Virginia is considered one of the top tourist states in the country, thanks to large cities like Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake. In total, Virginia has over 8.2 million residents, in addition to the tourists that visit every year. Residents and tourists alike enjoy dining at some of Virginia’s best restaurants, which include Restaurant Eve, L’Auberge Chez Francois, and the Majestic.
There are 18 culinary schools located throughout Virginia, giving you the opportunity to earn a culinary degree no matter where you live. The average cost of tuition in Virginia is $8,184, but tuition ranges from $2,808 to $17,496.
You have three program choices when you start a culinary arts program in Virginia. A certificate is the shortest option, and it takes just one year of full-time study. At two years, an Associate’s degree program is slightly longer. A Bachelor’s degree requires four year of full-time study, and it also gives you the chance to pursue a Master’s degree.
Culinary Schools in Virginia
As a new culinary student, you will build a strong base of practical knowledge that you return to throughout your program. This base of knowledge is made up of practical kitchen skills, kitchen terminology, and how to work in a busy kitchen. These themes will come up again and again in your course, so it’s important to practice.
While practical cooking skills are very important, that’s not where your program ends. You can also expect to get a thorough education in executive chef duties. You’ll get hands-on experience in running a busy kitchen, timing different dishes so everything comes out at the right time, and planning a menu.
The skills and knowledge you glean in culinary school can be applied to a variety of different work settings and environments. The most common of these is the restaurant; in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 46% of chefs work in restaurants.
If you work as a caterer or private chef, you may go to different party locations and into clients’ private homes to cook for them. These positions tend to require longer hours, particularly if you are self-employed.
Some of the most prominent culinary employers in Virginia are Patrice & Associaties, Zoe’s Kitchen, and Bonefish Grill.
Very few places in the United States require licensure for cooks and chefs, and Virginia is not one of them. After earning your degree, you do not have to worry about getting licensed or certified to begin your career.
Despite the fact that certification is not required, some chefs find it easier to find a job with a culinary certificate. The American Culinary Federation offers certification in different fields and at different expertise levels.
Chefs earn varying salaries that are in line with their experience, seniority, and what type of restaurant they work in. In a restaurant kitchen, executive chefs tend to be the most highly-paid chefs, followed by sous chefs and line chefs.
While living in Virginia, you can look forward to an excellent job outlook between 2010 and 2020. The demand for chefs is expected to increase 2% between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010). Job openings for cooks are expected to grow by 18% in the same time period (O*Net, 2010).