Culinary arts student in last days of classes
Working as a professional chef can be a pretty terrific job
Employers want chefs who have some good formal education
Training programs are typically short and intense
You can graduate and get started in your new career fast

Cooking Schools

If you like to cook, why not turn it into a career?

If you are interested in working as a professional chef one day, you may be able to get trained and get started working in your first job pretty quickly.

What is the Typical Training Like?
There isn’t just one path to follow to get started in the culinary arts.

Workers in a busy restaurant kitchen at lunch timeWhile some students enroll in a four-year bachelor degree program, most students enroll in an associate degree or certificate program. Many students graduate in under two years, and some can earn their diploma or certificate in well under a year.

The majority of traditional colleges do not offer a degree in culinary arts. Most students end up studying at a vocational training college or school that specializes in the culinary arts.

Some schools may offer programs in fundamental cooking skills, culinary arts, pastry making and baking, Le Cordon Bleu training and hospitality or restaurant management. These schools typically offer classes during the day and evening.

Some classes are traditional classroom style learning, but many are hands-on classes presented in typical industry-equipped commercial kitchens with all the equipment and accessories found in working restaurants.

Students receive the actual specific experience they need to prepare for a career in the cooking or hospitality industry.

What Happens After I Graduate?
This female cooking student is ready for anythingMost schools, especially the private culinary specialty schools, really work hard at offering career services and assistance. If they didn’t have a good record of placing graduates in jobs, they would find it hard to recruit new students.

Because students gain practical experience working in the student kitchens and on-campus restaurant, the majority of students participate in an internship program with a local restaurant. Most graduates start working as an entry level chef, cook, pastry chef, caterer or baker somewhere in the restaurant, resort, hotel, cruise ship or catering industry.

What’s My Next Step?
If you think this might be a good career for you, your first action step is to simply research which schools in might work well for you. This step is pretty easy.

Drop in your zip code and see what’s available: