Career and Education Opportunities for Personal Chefs in Charleston, West Virginia
If you want to be a personal chef, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for personal chefs sees this job pool growing by about 4.3% over the next eight years. In general, personal chefs prepare meals in private homes.
The average wage in the general category of Cooking jobs is $10 per hour or $20,265 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $12 per hour or $24,401 per year nationwide. Personal chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: chef, cooking chef, and private chef.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a personal chef. Given that the most common education level for personal chefs is a post-secondary certificate, 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 Charleston 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
Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV
Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a two to four year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated seven students in 2008.
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: Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.