One of the most populated states in the Midwest, Minnesota has over 5.4 million people living within its borders. This includes the almost 700,000 people living in Minnesota’s two biggest cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis. Even with all of the major cities in Minnesota, the cost of living is only 4% above the national average.
There are a ton of high-quality restaurants in Minnesota, and they span different cuisines and tastes. Since it is located in the Midwest, Minnesota offers chefs access to the freshest beef possible. Some of the highest ranked restaurants in Minnesota are Monte Carlo, Black Sheep Pizza, and Bar La Grassa.
If you want to become a chef in Minnesota, there are 10 schools that can help you get there. Six are located in or very close to the Twin Cities, but the other four are dispersed throughout the state. An average acceptance rate of 84% means that you may be able to skip over demanding admissions processes. Tuition in Mississippi costs, on average, $7,537. This is partially offset by the average scholarship award of $1,221.
Culinary Schools in Minnesota
Most culinary programs in Minnesota are offered at technical and community colleges. At these locations, you may be able to choose between a one-year certificate and two-year Associate’s degree. If you attend a larger university, you can earn a Bachelor’s degree in culinary arts.
The curriculum of your culinary arts program depends on what you focus on. A general culinary arts program gives you the widest variety of skills, preparing you for work in many different settings. Focusing on baking/pastry arts can help you get a pastry chef job, work in a bakery, or own your own bakery. Food preparation involves preparing food that is aesthetically pleasing in addition to delicious.
As you move throughout your culinary program, you’ll be expected to continue practicing your skills outside of the classroom. While you may learn how to filet beef and dice peppers in your first week of class, you shouldn’t leave your knowledge there. Practicing can help you develop precision and speed in your work.
After you have completed your culinary program, you have to decide how you want to use it to build a career. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants, there are other possible work environments for culinary graduates. For instance, you may choose to work as a caterer or private chef and work with different clients. If you are interested in being self-employed, you may want to look into owning your own restaurant or catering company.
In Minnesota, some of the primary culinary employers are Benihana, the Colony at Eden Prairie, and EHS Hospitality Group.
You may wonder about what else you need to do to work as a chef after you earn your culinary degree. However, one of the benefits of working in Minnesota is that you do not need any license or certificate. However, you may choose to go after American Culinary Federation certification. After passing a written and skills exam, you can get your certificate.
While salaries differ significantly based on experience and seniority, you generally tend to earn more money as you gain experience. Line chefs tend to earn the lowest salaries in the kitchen. However, your earning potential can increase as you move through the ranks of sous chef and executive chef.
The average salary for a cook in Minnesota is $21,900 per year (O*Net, 2012). Minnesota chefs earn an average salary of $40,700 per year (O*Net, 2012).
While job openings fluctuate depending on the region you live in, the overall job outlook for culinary professionals is strong. Restaurant cooks can anticipate a 10% increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010). However, the demand for chefs is not expected to change significantly in the same time frame (O*Net, 2010).