This rural western state is fairly sparsely populated; despite its large size, only 582,000 people call Wyoming home. Wyoming is populated with ranches, farms, and cities like Cheyenne, Casper, and Laramie. These cities are also where some of Wyoming’s best restaurants, like Snake River Brewing Company, Cafe Genevieve, and Rendezvous Bistro, are located.
There are many benefits to becoming a chef in Wyoming. First, the cost of living in Wyoming is slightly below the national average. Second, living in a rural state gives you access to fresh meat, seasonal produce, and delicious dairy all year long.
There are two culinary schools in Wyoming, located on opposite sides of the state. The average cost of tuition is $2,504, which is one of the lowest costs in the country. Surprisingly, the average scholarship award in Wyoming is $2,628. Wyoming also features an average class size of 15 students, which is small enough to give you plenty of time to talk with your professors and peers.
Culinary Schools in Wyoming
There are two main culinary degrees you can choose from in Wyoming. You can choose to earn a certificate, which generally takes one year or less. Your other option is an Associate’s degree, a two-year program that results in a diploma. Both of these degrees can help you get a great start in your culinary career.
Regardless of which degree level you choose, the process is similar. You start your program with routine kitchen skills that you may use every day in your career. While you’ll likely only spend a few weeks on these skills, you need to take what you’ve learned and then practice your skills at home to perfect them. You may be tested on these skills throughout your program so that you instructor can assess your progress.
On top of kitchen skills, you need higher-level chef skills if you want to move through the ranks of line chef, sous chef, and executive chef. The end of your program may focus on menu planning, dish creation, and how to run a kitchen.
There are many significant culinary employers in Wyoming, including Panda Restaurant Group, Sodexo, and Grand Teton National Park. As you may note, most chef employers are restaurants. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants. Catering is another popular field for chefs, and you can work for a catering company or become a private caterer. Some chefs also find work as a private chef.
If you have a mind for business, have you ever considered becoming self-employed? You can find success as a restaurant owner, independent private chef, or catering company owner.
Wyoming, like almost every other state in the country, does not have any licensing requirements for chefs and cooks. This allows you to start your career as soon as you have graduated. While no licensure is required, there are options you can pursue. The American Culinary Federation allows you to become certified in one of many specialties.
Chef’s salaries are affected by many factors. However, you may find that seniority and experience play the biggest role in your salary. You can gain seniority by moving through the ranks of line chef, sous chef, and executive chef.
Thanks to the growing hospitality industry, there are always new career opportunities for chefs and cooks. Cooks can anticipate a 4% increase in job openings between 2010 and 2020 (O*Net, 2010). In the same time period, chefs can look forward to a 9% increase in job openings (O*Net, 2010).