I saw the reference to culinary school above and felt I needed to weigh in. Most culinary schools are a rip-off with the exception of some of the larger Cordon Bleu certified schools (CCA, CIA, Johnson & Wales...), but even those schools come with a VERY hefty tuition. What I've personally seen time and time again are these poor saps who just dropped almost $50,000 to get their culinary arts degree but have never had any practical life experience. These people expect to make $50,000 - $85,000 right out of the gate and it just isn't going to happen. Where I live on the west coast, culinary school graduates with no real work history will be lucky to make $28,000 per year, and many of those people quit the industry altogether after a short period of time because they feel cheated and rightfully so. My advice to anyone wanting to go into the culinary field is to work for at least three years full-time before even thinking about going to culinary school. Then, make sure to invest in a school that carries some weight - avoid those hokey local schools. Their degrees really are worthless. What people need to also realize is that in culinary school, you have 10 cooks spending 10 minutes making one thing whereas in the real world, you have one person making ten things in 5 minutes. That said, salary ranges vary but on average a semi-experienced cook will fetch about $8 - $14 per hour and a salaried Chef can get anywhere from $28,000 - $45,000. Real money's in corporate (hotels, casinos) or in catering.