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Becoming a Caterer

Caterer Salary

Everyone knows what a good caterer can provide in terms of making any event a success. Often times, the first comments about a particular function tend to be “The food was ” or, unfortunately, …”not so good”. A caterer can make or break the success of an important event, and the caterers do well because they have earned the trust and confidence of their clients. Today, the competition between caterers is stronger than ever. However, those who can meet the growing needs of their clients with increasingly popular natural foods and healthier menus ultimately have an edge on their competitors. For this reason, a degree or certificate in natural foods catering can give you the skills needed to succeed in today’s catering environment.

Catering Duties

Often times, caterers work in specific areas of food or events. Others choose variety over any particular specialization. Some caterers work on their own, hiring assistance on a project-basis, while others join or begin their own company. A successful caterer will be able to excel in a variety of different tasks and chenges.

A caterer works closely with clients and customers, many times on a project-basis, to provide the following services for any number of different types of functions:

  • Design of Menu
  • Event Preparation of Dining Experience or Theme Including Supply Necessary Cooking & Dining Equipment
  • Food Preparation & Service
  • Event Breakdown & Cleanup
  • Sales & Marketing

Degree or certificate training in natural foods catering will provide the skills and experience needed to succeed in theses areas and more. Catering program graduates possess the tools to succeed over their competitors in the industry who do not possess this advantage. However, the caterers also possess skills that ow them to succeed independent of what they learn in the classroom. A good catering degree or certificate program will provide instruction to cultivate these skills, including creativity, both in the food and environment of the events they cater, social skills including client management and customer service, and business savvy for those that wish to take their catering business to that next level.

Natural Foods Catering Salary & Career Outlook

Catering is a fast growing industry. Although it has slowed from its peak in the 1990’s and early 2000’s where it was one of the fastest growing industries in the US, according to the Global Gourmet, an online catering industry monitor, it still outpaces most industries, including other food service industries, in North America. Institutional catering, most often including the catering business to colleges and universities, hospitals, nursing homes and business campuses, is the highest grossing catering business in 2010. However, social catering, the catering to civic groups, charities, corporations and businesses and individuals including weddings, birthdays and other special events, will be the fastest growing over the coming decade.

Over employment of caterers in the US is expected to be over 10 percent from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, food and beverage supply workers could increase by nearly 800,000 people during this time, while the addition of natural and healthier catering companies should grow fastest of within the industry. According to Payscale.com, an online industry salary monitor, catering professionals and executives can expect to earn between $42,000 and $60,000 per year while those who own their own catering companies can expect significantly more.

A industry pay scale is listed below:

Natural Foods Catering Position
Annual Salary (2010)
Catering Sales Manager
Catering Manager
Banquet Manager
Catering Executive
Executive Chef

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            Food Service Management
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            Culinary Arts Professional
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto and Redding in California, and Salem in Oregon.
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Restaurant & Catering Management (AAS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management - Associate
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • A private post-secondary institution of higher education serving south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland since 1967.
            • Offers associate degrees in specialized business and specialized technology, as well as programs leading to professional certifications and diplomas.
            • Gives each student their own career services specialist who helps keep them focused on their goals.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Culinary Arts
            Get the experience you need to succeed in the exciting and fast growing culinary field at Keiser University - Center for Culinary Arts. We offer the flexibility of day or evening classes, experienced faculty, and small class sizes for plenty of personalized attention. Internship opportunities and financial aid are available for students who qualify.
            DIP - Culinary Arts
            Virginia College , Jacksonville

            The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.

            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Associate of Science in Culinary Arts

            Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

            Culinary Arts
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Culinary Arts Associates
            The Chef's Academy , Morrisville
            • Listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
            • Offers intern and externship placement assistance for real-world experience.
            • Offers programs in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality & restaurant management.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
            • 2 campus locations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Morrisville, North Carolina.
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            Culinary Arts

            Dorsey has been a trusted career training school in Michigan for over 80 years!

            We offer training programs designed to prepare our students for careers in fields such as healthcare, beauty, culinary, and skilled trades



            • Financial Aid
            AAS Degree in Culinary Arts
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Associate of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students.