Nestled in the Midwest, Nebraska offers chefs access to a variety of fresh, excellent foods. When you work in Nebraska, you may be able to get fresh beef, vegetables, and fruit on a daily basis. There are 1.8 million people living in Nebraska, many of whom live in the state’s largest cities of Omaha, Lincoln, and Bellevue. Some of the best restaurants in Nebraska are Suwannee Thai Cuisine, Sin City Grill, and Canteen Bar & Grille.
In addition to having constant access to fresh food, Nebraska chefs can enjoy a low cost of living. The cost of living in Nebraska is 11% lower than the national average.
Nebraska is home to four different culinary schools that can help you reach your career goals. These schools are equally dispersed throughout the state, making it easy for you to attend a culinary school no matter where you live in the state. Nebraska has an average tuition cost of $2,621, which is among the lowest in the country. On top of that, the average scholarship award in the state is $1,191.
Culinary Schools in Nebraska
One of the first decisions you have to make as a culinary student is what type of degree you want to earn. Since all of Nebraska’s programs are located in community colleges, the most popular options are certificates and Associate’s degrees. In fact, most schools offer both. You should plan on putting in one year of full-time work to earn a certificate and two years of full-time work to earn an Associate’s degree.
Chefs have very demanding job duties, and your culinary school should prepare you for every aspect of working as a chef. You will likely start out by learning line chef duties. You may learn knife skills like julienning, cutting, and mincing. It’s also important to be able to identify different proteins and how to break them down. You can expect to build on these skills throughout the duration of your program.
The later part of your culinary program should prepare you for more executive chef duties. You may learn how to put together an appealing menu, how to do food pairings, and what you need in order to run a successful kitchen.
Deciding on a career path is an incredibly important step after completing your culinary program. Although you may change jobs several times throughout the course of your career, it is important to start gaining experience right away. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 46% of chefs work in restaurants, so that’s where you may find most of your career prospects.
Not ready to jump into a restaurant gig? You may also work as a private chef or caterer. These jobs usually involve creating a wider variety of food, which may improve your abilities in many different cuisines.
Overall, some of the largest culinary employers in Nebraska are BBRG, Guckenheimer, and Patrice & Associates.
One of the great parts of living in Nebraska is the fact that it does not have any certification requirements for chefs. Instead of worrying about licensure, you can jump right into your job search. If you think certification may help you in your job search, American Culinary Federation certification is one of the most respected options.
In general, chefs and cooks in Nebraska earn between $16,500 per year and $55,100 per year (O*Net, 2012). The huge range of salaries is due to the different levels of experience present in the culinary world. As you gain more experience and seniority, your earning potential is likely to increase as well.
Cooks and chefs in Nebraska can look forward to a sunny job outlook through 2020. According to O*Net, the demand for restaurant cooks is supposed to increase by 10% between 2010 and 2020. This is expected to result in 160 new jobs per year (O*Net, 2010).