With an unmatched and unique hands-on experience, a culinary arts program is a valuable option when considering a culinary career. In addition to gaining knowledge and skills in the classroom and the kitchen, students have the ability to work under a head or executive chef, where they will experience what it’s like to be a chef first hand.
Culinary Arts Programs
A quality culinary arts program will provide students with a solid culinary foundation and fundamental cooking knowledge that will open doors to a variety of culinary opportunities. Depending on the culinary arts program you choose, you may have the option to graduate with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree or a culinary certificate. You may also opt to take additional courses in specific areas of interest like nutrition.
The length of programs and tuition costs will vary depending on the school you attend and the degree you decide to pursue. Scholarships and financial aid are available to those who qualify. Salaries upon graduation will vary as well. You can expect to earn a larger salary when you graduate with a bachelor’s degree versus an associate degree or culinary arts certificate.
A culinary arts certificate program prepares students for entry-level work in restaurants and other food service businesses. While participating in a culinary arts program, students learn the basics of working in the food industry. They explore cooking and baking fundamentals, food safety, menu preparation and business skills. Some certificate programs allow students to select a culinary specialty, such as pastry and baking while others teach all aspects of culinary arts. Many schools are now offering culinary certificates online as well.
An associate degree in culinary arts is a two-year program that takes students through basic to advanced cooking skills. Core courses include entrepreneurship, culinary presentation, regional cuisine and inventory control. In addition to the culinary curriculum, general education courses, such as math and communication are also covered. The program typically ends with a cooperative work experience or internship.
For individuals seeking employment in advanced cooking positions, completing a bachelor’s degree program in culinary arts can be beneficial. These programs provide students with hands-on experience, co-op programs, and externships in professional kitchens while focusing on a variety of aspects in the industry, such as beverage management, menu planning and table service.
There are 14 professional designations offered by the American Culinary Federation, ranging from entry-level Certified Culinarian to Certified Master Chef. Applicants for these certifications must meet a combination of education and experience requirements through community colleges and technical or vocational schools.
No matter the culinary career you decide on, a culinary arts program will help you get there. Get started today. Fill out our application, at no cost to you, and one of our career specialists will be in touch with you regarding culinary schools in your area.