2021 Culinary Arts Degree Guide
Imagine yourself working in a bakery pulling a batch of fresh bread from the oven, or as a cook in a busy restaurant, preparing filet mignon, chicken parmesan or butternut squash soup. If you have a passion for food and love spending time in the kitchen, you may want to consider a major in Culinary Arts.
As a Culinary Arts student, you will learn everything you need to know to become a top chef. Along with classes in food science, nutrition, baking, menu planning, and garde manger, you will also study hospitality, facilities management, and business administration to give you the skills to cook, as well as manage a restaurant property.
Maybe you have a passion for a certain type of cooking? Don't worry, general Cooking and Related Culinary Arts is not the only specialization available to you. You can choose to concentrate in Baking and Pastry Arts, Bartending, Chef Training, Catering Management, Food Preparation, Meat Cutting, Food Service, Dining Room Management, Culinary Science, and Wine Stewardship/Sommelier.
Culinary Arts Degrees Decreasing
Culinary Arts Degree Requirements
Chefs set the pace in the kitchen. This means leadership skills are mandatory. You must be prepared to oversee staff to ensure all meals are cooked efficiently and only the best quality meals leave the kitchen. Successful chefs are also creative and have strong time management skills. Good business skills are just as important as cooking skills for executive chefs.
Chefs often work full time with long hours both during the week and on weekends. Since executive chefs oversee food delivery, cooking and plan the menu, they can sometimes put in 12-hour workdays.
In order to become a head chef, you must work your way up. A part-time job as a line cook or dishwasher will expose you to the kitchen environment and allow you to pick up some skills from the other cooks. Training at a school and the following apprenticeship will refine these skills. Work experience along with advanced education will allow students to find jobs as executive chefs or head cooks. Although it's not necessary, certification by The American Culinary Federation may attract the attention of more employers.
This major is available as an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. Depending on your career goals, an associate's degree along with work experience may be sufficient training. However, if you seek a more advanced position or want to run your own business, a Bachelor's may be helpful.
Prior Education for a Culinary Arts Program
culinary arts degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific culinary arts careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.
Types of Culinary Arts Degrees
Culinary Arts degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in culinary arts to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the culinary arts degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A high school diploma or equivalent is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to culinary arts, with approximately 42.1% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to culinary arts tend obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma||43.9%|
|Less than a High School Diploma||16.1%|
|Some College Courses||9.3%|
This of course varies depending on which culinary arts career you choose.
Career Opportunities for A Degree In Culinary Arts Graduate
Graduates with a degree in Culinary Arts often work in restaurants, hotels, or as private chefs. Some have gone on to open their own restaurants and start their own catering services.
Jobs at high-end venues, such as restaurants, hotels, and casinos, will be extremely competitive since they are limited and the pay is greater.
Solid Growth Projected for Culinary Arts Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your culinary arts degree? Culinary Arts careers are expected to grow 8.2% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to culinary arts.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|Food Preparation and Serving Worker Supervisors||1,024,500||9.3%|
|Institution and Cafeteria Cooks||457,400||7.7%|
|Food Service Managers||336,400||9.0%|
How Much Money Do Culinary Arts Grads Make?
Recently graduated culinary arts students earned an average of $23,666 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $7,600 to as high as $45,700. As you might expect, salaries for culinary arts graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
High Paying Careers for Culinary Arts Majors
Salaries for culinary arts graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers culinary arts grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Food Scientists and Technologists||$72,570|
|Food Service Managers||$58,960|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||$52,160|
Getting Your Culinary Arts Degree
With over 661 different culinary arts degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased culinary arts school rankings to help you with this.
Culinary Arts Related Majors
One of 3 majors within the Personal & Culinary Services area of study, Culinary Arts has other similar majors worth exploring.
Majors Similar to Culinary Arts
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Funeral & Mortuary Science||1,482|
|Other Personal & Culinary Services||2|
Southern New Hampshire University
You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs ... Learn More >
Building on Purdue’s mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that’s tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from the prestigious Purdue University system—completely online ... Learn More >
Grand Canyon University (GCU)
With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments ... Learn More >
Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences ... Learn More >
Colorado Technical University (CTU)
CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, aculty who are real-world professionals, and innovative technology ... Learn More >