moving to nyc
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Right out of culinary school? ....A hair above minimum wage! Line cooks (what most start off as) make anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 a year. And factor in no benefits, long hours, and plenty of sweat in most situations.
Head chefs and sous chefs, which will take a few years to work your way up, make considerably more from $45,000 to about $60,000 a year.
Although, the culinary field is a huge industry and there are different niches and jobs with in it. You aren't just tied down to being a cook or a chef; there are many other opportunities.
But, please do an internship or get a job in a professional kitchen FIRST to see if it is really what you want and can handle. People fly into the industry thinking it is Shangri-La like what you see on the Food Network. It is a lot of work and a lot of patience. Then, if you decide you like the industry, you can start looking at culinary schools within your budget.
This is great advice, but most places won't even glance at the rest of your application or resume after seeing you haven't got any previous experience. Count yourself lucky, OP, if you find somewhere willing to hire you.
Going to culinary school can open lots of doors to the internship world. Something to look for in a prospective school is their post-grad job rate, and if they have any resources that can be beneficial to you, such as mandatory internships or connections to assist with post-grad work. If you think culinary arts is seriously something you can be passionate about, then I say go for it. If it doesn't work out, you're no different from the thousands of college students who change their major twenty times before they graduate. Its okay to decide you don't like something!!