Preparing and Presenting Foods For Functions: Catering Courses

Does the idea of working in the food industry sound appealing, but you don’t want to tie yourself down with a restaurant? Do you enjoy working with people just as much as you love food? If so, a career in the catering industry might just what you need for job satisfaction. It is the type of job that requires a lot of knowledge, skills and talent to be successful, but can also be very rewarding. Completing a catering course can assist you in acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills to bolster your talent and passion for the industry. It doesn’t matter if you are only interested in doing catering part-time or full time, proper certification can help you to make a success of this career path.

Catering Course Information

While there are no professional degrees aimed specifically at catering, many students who are interested in working in the industry tend to pursue a degree in culinary management. Alternatively, a degree in hospitality management can also prepare students for a career in catering.

Cooking and Catering Course

Catering courses tend to teach students the important fundamentals of getting started in the industry. This means that it is not just relevant for people who want to learn how to cook, but also those interested in starting a catering business. Course topics may include menu planning and development, sanitation, basic cooking methods, types of catering, social media marketing, human resource management, conflict resolution and much more. Completing a catering course typically rewards students with a career diploma. Courses such as hospitality management can also be done online and can reward students with a degree.


Those who are interested in a professional designation can apply to become a Certified Professional Catering Executive or CPCE. This designation can be earned via the National Association of Catering Executives and requires students to complete an exam that covers topics such as accounting, beverage management, catering services, event management, human resources, food production and more. It is a nationally recognized standard of competence for the catering industry and can enhance the professional image of students who complete the exam.

Catering Course FAQs

Can I Study Catering Online?

The Certified Professional Catering Executive exam can be completed online after paying an application fee. As part of the fee students are provided with a study guide. This can either be a pre-recorded training course that is available online for independent study or a web-based training program that can be done over the course of a few weeks. Exams are typically held twice a year. Students can also complete online catering courses where the outcome is a career diploma.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study This Type of Course?

When working in the catering industry, it not just enough to have a love for food and people. Since clients will be depending on you to deliver a professional service, it is very important that you are also punctual, able to pay attention to detail and have good time management skills. It is the type of industry where commitment and motivation is important, as is interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively. If you plan on running your own catering service instead of working for a boss you’ll also have to have good management and leadership abilities, be able to make decisions and have a knack for planning ahead. Finally, you’ll also need some physical stamina as the job can involve long hours on your feet.

What Type of Duties Might I Have When Working In This Industry?

When working as a caterer you typically have a lot of responsibilities. Depending on the type of clients and functions, you might have to plan a menu along with customers and then buy all the ingredients required to prepare the requested food. You typically also have to ensure that all the food and associated items are transported safely to the right venue where it can then be served to the attendees. In addition, you might be responsible to ensure that the venue is cleaned afterwards. Depending on the size of your catering business or whether you work for an employer or not, many of the duties can be delegated to staff. If you run your own catering business, then the responsibility of communicating with event coordinators and submitting invoices might also be yours.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Working As A Caterer?

There are a couple of factors that influence your earning potential as a caterer. In addition to your geographical location, they type of events to which you provide catering will also play a major role in how much you get paid. According to Sokanu, the median salary for caterers in the United States is about $48,080 per year. Although salaries can start from as low as $30,540 in this industry, some of the top earners make about $82,370 per year. The highest earning states for this type of occupation include New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia and New York.

What Are The Other Advantages To Studying Catering?

Becoming knowledgeable about the catering industry means you can be self-employed or work for someone else. The former means that you’ll be directly in control of your own career and making it a success. Of course the biggest advantages of the industry is that as long as people need to eat, drink and socialize there will always be a need for caterers. Since catering can take place in a variety of venues, it rarely becomes boring and you’ll always face new challenges. In addition, it is the type of industry where you get to meet a lot of different people and even experience the type of social events that you might not have had access to otherwise. Finally, the skills and knowledge gained from catering, such as customer service, leadership, flexibility, business management and financial planning will be useful for many other career paths as well.

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