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Joy does not pay the Bills...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The title more or less says it all.

Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition (Supposed to be a link, but I do not have proper privileges.)


The statistics provided by the Occupational Outlook Handbook, and some of the talk I have heard at Tech. School / Here have me extremely worried about how practical this is as a career. I do enjoy Baking, a lot, but not enough to live off scraps, as I have heard many say.

I am going off second-hand knowledge here, so if I am horribly mistaken, I would love nothing more than for someone to clear this up for me.
post #2 of 23
I can give a little perspective here...

I have worked and managed in the Salon and Massage therapy industry for most of my adult life (I'm 35). Here in Texas, hairstylists attend cosmetology school which requires 1500 hours of training ( most hands on), will cost around 13-17k, AND you have to take a state board exam. All this to find a job in a salon where you will have to sweep hair off the floor for 2-3 months before graduating to 'shampoo girl (or boy)...this is for minimum wage. After you prove yourself, you can assist a hairstylist for 3-6months, retrain with the head stylist ( you have to do it "their way"), and maybe, just maybe you can get your own chair and clients on the floor. Most cosmo students come out thinking they are going to own a salon or have hundreds of clients right away...but the truth is it takes 2-4 years to establish your own clientele and really make the "big bucks" right away. A hard working/dedicated hairstylist can ultimately earn up to 80k + a year.

I never thought I would compare cosmetology with cooking, LOL. But as you can see hard work and dedication DOES pay off in the end. I'm taking a huge pay cut with my new career change AND I have to go back to school. It's all about what makes you happy. Will you struggle for a year? Yes. Will it be worth it? That's up to you...

Don't get so overwhelmed with the money right now, as long as you are enjoying yourself and learning the money will be there. Search out positive people who enjoy what they do and follow their advice. Is money everything? no. Is this practical? Probably not. But consider this, if you took some boring 'square' job I bet you would be daydreaming about doing what you really love.

Wow, that's alot of rambling. Hope that helps.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Culinary School

I tend to over-think things, and you have inspired me to act more on what truly matters. Passion, and the desire to do something of which I would enjoy.

With that in mind, I have begun to apply, one school specifically has sent me a list of what has / has to be done. On it, it has checked off the High School Transcript, (still have yet to graduate, but I turned in the request form) and the Visit (I have mine scheduled for March 1st.) The first thing on the list, as well as the first thing that was done ($40 application fee) is not checked off, however. Anyone know why this is? Also, when might I be expecting a letter saying whether or not I have been accepted, or does the actual visit complete it?
post #4 of 23

Nope, joy does not pay the bills

(Let me start off by saying this is my personal experience.)

I went to culinary school, worked in restaurants and other places and realized that I would need to find something to make more money if I wanted to survive. I have worked a little over 3 years and have not gotten any jobs that were worth the pay.

Be careful when people try to convince you that you can make lots of money in the long run if money is a priority. They often leave out the 80 or more hours a week working that comes with the pay.

After my experiences, I am looking to leave the cooking side of things and explore other options (Got the "Food Jobs" book for some inspiration). I want a change and am tired of living off scraps. ;) Definitely if you love to bake, learn how to bake. If you want to turn your love for baking into a business, do it.

Remember that along with passion you need dedication if you want to make it.

I hope this gives you a different perspective to find the middle ground for you to stand.
post #5 of 23
I think there is still a lot of opportunity in restaurants - depending on where you live, and if you're willing to relocate. For example, here in Charleston, SC, the restaurant industry appears to be hurting for qualified help, since Johnson/Wales closed. The restaurant help wanted ads are very plentiful, especially now that tourist season is gearing up. And despite the economy, new restaurants are opening up all the time.
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post #6 of 23
I must bring up m friend the futures broker. He graduated from college and took all of his license exams for the US SEC thinking that he should be making six figures within a year. He tells me he lived, more or less, on minimum wage for almost three years before he started making any substantial money.

What I'm getting at is that cooking professionally is like any other career. You have to prove yourself before you can make the big money.

