How to Become a Chef in Vermont
Chefs are important people in the kitchen. They are responsible for understanding appropriate proportions, seasoning combinations, temperature specifications and so much more. Cooks will work under the supervision of a chef, while chefs are typically second-in-command to executive chefs. When starting out, working as a cook is an ideal way to improve your skillset before taking on the duties of a professional chef. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Vermont
Vermont residents do not need to follow any statewide regulations in order to become a chef. There is also no national legislation in place governing this career field, which means that aspiring chefs can choose whether or not they want to enroll in a post-secondary education program before seeking employment. If you choose not to do so, you can start off working as an entry-level cook, shadowing chefs and following the instructions of an executive chef. This experience will prepare you for a career as a chef.
Cooks can land employment with either a high school diploma or GED. Earning certification is also a great way to compliment your educational credentials or professional experience within the trade if you want to work as a chef.
A food handler’s license comes in the form of a permit or card, which can be obtained online for less than $30. This license may or may not be a requirement depending on the city in which you choose to work.
Vermont Schools for Chefs
Degree programs for culinary artists can be exciting hands-on experiences for those who are new to the trade. Consider the options below:
- New England Culinary Institute is located in the city of Montpelier. The school offers both an Associate of Occupational Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in culinary arts. The associate’s degree can be completed in about two years, while the bachelor’s degree will require four years of study to complete. You may also choose to major in baking and pastry arts, or food and beverage business management.
- Southwest Vermont Career Development Center is located in the city of Bennington. The school offers a two-year technical program in culinary arts. The program will prepare students for a career as a chef, dietician or restaurant manager.
- Penn Foster Career School offers a certificate program in gourmet cooking. The program takes place entirely online and can be completed within less than one year. This will be an ideal option for those who want to learn on their own time.
National Certification for Chefs in Vermont
Although earning national certification is not required, those who wish to do so can become certified through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This organization offers nine certifications for culinary artists, ranging from intermediate-level chefs to executive chef certifications. A total of 16 ACF certifications exist, which include those for students, teachers, pastry chefs and military chefs. While certain establishments may require chefs to earn national certification, other employers may be willing to offer you higher compensation for such credentials. Earning these certifications may require professional experience, education or a combination of both.
Outlook and Salary Expectations
In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data that stated there were 460 people employed as chefs in Vermont. By 2026, this number is expected to jump to 480, indicating a 3.9 percent increase in the job market during this 10-year period.
On average, chefs working in Vermont earned $23.23 per hour, or $48,320 per year, according to BLS data released in 2017. The top 10 percent of chefs in this state earned an average of $64,430 during the same year.
Working as a Chef in Vermont
In Vermont, the top-paid chefs can be found working in places like Westminster Station, Putney and Saxtons River.
Chefs may choose to work at local restaurants, private dining establishments, casinos, banquet centers and other entertainment venues. You may also choose to become a freelance chef and cater local events, or leverage your networking skills to become a personal chef. You’ll need to be passionate about culinary arts, prepared to tap into your personal innovation and be motivated to do your best work, if you want to work as a successful chef in Vermont.
New England Culinary Institute offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Montpelier. This private, for-profit college has in the region of 379 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The cost of tuition is in the order of $89,710 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $2,800, although this varies from program to program.
* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.