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Culinary Arts

Becoming a chef can be an exciting career for food lovers of all varieties. Earning an online degree can be a great start to a culinary career that can go in any number of directions, from casual to fine dining, American to intercontinental, in restaurants, hotels, and destination locations across the world.

On-the-job training is very common for fast-food and short-order cooks, but chefs who are serious about their career and have more definite career goals typically pursue college-level career training, either through a culinary or vocational school. Career training programs for chefs usually last from a few months to two or three years.

Longer programs last up to four years, and generally include more advanced courses, and even travel. Chef training can now be started online, and culminates in in-person training at a culinary or vocational school.

Cooking

Beginning Your Career as a Chef through Education

Basic chef training programs include coursework in food handling, sanitation, nutrition, slicing and dicing (knife skills), meats and vegetables, and cooking methods like broiling, baking, and grilling. More advanced courses may cover cooking for large events, haute cuisine, and principles of restaurant management.

These types of courses can result in a certificate, a two- or four-year college degree, or special accreditation from a culinary school. An online degree can be the beginning of an educational path that can establish your culinary foundation and build your resume.

The Ups and Downs of Being a Chef

If you're considering chef career training, be mindful of industry pros and cons. Being flexible is a necessary component to a career as a chef: nearly 30 percent of chefs have part-time schedules, while at the other end of the scale, executive chefs frequently work twelve-hour days to oversee restaurant operations.

However, an expanding restaurant industry is expected to provide some 351,000 new chef jobs in the next eight years. New restaurants, hotels, golf courses, malls, and resorts are constantly opening, creating an ongoing cycle of opportunities for new chefs. The more education and experience you have, the greater your qualifications typically will be for these opportunities.

Salary Earnings for Chefs

Salaries for chefs vary by position and experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that chefs made the following annual median salaries in 2007:

  • Full-service restaurants: $38,220
  • Special food services: $42,270
  • Personal care services: $57,060
  • Management: $61,490
  • Federal government: $59,100

Executive and private chefs typically enjoy the highest earning potential of all chefs. Fine dining, resort destinations, and private clients can be the highest paying employers in the world. The experience new chefs gain at restaurants and catering companies is extremely valuable, familiarizing chefs with all types of food preparation, menu creation, kitchen operations, and customer service.

Pursue your Cooking major today…

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
  • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
  • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
  • Online Courses
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