Online Colleges for Catering

Everyone loves to eat, but not everyone loves to cook. Enter the caterer, that extraordinary individual who can easily put together a feast fit for a king. The National Association of Catering Executives reports that as of 2007, there were 9,347 catering firms in the U.S. generating $7.1 billion in annual revenues. Weddings play a significant role in the industry and are big business for caterers. They accounted for 48 percent of revenue in 2011. Corporate and social events also represent a significant portion of industry revenue. However, cooking for a crowd takes more than natural flair in the kitchen; it also requires business and hospitality skills. Online catering degrees provide the toolbox of resources successful caterers need to pull off perfect events.

Online Catering Programs

If you are ready to start a career in catering, it is essential that you have the right skills. Online catering programs can offer either short-term training or a longer degree program. Associate and bachelor's degrees in hospitality, business administration or business management can provide the right building blocks upon which to create a stable career. Online catering degrees offer flexible scheduling to gain this knowledge from the comfort of your home. In addition, they can help you tap into lucrative sectors of the catering industry. With NACE estimating the cost of food and beverage for an average 2010 wedding at $20,187, it may make sense to gain some education in a specialty field such as bridal consulting.

Job Outlook for Catering Careers

Online catering programs can lead to careers for business owners, food service managers and chefs. NACE found the average annual revenue for a catering firm in the U.S. was $756,000 in 2010. In addition, catering executives had average revenues of $1.8 million in 2010. While not all that money is pure profit or income, it certainly indicates there is money to be made in the world of catering. If you are not ready to work on your own, a NACE survey found that 60 percent of catering firms had plans to hire additional employees in 2011. Online catering degrees can also lead to other careers in the hospitality industry that also offer good income potential. Chefs and head cooks earned mean annual wages of $44,780 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, food service managers earned average incomes of $52,220. If you are ready to enter a dynamic and creative field, start by requesting information from one or more of the online catering degree programs.