Food Preparation/ Hospitality and Tourism Careers

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The culinary industry is enormous, and opportunities abound in many sectors of the job market. Positions in food preparation generally don’t require a degree or advanced training, but some positions may benefit from completing a culinary program. Many employers seek food preparation workers with at least a high school diploma and most receive on-the-job training.

Food preparation employees take care of routine tasks, such as slicing vegetables, slicing meats and measuring ingredients, and are typically also responsible for keeping a clean kitchen environment as they work.

Below, we provide information about food preparation careers, including employment outlook, salary, training, education, and much more.

Once you’ve read this resource on Food, Hospitality and Tourism Careers we encourage you to keep browsing our website’s extensive career guide with details on job options, education requirements, and salaries for many careers.

Bartenders

Education and Certifications Bartenders Need

Typically, to enter a bartender career, workers need to be 18 and older and complete short-term on-the-job training. There are no educational requirements required for a bartender career. However, people who desire to work at higher end restaurants or establishments need more experience and some vocational training.

Training programs include teaching bartenders about customer service, cocktail recipes, state and local laws, how to deal with difficult or unruly patrons, teamwork and proper food procedures.

What They Do

Working as a bartender is not as easy as it sounds. To be a successful mixologist, another name for bartenders, workers need to not only learn the art of creating the perfect drink, but also how to deal with difficult customers (especially ones that reach their drinking limit), fix broken equipment that can cost the bar time and money, memorize food menus as well as hundreds of drinks and mix them on command.

A bartending career includes informing patrons of drink specials, taking drink orders, serving wine, draft or bottled beer as well as other alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, and mixing cocktails and other drinks. A bartender career also includes checking ID, cleaning glasses and tables, stocking the bar area, operating the registers and collecting payments as well as ordering liquor, bar and related supplies.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Though possible, career advancement for bartenders is relatively limited. In order to find a better job, bartenders need to locate a busier or more expensive restaurant where the pay and tips are higher. After becoming more experienced, mixologists can advance into managerial positions such as restaurant general manager, maître d’ or dining room supervisor.

See also: What can I do with a Culinary degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $21,690
2016 number of jobs 611,200
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 2%
Entry-level education requirements No formal educational requirement
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $17,472
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $41,621

 

Chefs and Head Cooks

Education and Certifications Chefs and Head Cooks Need

Typically people need a high school diploma, formal training from a technical, culinary arts school or community college and experience to enter a head cook career. Some chefs learn skills through apprenticeships or in the armed forces.

Culinary programs and vocational schools offer classes under experienced chefs in areas including food sanitation procedures, kitchen work, menu planning and purchasing/inventory methods. Many programs require head cooks to gain real world kitchen experience through apprenticeships. Associations such as culinary institutes, and trade unions and the U.S. Department of Labor sponsor apprenticeships; they typically last for about two years.

Certification in the culinary arts can show competence in the field and aid in advancement, however certification is not required.

Find the best school for you:
The 20 Best Culinary Schools
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What They Do

Chef careers attract people with a love of cooking and all-things food. Chefs and head cooks manage daily food preparations, food-related issues and staff members at restaurants or other eating establishments. Managerial, business and marketing skills are also a large part of becoming a talented and efficient chef.

A chef career and head cook career involve monitoring food freshness and ingredients, managing, training and hiring other cooks and workers, planning menus and creating recipes, deciding on food presentation and ordering kitchen tools, equipment and supplies.

Chef careers and head cook careers include overseeing all equipment and supplies as well as work area sanitation and safety.

See also: What can I do with a Culinary degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $45,950
2016 number of jobs 146,500
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 10%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $25,020
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $78,570

 

Food Service Managers

Education and Certifications Food Service Managers Need

Individuals typically do not need a college degree to begin a food service management career. However, increasingly employers seek candidates with some postsecondary education and training. Many food service management companies and national restaurant chains recruit at college hospitality and food management programs. Technical schools and community colleges provide training for individuals interested in a food service manager career.

Most certification and degree programs offer work-study training as well as classes in areas such as nutrition and food preparation, business management and computer science. In addition, restaurant chains and food management companies, such as healthcare food service management, offer intensive training programs. These programs include food preparation, nutrition, employee management and education on company procedures.

Food services managers don’t need certification; however the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers the Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) certificate to recognize outstanding professional service of food service managers.

Find the best school for you:
The 20 Best Online Bachelor in Hospitality Management Degree Programs
The 30 Best Hospitality Programs in the United States

What They Do

If you enjoy restaurant management, customer interaction, and the food services industry, then food service management may be in your future. A food services manager wears many hats; they ensure customers are satisfied, oversee daily restaurant operations and occasionally serve food and drinks to patrons.

A food service manager career involves reviewing daily food and beverage inventory, restaurant equipment and supplies and overseeing culinary preparation and meal quantity. A food service manager career also includes complying with all health codes as well as employee and food safety.

Food services managers hire and fire employees and make sure employees receive training. A food services manager career also involves finding resolutions for any customer complaints, designing and planning employee schedules and duties and reviewing all payroll, budget and financial transactions. Professionals in food service management also design and implement employee performance and patron service standards.

See also: What can I do with a Culinary degree?

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $52,030
2016 number of jobs 308,700
Employment growth forecast, 2016 - 26 9%
Entry-level education requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, wage of lowest 10 percent $29,290
2017, wage of the highest 10 percent $90,290

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by
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