurate to get hired by a kitchen.
If you plan on one day opening your own restaurant, you may want to take courses that can help you achieve that. Some schools allow you to take business and management courses on top of your culinary courses.
One of the best parts of earning a culinary degree is the variety of ways in which you can use it. Far and away, restaurants are the largest employers of chefs. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46% of working chefs work in restaurants. Other choices for culinary graduates include working as a private chef or working for a catering company. Overall, some of the largest culinary employers in Massachusetts include Smith & Wollensky, HARU, and LSG Sky Chefs.
If working for yourself seems like something you want to pursue, there are two main paths to follow. You can start a catering company or open your own restaurant.
In Massachusetts, you do not need a license or certificate to work as a chef or cook. This means that you can start your career immediately after earning your degree or certificate. While there are no certification requirements, you may choose to pursue American Culinary Federation certification. This option can demonstrate your expertise in one or multiple areas.
As a chef, your salary is influenced by a number of factors. Chefs with more experience and seniority tend to earn more money than newer chefs, and the type of restaurant you work in also plays a factor.
The average salary for a Massachusetts cook is $27,400 per year (O*Net, 2012). Chefs in Massachusetts earn an average salary of $52,000 per year (O*Net, 2012).
The outlook for chefs and cooks in Massachusetts fluctuates based on what job title you have. While the demand for chefs is not expected to change significantly between 2010 and 2020, the demand for cooks is expected to grow by 9% in the same time frame (O*Net, 2010).