Culinary and Food Service Job Descriptions

Culinary Career Earnings Potential

Employment Outlook for the Food Service Industry

Training for a Culinary Career

Working Conditions in Restaurants, Hotels and Resorts

Culinary Employment Outlook

Find a Culinary
School Near You

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Chefs, cooks and food preparation workers held more than 2.8 million jobs in 2000. The distribution of jobs among the various types of chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers was as follows:

Food preparation workers 844,000
Restaurant Cooks 668,000
Fast Food Cooks 522,000
Institutional and Cafeteria Cooks 465,000
Short Order Cooks 205,000
Chefs and Head Cooks 139,000
Private Household Cooks 5,200

Culinary Careers Job Outlook

The US Department of Labor reports that there should be plenty of job openings for chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers through 2010. Many current cooks are reaching retirement age or are leaving the workforce, causing a great need for talented employees. In addition to needing new chefs and cooks to replace retiring workers, employment in the food service industry is expected to expand, as more Americans spend their leisure time in restaurants rather then cooking themselves, and travel more, staying more nights in hotels.

The largest demand for skilled cooks and chefs is expected in sit-down restaurants, which offer more varied menus. As the population ages, people are less willing to put up with fast food restaurants, and seek a more personal experience.

Because of the increase in demand for higher end services, the number of openings for fast food cooks and short order cooks is expected to decline over the next ten years. In addition, as hospitals and schools attempt to make their menus and service more attractive, they are outsourcing cooking and serving in their cafeterias to third parties, resulting in fewer institutional and cafeteria chefs and cooks.

Next: Culinary Career Training Programs