Your Guide to a Culinary Arts Career (Infographic)

You’re a whiz in the kitchen. You can do amazing things with an egg beater. The thought of a stuffed lobster tail emerging from the oven, glistening with melted butter makes you tear up in joy. You were born to work in the culinary arts, and no malfunctioning blender or cracked mixing bowl can stand in your way.

Congratulations on your good fortune, because the culinary industry supplies jobs to more than 13 million people, from master chefs to cupcake bakers. But restaurant jobs aren’t the only careers available to someone with a culinary arts education. As this infographic from the Culinary Program at Kendall College reveals, there are a sweeping array of food and beverage careers available to dedicated culinary artists. Here’s a guide to some of the most common culinary careers.

Culinary arts career infographic

Executive chef

The head chef, also known as the executive chef or chef manager, oversees the kitchen. The chef is in charge of a huge range of duties, from creating new dishes to ordering supplies to training new staff.

Average salary: $69,494

Sous chef

As the executive chef’s right hand, the sous chef has a large amount of responsibility. Oftentimes, a sous chef is responsible for supervising staff, handling problems in the kitchen, and scheduling.

Average salary: $44,627

Pastry chef

This type of chef specializes in desserts, from cakes to crème brulee. Some pastry chefs handle the dessert menu in restaurants, while others may run their own bakery or dessert shop.

Average salary: $33,000

Food service manager

A food service manager supervises the service of food and drinks to customers, and ensures the restaurant and kitchen are running in accordance to labor laws and health regulations. The food service manager often handles customer complaints and hiring new staff.

Average salary: $53,130

Professional caterer

A caterer can run their own catering business, or work for a restaurant or food service company. Their duties include planning, delivering, and preparing food for special events like weddings, festivals, and parties.

Average salary: $32,000 – $75,000

Personal chef

As a professional chef, you could work in a residential home, yacht, or private plane. A private chef may work for a single client or numerous employers. A private chef may work as a live-in employee for a family, or visit households a couple of times a month to provide a large amount of food to be frozen and reheated in the future.

Average salary: $200 – $500 daily

Food technologist

The role can vary vastly depending on area of work and employer, but a food technologist is typically responsible for making sure foods are produced in a safe, legal, and quality manner. A food technologist may also develop recipes and set standards for food production.

Average salary: $60,000

Restaurant and food consultant

A restaurant or food consultant is a professional advisor who helps entrepreneurs to open or revive a restaurant, cafeteria, hotel, or other business that serves food. They can provide advice on areas such as food safety, menu development, and kitchen design.

Average salary: $52,000

Restaurant advertising manager

An advertising manager may consult with restaurant owners to offer them information on how to improve their business through advertising. They may manage the restaurant’s ad agency staff, plan the restaurant’s budget, and approve the advertising material.

Average salary: $40,000

Food critic

A food critic crafts reviews restaurants for blogs, travel guides, magazines, and newspapers. They taste a wide variety of food at many different restaurants, and write about aspects such as ingredients, preparation style, and overall dining experience.

Average salary: $47,000

Culinary arts teacher

A culinary arts teacher provides training for aspiring chefs and food service professionals. A culinary teacher usually employs a hands-on teaching style, overseeing students in cooking and other food preparation tasks so they can learn through experience. Teachers can work at high schools, colleges, and culinary art schools.

Average salary: $53,000, depending on level taught