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Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Phoenix, Arizona

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for restaurant chefs in the Phoenix, Arizona area. There are currently 17,090 working restaurant chefs in Arizona; this should grow 16% to 19,860 working restaurant chefs in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for restaurant chefs are expected to grow by about 7.7%. Restaurant chefs generally prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants.

Income for restaurant chefs is about $10 hourly or $21,390 annually on average in Arizona. Nationally, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,990 annually. Restaurant chefs earn less than people working in the category of Cooking generally in Arizona and less than people in the Cooking category nationally. People working as restaurant chefs can fill a number of jobs, such as: cook apprentice, cook, and banquet chef.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Phoenix area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can get a degree to start your career as a restaurant chef. The most common level of education for restaurant chefs is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a restaurant chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Restaurant Chef

Restaurant Chef video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, restaurant chefs prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. They also may order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

Restaurant chefs turn or stir foods to insure even cooking. They also season and cook food in line with recipes or personal judgment and experience. Equally important, restaurant chefs have to portion and garnish food, and serve food to waiters or customers. They are often called upon to observe and test foods to establish if they have been cooked sufficiently, using methods such as tasting or piercing them with utensils. They are expected to weigh and mix ingredients in line with recipes or personal judgment, using various kitchen utensils and equipment. Finally, restaurant chefs bake and steam meats, fish and other foods.

Every day, restaurant chefs are expected to be able to split focus between different tasks. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for restaurant chefs to carve and trim meats such as beef and lamb for hot or cold service, or for sandwiches. They are often called upon to estimate expected food consumption, requisition or purchase supplies, or procure food from storage. They also direct and supervise work of kitchen staff. They are sometimes expected to confer with supervisory staff to develop menus, taking into consideration factors such as costs and special event needs. Somewhat less frequently, restaurant chefs are also expected to direct and supervise work of kitchen staff.

Restaurant chefs sometimes are asked to regulate temperature of ovens and roasters. They also have to be able to butcher and dress animals, fowl, or shellfish, or cut and bone meat before cooking And finally, they sometimes have to formulate and price menu items.

Like many other jobs, restaurant chefs must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:

  • Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
  • Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
  • Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.
  • Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Restaurant Chef Training

Rio Salado College - Tempe, AZ

Rio Salado College, 2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281. Rio Salado College is a large college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,186 students. Rio Salado College has a less than one year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Arizona Culinary Institute - Scottsdale, AZ

Arizona Culinary Institute, 10585 N 114th St Ste 401, Scottsdale, AZ 85259. Arizona Culinary Institute is a small school located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 65 students. Arizona Culinary Institute has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated 135 students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ

The Art Institute of Phoenix, 2233 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021-2859. The Art Institute of Phoenix is a small school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,144 students and an admission rate of 52%. The Art Institute of Phoenix has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated twelve, twenty-four, and four students respectively in 2008.

Estrella Mountain Community College - Avondale, AZ

Estrella Mountain Community College, 3000 N Dysart Rd, Avondale, AZ 85323-1000. Estrella Mountain Community College is a medium sized college located in Avondale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,358 students. Estrella Mountain Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated five, four, and eight students respectively in 2008.

Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated thirty-one and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Phoenix College - Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix College, 1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013. Phoenix College is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,917 students. Phoenix College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three and eight students respectively in 2008.

East Valley Institute of Technology - Mesa, AZ

East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201. East Valley Institute of Technology is a small school located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 203 students. East Valley Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three students in 2008.

Scottsdale Culinary Institute - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Culinary Institute, 8100 E Camelback Rd, Suite 1001, Scottsdale, AZ 85251-2729. Scottsdale Culinary Institute is a small school located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,199 students. Scottsdale Culinary Institute has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated 438 and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Culinarian: An entry level culinarian professional within a commercial foodservice operation.

For more information, see the American Culinary Federation, Inc. website.

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.