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Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Chefs in Columbia, Maryland

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for personal chefs in the Columbia, Maryland area. The national trend for personal chefs sees this job pool growing by about 4.3% over the next eight years. Personal chefs generally prepare meals in private homes.

The average wage in the general category of Cooking jobs is $13 per hour or $27,638 per year in Maryland, and an average of $12 per hour or $24,401 per year nationwide. Personal chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: private chef, culinary worker, and household cook.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a personal chef, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Personal chefs usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be a personal chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Personal Chef

In general, personal chefs prepare meals in private homes.

Personal chefs peel and cook vegetables and meats, and bake breads and pastries. They also formulate menus in line with employers' needs and diet restrictions. Equally important, personal chefs have to specialize in preparing fancy dishes and/or food for special diets. They are often called upon to develop and explore new cuisines. They are expected to travel with employers to vacation homes to furnish meal preparation at those locations. Finally, personal chefs ready meals in private homes in line with employers' recipes or tastes, handling all meals for the family and possibly for other household staff.

Every day, personal chefs are expected to be able to control objects and devices with precise control. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices.

It is important for personal chefs to stock, organize, and clean kitchens and cooking utensils. They are often called upon to direct the operation and organization of kitchens and all food-related efforts, including the presentation and serving of food. They also serve meals and snacks to employing families and their guests. They are sometimes expected to shop for or order food and kitchen supplies and equipment. Somewhat less frequently, personal chefs are also expected to formulate and ready food for parties and other social events.

And finally, they sometimes have to formulate menus in line with employers' needs and diet restrictions.

Like many other jobs, personal chefs must be able to work independently and make decisions on their own and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Personal Chef Training

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated eight and three students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore International College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore International College, 17 Commerce Street, Commerce Exchange, Baltimore, MD 21202-3230. Baltimore International College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 500 students. Baltimore International College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated eleven and seventy-three students respectively in 2008.

Stratford University - Falls Church, VA

Stratford University, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043-2403. Stratford University is a small university located in Falls Church, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,644 students. Stratford University has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated two and eight students respectively in 2008.

L'Academie de Cuisine - Gaithersburg, MD

L'Academie de Cuisine, 16006 Industrial Dr, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-1414. L'Academie de Cuisine is a small school located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 53 students and an admission rate of 83%. L'Academie de Cuisine has a two to four year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated seventy-four students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA

The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated thirteen and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Personal Certified Executive Chef: A chef with advanced culinary skills and a minimum of six years of professional cooking experience with a minimum of two years as a personal chef.

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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.