Restaurant instructor jobs in 2018, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), are booming.
NRA CEO Mary Jo White recently said she expects that to continue into the fall.
“We are going to see more and more people wanting to teach,” White said at the annual conference in San Francisco.
“You are going a lot further in the field of restaurant training than you ever have been before.”
According to the NRA, about a quarter of all restaurant instructors in the U.S. are female, and about 20 percent are African American.
The demand is expected to continue unabated, with the industry expected to see an increase in the number of openings over the next several years.
The average age of the nation’s restaurant instructors is 26 years old.
“In the last couple of years we have seen more and to a certain extent more women and minority candidates applying to training,” said Julie Miller, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Restaurant and Catering Employees, or NASWE.
“This is not just about a shortage of women and minorities.
We’re seeing a lot of women who don’t want to go to training and who don, at the same time, want to take a job that will be much more rewarding.”
Miller also said the growth of restaurants is a big factor in the increasing number of applicants for training positions.
“If you look at the total number of training positions available, we have more than 2.5 million,” she said.
“And it is not all women and blacks, but women and all ethnicities are interested in this field.”
The industry also is looking to increase its presence in the community, as more and better restaurants open up to attract more students.
According to Miller, there are now over 10,000 restaurants open nationwide.
That number will grow even more, as new restaurants open in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The NASWE said it expects the number to reach nearly 18,000 in 2019.
“It’s not just a matter of having more people coming into the industry,” Miller said.
She added that the growing number of women in the industry is also an important part of the reason why there are more openings for training.
“These are people who want to have a job and a better career and they want to get trained for that,” Miller explained.
“That’s a good sign for us because we’re seeing more and so many people are going into this field and they are coming in looking for a better job.”
According a 2017 study from the U of L Center for Economic Development, women are expected to be a growing share of the workforce in the coming years.
About 15 percent of college graduates are women and 20 percent of the adult population is female.
“The number of working-age women entering the labor force will grow to nearly 50 percent by 2030, up from 30 percent today,” according to a NASWE press release.
Miller said that the industry has an opportunity to build upon its already successful training programs and attract more applicants from outside of the state.
“Our training program is already working very well,” she noted.
“With all of the new restaurants opening and with all of those people coming to our state, I think we are seeing that people are coming into this industry to get jobs.”
White also said that one of the things that is important to the industry, especially the young people who are taking part in the training, is to be responsible for their own training.
That includes having the right skills and having the best preparation, she said, adding that the training can be as easy as it is difficult.
“When you’re a young person in a new industry and you want to make sure that you have all of these skills that you need for the job, that’s where the training is important,” White told Fortune.
I think that’s what this industry is trying to do.”