Studying to become a Chef in Australia
Do you love cooking and never miss an episode of Master Chef? Do you dream of becoming the next Marco Pierre White? If you do, look no further ….. in this Blog we explain how you can obtain the necessary skills and qualifications at our partner school Empyrean Institute and meet the entry requirements.
We paid a visit to Empyrean’s facilities at their Fremantle campus and we can tell you why you should seriously consider studying here. But first things first – what courses and qualifications are available to you?
Empyrean Institute focuses on three specific areas –
Commercial Cookery – knowledge and fundamental techniques to get by in the kitchen
Patisserie – the art of preparing spectacular cakes and pastries
Hospitality – skills needed in the hospitality industry with a focus on food and beverage management, how to deal with customers, teamwork, how to run a restaurant, etc.
As an international student, you can study a Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery or Patisserie. If Hospitality is your thing, you can start your career in this industry with a Diploma and work you way up to an Advanced Diploma. If you are not familiar with the Australian education system, you can read about it here.
Generally, you will need to have completed high school in order to apply for a basic level course in any of the three areas. If you wish to study a level IV course, the idea is that you will have completed the level III previously and will have studied certain fundamental units first. If you are interested in more than one course, you can apply for what is called a “packaged offer” (combination of several courses) – this means that you can enrol in a Certificate III in Patisserie and ‘package’ it with the Certificate IV. This way, you will receive a single Letter of Offer which can be used in connection with your application for a student visa. Your student visa can cover the duration of both courses. If you do not meet the English requirement (we tell you more about this below), you can “package” an English course + a certificate.
If you want to work in a kitchen in an English speaking country, it is important that you have a good level of English – you don’t want to misunderstand instructions in this environment! Chocolate mousse and chocolate mouse are quite different! There are several ways in which you can show that your English level is good enough to study at Empyrean Institute:
- IELTS: a minimum of 5 as a final grade “Overall” with no band lower than 5
- Complete the internal test of the institute from the comfort of your home. If you do not have formal English test result (such as IELTS, PTE, Cambridge or TOEFL) Empyrean can send you an exam of their own and evaluate your English level in this way.
- If you have studied an ELICOS course (English) in Australia, it is possible that a certificate from your English school may be sufficient
The courses generally last between 6 months and one year. You will be required to attend classes for minimum of 20 hours per week (this is also one of the requirements of the student visa). You can enjoy theory classes at the campus in Fremantle (next to the Fremantle Prison, so make sure you behave well!) and complete your industry placement at Quinlan’s – a restaurant open to the public where you will serve real customers who will be members of the public. During your studies, you may undertake work placements in the kitchens of five-star hotels and be under the direct command of celebrated local chefs.
So you’ve completed your qualifications at Empyrean Institute and are now a professional in the kitchen. What next? Depending on the course you study, you will have a wide range of career opportunities ahead of you, including:
- Cook, pastry chef, chef de partie, executive sous chef, executive chef
- Function host, waiter, restaurant manager, motel manager, unit manager (catering operation), front office manager, night manager
- Banquet or function manager, area manager, operations manager, cafe owner or manager
- Executive housekeeper, room division manager, club secretary or manager, motel owner or manager
- Barista, food and beverage attendant, function attendant, senior bar attendant, restaurant host … and so the list goes on …
According to joboutlook.gov.au jobs growth for chefs in Australia is anticipated to be very strong over the next 5 years. Around 66,000 job openings are anticipated due to workers leaving or retiring and new jobs being created. It’s the same story for cafe and restaurant managers with around 46,000 job openings likely over the next 5 years, 35,600 job openings for bakers and pastry cooks and a massive 116,000 openings for bar attendants and baristas. Positive news!
So how do I apply or find out more? Simply fill out our contact form and one of our education agents will be in contact with you very soon!
“Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art” – Francois de la Rochefoucauld