Author :chef ssentongo Geoffrey

You think you know where you want to work after you finish culinary school. You’ve read articles about what the field is really like, and you’re pretty sure it would suit you to a T. You might have your sights set on a specific type of food service establishment or working with a particular kind of cuisine.

But how can you be certain?

If only there was a way to test out a job for a few weeks, get a bit of hands-on experience, and get a real feel for the day-to-day—before you seek out long-term employment.

Turns out, there is. It’s called an externship.

Find out exactly what an externship is, and answer the burning question :

Are externships paid?


An externship—while it does have similarities to an internsh—is not quite the same thing. It is both an educational and professional opportunity, broadening student horizons and putting the finishing touch on their formal culinary training.

A culinary externship is a short-term work opportunity that gives an aspiring cook or food professional a peek behind the curtain.

Unlike internships, which usually lasts three to four months and includes a general range of tasks, externships are shorter and often intensive. They usually focus on a more specific niche, letting students practice skills learned in the classroom and gain experience with commercial kitchens and equipment.


Currently school industry externships are often paid positions. In fact, most externships are paid and may lead to permanent employment in the industry. Many culinary school students have either full-time or part-time jobs while they complete their coursework—especially if they’re in one of the flexible programs.

Other students secure a short-term job to serve as their externship, which may or may not be paid. Compensation is not a requirement for an externship to be approved.


The diversity of externship opportunities is vast. As long as an externship meets the specified criteria, a student can pursue it. From food production to knife skills, there are a lots of things to be practiced during an externship. Student studying plant-based culinary arts could possibly get an externship working in a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. A student with a focus on farm-to-table cuisine could extern at a sustainable restaurant—or even at a local farm! While you have the option to seek an externship near home.

Some students are still not sure exactly where they want to end up. For these folks, an externship is a great opportunity to “try on” Bite niche to see if it’s a good fit. An aspiring baker could seek a placement in a wedding cake bakery to determine whether that is the right environment for them. Or they could look for a spot in a patisserie, an artisan bread bakery, a fine dining restaurant and a retail bakery…

Everyone is responsible for securing their own approved externships. Depending on your career goals, like Recipe developer, Plating and presentation, customers service, and many others during your externships.

In some cases, all you have to do to get your foot in the door is ask. Kitchens are nearly always looking for passionate cooks to add to their teams.


Is the hands-on industry externship an education opportunity, or a money making venture?

Truth is, it can be both. While externships don’t have to be paid, they certainly can be. And as a student, you have the option of seeking out paid opportunities.

The externship is a low-risk way to explore one small corner of the culinary world.

An externship is the end of the culinary training. Some time to get there, you’ll have to start at the beginning.

* information may not reflect to everyone’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on your own experience and interest in your career.

A big thanks and read more articles it maybe helpful to some of you out there!

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