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Career and Education Opportunities for Chefs in Portland, Oregon

Chefs can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Portland, Oregon area. About 1,160 people are currently employed as chefs in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow 20% to 1,390 people employed. This is better than the national trend for chefs, which sees this job pool growing by about 0.2% over the next eight years. In general, chefs direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods.

Chefs earn about $17 hourly or $35,450 per year on average in Oregon and about $18 per hour or $38,770 per year on average nationally. Chefs earn more than people working in the category of Cooking generally in Oregon and more than people in the Cooking category nationally. Chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: cooking chef, personal chef, and pie maker.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including four within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a chef. Given that the most common education level for chefs is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chef

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 Portland include:

  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chef Training

Western Culinary Institute - Portland, OR

Western Culinary Institute, 600 SW 10th Avenue, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97205. Western Culinary Institute is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 806 students. Western Culinary Institute has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated forty-six and ninety-six students respectively in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated forty-eight and 300 students respectively in 2008.

Pioneer Pacific College - Wilsonville, OR

Pioneer Pacific College, 27501 SW Parkway Ave, Wilsonville, OR 97070-9296. Pioneer Pacific College is a small college located in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,123 students. Pioneer Pacific College has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, less than one year which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, one to two year which graduated 150 students in 2008.

International Air Academy Inc - Vancouver, WA

International Air Academy Inc, 2901 E Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661. International Air Academy Inc is a small school located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 296 students and an admission rate of 99%. International Air Academy Inc has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated ten, one, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated eight and six students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.