Also, Marmalady, I've traveled all over the world and never been to a more beautiful city than Charleston. I love going there and, luckily, I only live a few hours away.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
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post #7 of 23
Different schools have different policies. If you tell me which school you applied to, I might be able to give you more insight.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
post #9 of 23
I have heard of IUP but didnt know they had a program. Seems fine from what I read and it appears to be an apply, submit transcripts, and wait for a response for acceptance.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
To be honest, I am sort of scared. Is this REALLY what I want...is this really what I think it is going to be like? I understand there is a difference between enjoying to bake at home, and then doing it as a career, but I do not know If I can handle that. I have read many many things, in numerous places, and I just need to know, is this really all it is cracked up to be? Are the hours really as intense as they sound; is the job as repetitive and demanding as people make it sound?
post #11 of 23
Please do not take what I say as condescending:

You are obviously young, and have not embarked on your career path as of yet. Statistics show that the average person will have 2-3 career changes in their life. You have an opportunity here to find out what you really love and plenty of "play room" for mistakes.

Do you have a backup plan in mind?
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Right now I am torn between this, and being a Veterinarian. I love animals and science, so what better a combination, eh? However, Vet. School is much more extensive / expensive, I am not in any way a rich individual.

I know I have room for mistake, but I would truly like to avoid it.
post #13 of 23
Well we would all love to avoid mistakes, but that's just a fact of life my friend...how else are you going to learn ( said with much love ).

You have to follow your heart!!! Take money out of the equation: what would you do if money was not an issue? Think about it.

Again, talk to positive/successful people in the field that interests you the most, find a mentor. You will make mistakes, I promise you that...

I wish you the best of luck my friend:thumb:

email me anytime.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
You rock! :smiles:
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
All right (left =P), everything is in order except this whole application process, thing.... jtobin625, you say that once I submit my transcripts the process continues, how would this work seeing as I am still a High School Senior? Would it be the fact that I submitted the transcript request form to my School?
post #16 of 23
It would really be best for you to contact their admissions office as college's take a different approach. At the college I work at, we could evaluate your transcripts and provide at most, conditional acceptance as you would need a posted graduation date from your high school.

I would recommend applying ASAP or if you have further questions, call their admissions office.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #17 of 23
They all want qualified help but do not want to pay for qualified people. You get what you pay for. And as fast as they open another closes.:lol:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I believe you may be misinterpreting this wrong; I have applied. I have a scheduled visit set for March 1, and I have turned in the Transcript request form to my High School. Would visiting on my scheduled date complete the process? If so, I should hope that I am not too late.
post #19 of 23
Just be certain that YOU understand exactly what you are signing!

Remember, student loans DO have to be payed back and, when you graduate, you MIGHT earn as much as $1,730/month ($20,760/year, IF you get a job paying $10/hour and you get 40 hour work weeks) to pay your living expenses AND your student loan!
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #20 of 23
Dude, I couldn't have said it better myself. Going through school full time working in a kitchen 45 hours a week took a lot out of me when I was doing it. Go to school, cook, go to work, cook, go home, read about cooking and do cooking homework, and go to bed just to do it again all day the next day. After about a year and a half of that I realized if I wasn't doing what I loved, I would have quit six weeks into it.

I heard someone say once, "A man goes to a job doing what he loves, and does not call it work." I think that's somehow relevant... Really, I believe if you really love what you do, you'll find a way to make a living off it.
"An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will"
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"An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will"
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post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the little motivation boost, DiscGolfJoe. All right, so they will not make my admission decision until I visit the campus, but I am scheduled for March 1. Is that too late for me to be accepted for the Fall Semester? (I really, really hope not! :look:)
post #22 of 23
Let's just say... cooking is something you love to do with all your soul, mind, and heart in order to purse it. I've been in the industry for about 4 years now and still making CRAP money but the knowledge I've been getting and the experience is amazing. But overall I LOVE IT!!!

That's why I give most up respect for restaurant workers. The community has no clue what goes behind a restaurant. zero zip none!!
post #23 of 23
Cooking is tough man. I will admit that. Physically, mentally and financially. But it is the most satisfying field I have ever worked in. I have never encountered such an eclectic, messed up, familial profession in my life. You may have to take on a part time job in addition to your main one to make ends meet. If that's the case don't take it as a bad thing. Think of it as another opportunity to expand your skill set. Maybe you could be a baker by day, and a name taking, a**kicking line cook by night. Or a butcher. Or a bookstore attendant. Though I assume the latter would do little for your culinary career.

I would encourage you to read up on the cooking profession, maybe do a stage or two in a kitchen to see what it is like and at the end of the shift ask the chef some questions that have been coming to mind.

Good luck with the decision!
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