Culinary Certificates & Diplomas

Working on a certificate or diploma in the culinary arts can open up a number of different opportunities for students. You can gain the knowledge you’ll need to work as a top chef, or even learn how to run a restaurant of your very own. Culinary education is most often found through independent cooking schools, culinary institutes, college degree programs, or even the armed forces, but many hotels and restaurants also have their own training programs for chefs, cooks, and other food service professionals. Most culinary programs are offered as a hands-on experience with food, supplemented by lectures and real world experience including internships in restaurants and other culinary settings.

Many culinary certificate and degree programs offer classes in a variety of schedules, including morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend classes. Programs can take anywhere from just a few months to 2 years or more depending on the level of degree or certificate that you seek. Generally, courses will include regional and international cuisines, pastry, baking, and culinary management. You will learn all of the skills you need to be a successful culinary professional, ranging from cooking skills to restaurant management. Cooking basics, advanced specialties, handling, sanitation, nutrition, inventory management, finance, and human resources will all be on the menu.

You will find that most culinary schools offer options for internships and career placement services to help get you started in the culinary career you’re looking for. As a culinary professional, you can expect to work as a chef, cook, or food preparation worker in a restaurant, private home, hotel, or an institution such as a hospital or university. Others will find careers as restaurant entrepreneurs, food merchandising specialists, or nutritionists. Earnings for culinary professionals are on average about $35,000, while the highest 10 percent earn more than $60,000. The job market for culinary professionals is promising, and according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is expected to continue growing. Increases in population, income, and a higher demand for convenience mean that more people will dine out and take vacations that include hotel and restaurant visits. Generally, casual family dining restaurants are expected to be more popular and experience more growth than up-scale ones. Additionally, grocery store prepared foods are a promising sector that may be lucrative for some, as it’s growing faster than average as grocery stores compete with restaurants. At the same time, high paying positions are scarce and often very competitive, so it’s important to be on the top of your game.

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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