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Career and Education Opportunities for Chefs in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for chefs. There are currently 7,150 jobs for chefs in Florida and this is projected to grow 13% to 8,050 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for chefs, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.2% over the next eight years. Chefs generally direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods.

Income for chefs is about $21 per hour or $43,780 yearly on average in Florida. Nationally, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,770 per year. Incomes for chefs are better than in the overall category of Cooking in Florida, and better than the overall Cooking category nationally. People working as chefs can fill a number of jobs, such as: pantry chef, cake froster, and cake icer.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can study to be a chef, among fifty schools of higher education total in the Orlando area. Chefs usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a chef if you already have a high school diploma.


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

In general, chefs direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. They also may plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

Chefs order or requisition food and other supplies needed to insure efficient operation. They also instruct cooks and other staff in the preparation and presentation of food. Equally important, chefs have to check the quantity and quality of received products. They are often called upon to check the quality of raw and cooked food products to insure that standards are met. They are expected to inspect supplies and work areas to insure conformance to established standards. Finally, chefs monitor sanitation practices to insure that employees follow standards and regulations.

Every day, chefs are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for chefs to analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, on the basis of food and overhead costs. They are often called upon to meet with sales representatives so as to negotiate prices and order supplies. They also manage equipment purchases and repairs. They are sometimes expected to recruit and hire staff, including cooks and other kitchen staff. Somewhat less frequently, chefs are also expected to formulate and supervise the food preparation and cooking efforts of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain or hotel.

Chefs sometimes are asked to record production and operational data on specified forms. and meet with patrons to consider menus for special occasions such as weddings and banquets. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and direct efforts of cooks and staff working on food preparation.

Like many other jobs, chefs must be reliable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Orlando include:

  • Dining Room Attendant. Facilitate food service. Clean tables, carry dirty dishes, replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, and dishes; supply service bar with food, and serve water, butter, and coffee to patrons.
  • 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 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.
  • Restaurant Chef. Prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.
  • 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.


Technical Education Center-Osceola - Kissimmee, FL

Technical Education Center-Osceola, 501 Simpson Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34744. Technical Education Center-Osceola is a small school located in Kissimmee, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 618 students. Technical Education Center-Osceola has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three students in 2008.

Orlando Culinary Academy - Orlando, FL

Orlando Culinary Academy, 8511 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819. Orlando Culinary Academy is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 824 students. Orlando Culinary Academy has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, associate's degree which graduated 94 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, associate's degree which graduated 421 students in 2008.

Lake Technical Center - Eustis, FL

Lake Technical Center, 2001 Kurt St, Eustis, FL 32726. Lake Technical Center is a small school located in Eustis, Florida. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 564 students. Lake Technical Center has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated ten students in 2008.

Valencia Community College - Orlando, FL

Valencia Community College, 190 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Valencia Community College is a large college located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,652 students. Valencia Community College has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated nine and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, one to two year which graduated 20 students in 2008.

Mid Florida Tech - Orlando, FL

Mid Florida Tech, 2900 West Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809. Mid Florida Tech is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,969 students. Mid Florida Tech has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.


Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.

For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association 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.


Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida photo by A3RO

Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.