Is a Culinary Arts Degree Right for You?
Featured SchoolRequest Info
Culinary arts degrees teach students about a lot more than just learning to prepare and cook food. They also study food purchasing, sanitation, wine and beverage accompaniment and employee management. If you like to learn about different foods, have a strong desire to cook, enjoy creativity and have a keen sense of taste and smell, then a degree in culinary arts may be great for you.
Culinary arts students learn about different types of cooking techniques, food storage, portion control, cost control, food safety, nutrition and presentation. Students must practice clean habits and good personal hygiene, have strong leadership skills, be able to work well with others and have the ability to motivate others on their kitchen team.
Advice for Earning Your Culinary Arts Degree Online
Culinary arts degrees can be earned online and are offered at many colleges and universities. Students can earn associate, bachelor's and graduate degrees in the field. Regardless of what degree you decide to earn, you should verify that the learning institution you plan to do it at is accredited, which will ensure that you receive a quality education. Schools should be accredited regionally or nationally. Many employers will not hire individuals who hold a degree from a learning institution that is unaccredited.
Most of these degree programs offered online consist of general education courses as well as ones that focus specifically on culinary arts topics, techniques, traditions and fundamentals. Students take classes on food safety and sanitation; hospitality laws, accounting, marketing and management; customer service; cost controls; and food production.
Common Career Paths
Job opportunities for culinary artists are expected to grow. Common career paths for culinary arts graduates include (but are not limited to):
A chef is generally responsible for overseeing the daily food service operation of a kitchen in a restaurant or other food service establishment. They supervise and direct other cooks and staffers in the kitchen and serve as a leader for other employees. Chefs, who are normally the most skilled cooks in their establishment, are also usually responsible for hiring, training and supervising the kitchen staffers. Other job responsibilities of chefs include preparing cost estimates for and ordering the food and supplies needed in the kitchen, creating the work schedule for other cooks and ensuring that the establishment runs efficiently. Employment of chefs and head cooks is expected to see little change between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salary was $40,630 in 2010.
Food Service Manager
Food service managers are generally responsible for the daily operations and productivity of restaurants and other establishments in which meals are served. They are responsible for administrative and human resources of the business, which may include recruiting and hiring workers, training new employees, ensuring that staffers are performing their jobs correctly and terminating those who are not fulfilling their job requirements. Food service managers also ensure that customers are satisfied with their meals. Other job responsibilities include making the schedules for their staffers, monitoring the actions of employees and ensuring their safety. Employment of food service managers is expected to decline 3 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Culinary Arts Teacher
These vocational instructors teach culinary arts students about food, cooking and a wide range of techniques and concepts. They teach students about sanitation; food safety, preparation and storage; and nutrition. They also teach them how to cook, bake and decorate. Employment of career and technical education teachers is projected to see little change between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median annual salary was $51,470 in 2010.