When you’re thinking about launching a culinary career, the time it takes to get the proper training and licensing can be crucial to your decision. This article will explore the length of training as well as the various courses required along the way.
Types Of Culinary Programs
As with most training programs, the length of time will depend on the type of degree you’re seeking. Many schools offer certificates as well as associate and bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts. Besides traditional culinary arts programs, some schools are even offering alternative programs, such as culinary science, baking and pastry arts, and culinary management.
Average Length of Culinary Programs
- Certificate - 6 months to 1 year
- Associate's Degree - 2 years
- Bachelor's Degree - 4 years
In addition to the training program you choose, the length of time will fluctuate depending on whether you take classes online, part time, or full time. A student enrolled full time in an associate degree program will finish in two years, while a part-time student may take four years. If you take additional classes to gain experience, the process will be lengthened further.
Typical Culinary School Curriculum
A typical two-year culinary arts curriculum is composed of 60 to 80 credit hours, with classes looking something like this:
- Culinary fundamentals: You’ll learn cooking basics, including theories and techniques. Topics include knife skills, tasting, an overview of kitchen equipment, vegetable cuts, soup preparation, sauce training, multitasking, and more.
- Culinary math: Be taught the units of measurement in a kitchen, food yield, how to convert units, estimation, food scaling, and the cost of recipes.
- Food safety: Find out about food safety practices, which are set by fluctuating federal and state regulations. Topics include prevention of food-borne illness, HACCP procedures, sanitation, safe food storing and prep, and safety when reheating.
- Nutrition: You’ll hear about the basic concepts and principles of nutrition in this class.
- Gastronomy: Come away from this course understanding the social, cultural, and historical aspects of the culinary profession.
- Professionalism: Learn in a course that promotes student success in a professional kitchen.
- Product knowledge: You’ll identify and figure out how to use vegetables, grains, nuts, and more in dishes.
Choose Your Culinary Path
Whether you choose an education resulting in a certificate, associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree, you will come away from the program prepared for a career in the culinary field. That makes those months in school well-spent! Start your profession by finding a cooking school near you.