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Career and Education Opportunities for Chefs in Austin, Texas

Chefs can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Austin, Texas area. About 5,800 people are currently employed as chefs in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 22% to 7,060 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 $16 per hour or $34,590 per year on average in Texas and about $18 per hour or $38,770 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for chefs are better than earnings in the general category of Cooking in Texas and better than general Cooking category earnings nationally. Chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: food and beverage director, head pastry chef, and cook.

The Austin area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Austin where you can get a degree 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.


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 Austin include:

  • 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.


Austin Community College District - Austin, TX

Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated six and nine students respectively in 2008.

Culinary Academy of Austin - Austin, TX

Culinary Academy of Austin, 6020-B Dillard Circle, Austin, TX 78752. Culinary Academy of Austin is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 45 students. Culinary Academy of Austin has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, less than one year which graduated 13 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, one to two year which graduated 19 students in 2008.

Texas Culinary Academy - Austin, TX

Texas Culinary Academy, 11400 Burnet Road, Suite 2100, Austin, TX 78758. Texas Culinary Academy is a small school located in Austin, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 925 students. Texas Culinary Academy has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, one to two year which graduated 139 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, associate's degree which graduated 454 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.


Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas photo by Wikidiculous

Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.