How to Become a Chef in Wyoming
Becoming a cook or chef in Wyoming is a unique and challenging career path since this state does not hold a large population and the cuisine relies heavily on Wild West and indigenous influences. Cooks and chefs are mainly employed by resorts and tourist destinations, and recent graduates in cities like Cheyenne are in high demand by restaurants and resorts. The career path possibilities in culinary arts are endless, as every culinarian can specialize in training unique to their passions. Some desire to manage entire kitchens or restaurants, while others are content working alongside other cooks as part of a team. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Wyoming
Those who envision life as a chef need to possess a few key qualities: the ability to withstand long work hours in fast-paced environments, the drive to keep learning throughout one’s career and a teamwork mentality. Generally, cooks should first earn their high school diploma or GED if they plan on advancing in the culinary arts field. Certification is not a requirement, but it is a necessity for advancement to high-level career paths.
Culinary Arts Training and Educational Programs in Wyoming
College certificates or diplomas in the culinary arts generally immerse cooks in entry-level culinary skills such as food prep and kitchen communication, while associate’s and bachelor’s degrees prepare cooks to advance in the industry, eventually becoming supervisors, chefs and food service managers.
- Wyoming Culinary Institute at Sheridan College. Part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD), this school offers culinary arts and hospitality programs. Culinary arts students earn real-world experience while serving the public at the school’s restaurant. While earning their associate’s degree or certificate in culinary arts, students are guided by two American Culinary Federation (ACF) chefs.
- Central Wyoming College. Located in Jackson, Wyoming, this school offers an Associate of Applied Science and Certificate in Culinary Arts. Students in this culinary arts program are offered internships and employment through a partnership with local resorts.
Certification for Becoming a Chef in Wyoming
In Wyoming, certification is not a requirement to secure employment in the culinary arts. However, most establishments promote cooks and chefs from within, meaning that with effort and certification, culinary artists can advance to their dream positions. The ACF offers a large series of certifications that can be earned by culinarians as they complete education and gain kitchen experience.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Chefs and Culinary Artists in Wyoming
The outlook for culinary artists in Wyoming is generally positive, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting a 13.9 percent increase in the employment of restaurant cooks by the year 2026. Wyoming chefs and head cooks are predicted to increase in number by 9.6 percent, and food service managers are projected to increase by 10.2 percent.
Restaurant cooks in Wyoming are paid relatively well for the industry, earning a mean income of $13.40 per hour in 2017. Chefs and head cooks were paid the highest mean income for culinary arts in the state that year, at $25.43 per hour. The BLS reported that the second highest paid culinary arts workers in Wyoming that year were first-line supervisors of food preparation and servers.
Working as a Chef in Wyoming
If you live in Wyoming and want to become a cook, you might consider that Wyoming’s southwest nonmetropolitan area employed the most restaurant cooks in 2017. Restaurant cooks in this area also received the highest pay in the state. With such unique food options and numerous culinary arts schools available across the state, Wyoming residents who wish to become culinary artists should be able to build their own individual culinary career paths and pursue the jobs of their dreams.
Sheridan College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Sheridan, Wyoming. The majority of of the school’s 4,307 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $3,156 and for students from other states in the order of $7,428 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.
Central Wyoming College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Riverton, WY. The majority of of the school’s 2,116 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $2,856 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,128 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.
* 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.