Associate’s Culinary Programs

Pursuing an associate’s degree in a culinary field is a great way to make yourself distinctive as a culinary professional. By obtaining a culinary associate’s degree, you’ll show employers that you’re serious about your craft, and that you have the knowledge and skills to succeed as a culinary professional. Generally, you will earn your associate’s culinary degree from an independent cooking school, culinary institute, or a traditional college degree program. You’ll find that your associate’s culinary degree program is a mix of cooking classes, lectures, and hands-on experience in restaurants and other culinary settings through internships and school partnerships.

Traditionally, associate’s degrees in culinary programs will take 2 years, however, programs are offered on varying schedules and tracks. You may be able to complete your associate’s program in less than 1 year, or you can take longer than 2 years, largely depending on your schedule and the programs that your school offers. You will find that many schools offer classes that will fit your schedule, whether you need to attend class in the morning, afternoon, evening, or on weekends. You can expect your studies to include plenty of cooking courses, including both basics and specialties. Additionally, you’ll learn important knowledge for running a kitchen or a full restaurant. These classes will cover topics like handling and sanitation, inventory, finance management, human resources, and nutrition.

The job outlook for culinary professionals with an associate’s degree is strong. With your degree, you’ll be a step above other candidates who may only have a certificate or no formal culinary education. This will give you an edge to get a better job as a chef, cook, or other culinary professional in a food preparation setting. Generally, culinary professionals will earn an average of $35,000, but the top 10 percent can earn $60,000 or more. You can generally expect to find employment in a restaurant, but other culinary settings include hotels, schools, grocery stores, and private homes. You should have no problem finding employment with your culinary associate’s degree, as the Bureau of Labor and Statistics asserts that the culinary industry is expected to grow for at least the next 10 years. This assertion is backed up by the National Restaurant Association, which reports that with 12.8 million people, the restaurant industry is the second largest industry in the United States, second only to the government, with 2 million more jobs expected to be added by 2017. This is due to an added demand for convenience, coupled with increases in both population and income. It’s also believed that gourmet food is experiencing an increase in popularity due to cooking shows on TV and an always growing focus on health.

Top Culinary Programs

Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster Career School - Students interested in becoming a caterer will enjoy the program offered by Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster has classes entirely online so students never have to leave their home.
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The Art Institute

The Art Institute Online - With an online program available, students can start a career in the culinary arts quickly and easily.
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The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America - The Culinary Institute of America is a high quality program for students interested in learning the culinary arts from some of the best chefs in the country.
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Le Cordon Bleu

San Franciso

Le Cordon Bleu - One of the highest respected cooking schools, Le Cordon Bleu has graduated some of the top chef's currently working in restaurants around the country today.
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