Culinary Arts Certification: Certificate Program Overview

Learn about culinary arts certificate programs. Read on for information regarding admission requirements, coursework and skills gained. Also, find out about the availability of such programs, in addition to potential career opportunities.

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Essential Information

While participating in a culinary arts certificate program, students learn the basics for working in the food service 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 private and public colleges, universities and vocational schools offer culinary arts certificate programs. A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically needed for admission. A culinary arts certificate program prepares students for entry-level work in restaurants and other food service businesses.

Course Topics

Students participate in classroom instruction and also receive hands-on training in school kitchens. Students learn how food is produced and prepared using various domestic and international techniques. Culinary arts students take classes like:

  • Knife skills
  • Nutrition
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Baking principles
  • Cooking methods
  • Ethnic cuisine
  • Food service purchasing
  • Restaurant operations
  • Bread-making

Popular Career Choices

With a certificate in culinary arts, students are prepared for entry-level employment in the restaurant and food service industries. Graduates can apply for jobs at hotels, resorts, restaurants, theme parks, catering companies and more. Some common career choices include:

  • Baker
  • Cook/Chef
  • Chocolatier
  • Restaurant manager
  • Caterer

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for chefs and head cooks are expected to increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2012, also according to the BLS, the median annual wage for these positions was $42,480, with beverage manufacturing paying the highest wages.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Many voluntary certifications are available for food service professionals at various credentialing agencies. Food service managers can obtain the Foodservice Management Professional certification from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (nraef.org). The American Culinary Federation also awards different certifications to chefs (www.acfchefs.org). Although certification is voluntary, it helps validate a culinary arts professional's experience and education qualifications. Each credentialing agency sets it own eligibility requirements for obtaining the certification.

Undergraduate degree programs at the associate's and bachelor's level are also available in culinary arts. Classes are more advanced and delve deeper into international cuisines, cooking and baking techniques and hospitality operations. Students may also have opportunities to participate in internships so they can gain professional experience.

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Top Schools for Culinary Arts and Culinary Services

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Institutional Food Worker
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Chef Training
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
  • School locations:
    • Montana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Montana include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
        • Catering and Restaurant Management
        • Chef Training

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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