There’s a lot more to cooking than meets the eye. In professional kitchens, there are line cooks preparing meals to the dictates of the head chef’s recipe, a lot of bustle in a fast-paced environment, and many passionate cooks lovingly preparing every tasty dish, and plating like it’s a work of art. It is a work of art.
A culinary arts school is a place where students are taught the preparation of professional dishes.
Ok, let us get right into how to get a diploma in culinary arts. We will also discuss the schools, cost, salary and careers for culinary arts students.
WHAT IS CULINARY ARTS?
A diploma in culinary art is evidence that you have gone through the training program required to equip you for a career as a chef.
As a student, you will learn everything you need to know about food from the science to the preparation, proper handling, sanitation, planning, and food costing among others.
IS CULINARY ARTS A GOOD CAREER?
Culinary arts is not the most lucrative career in the world money-wise, but it makes up for what it doesn’t have, in job satisfaction. You want to make sure you’re actually interested in cooking before taking up a career as a culinarian.
A Chef who is passionate about cooking is a job satisfied person, and that’s enough to make culinary arts a good career. It’s an opportunity to earn whilst living your dream, and feeding people delicious meals.
There’s room for promotion too especially if you work in a restaurant. A culinarian that studies hard and works well would eventually find his or herself at the top. You’re going to be sure of a stable income to take care of yourself and your family too.
WHY YOU SHOULD EARN A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS
A lot of people claim you don’t need a diploma in culinary arts, but a lot of professionals working in restaurants as chefs or sous chefs have either a degree or a diploma in culinary arts.
They say it doesn’t prepare you for life as a line cook in a five-star restaurant, but it’s prudent to get that basic training first, it gets your foot in the door. As a student, you’ll
1. Learn the art of cooking:
You might already know how to cook before you get into culinary school, but when you’re there, you’ll learn how to make it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the mouth.
You’ll learn to combine your ingredients better, and also about flavor profiles, so you can create masterpieces in the kitchen. A culinary school will fine-tune your cooking style.
2. Learn diverse native foods:
A lot of the meals have their origins rooted in the family recipes that are passed down across generations. Modifications have also been noted in these recipes as they move from one person to another.
A culinary school will teach you to appreciate these cultures, understand the origin of these cooking styles, and be able to share these meals with customers or people in a way they can appreciate the diversity in the meals.
You get a background story that lets people connect with the native origins of the meal as well as make them more amenable to trying out new native dishes.
3. Appreciate health and nutrition:
Now health, they say, is wealth, and a culinary school will teach you about how to create mouth-watering delicacies that are healthy, even for people with health complications.
As a holder of a culinary diploma, you’re able to preach good nutrition in your cooking practices.
You’re aware of the nutrient profile of your ingredients, so at any point, you decide to experiment and bring something new to the menu, you’re doing that based on flavours as well as nutritional benefits.
Read: 31 Best Culinary Schools in the World and Tuition Fees in 2022
4. Travel for work:
As a holder of a culinary diploma, you can work anywhere, and in any country of your choice. The alternative method of becoming a cook without a certificate is working your way up in a restaurant of your choice.
This experience level might not hold water if you’re looking to change jobs, especially if the reputation of that restaurant is not known.
A culinary diploma, especially one from a reputable school, would do you the honor of a foot in the door, no matter where you decide to go. Going somewhere new means you have personal experiences you can share with new people, and this can turn out to be valuable.
5. Build a solid background:
Being able to travel anywhere, and work means that you’ll get an opportunity to understudy a lot of professional chefs, who have acquired their own experiences, and developed useful skills.
You’ll also learn better about the native meals of that particular area to add to your wealth of knowledge. This is a background that can only yield positive dividends for you as a cook, since you’ll be able to develop your own style from a wider range of experience.
You’ll essentially get more than what would be available to you without a diploma in culinary arts.
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS
Most chefs, except in special cases like a family who sent them to school so they can continue the family restaurant business or a patron who is in the hospitality business, have to work their way up in a professional kitchen whether they’ve gone to culinary school or not.
A culinarian with a diploma can get one of these jobs depending on the establishment:
- Restaurant cook
- Prep/line cook
- Short order cook
- Assistant chef
- Personal chef
- Pastry Chef
- Catering specialist
- Dessert specialist
You can also decide to open your own restaurant if you are able to sponsor the usually rather expensive venture, but you’ll need to earn a degree as well to be able to..
HOW MUCH YOU CAN EARN WITH A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS?
The average earning of a chef in the United States is about $20 an hour which is about $42,000 dollars a year.
Your average earning if you have a diploma in culinary arts is higher than the national average if you work in major California and Massachusetts cities among others.
Your earning would however increase no matter what city you’re in with your experience level, and as you climb the ranks in the restaurant. The top earners are known to earn almost $90,000, a year while entry-level chefs can earn as low as minimum wage.
The job is usually fast-paced and stressful, so while you’re sure of a stable job and salary, you cannot take on jobs on the side.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM?
Earning a diploma in a culinary arts program varies time wise depending on the school you decide to go to, and the program or course you want to study. Some institutions allow you to earn a fundamental course diploma in only 3 months, while earning some others can take as long as 2 years and 6 months. Usually, it would take you about 4 semesters to complete programs like bakery and pastry management, culinary management and culinary arts among others from reputable schools in the United States.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS CERTIFICATE?
You’re going to be charged per semester if you decide to earn a diploma in culinary arts. Tuition per semester is at an average that ranges from $12,000 to $30,000. To a large extent, this cost depends on the reputation of the institution, the program you choose, and the time it will take you to complete the coursework.
As expensive as these fees are, you can find just as many ways to offset these bills. You can apply for scholarships, or financial aids, and there are also culinary grant opportunities, work study programs, student loans, and reimbursement programs.
Choosing a school with affordable tuition is also one of the ways you can go. Doing all these would ensure you can earn that diploma you need to progress in the culinary world, and if you keep your eyes on the prize, paying the price becomes considerably less daunting.
HOW YOU CAN GET A DIPLOMA IN CULINARY ARTS IN 2022?
1. THE DECISION
As a passionate cook without a certificate who decides to get one, you have to make an informed decision about what kind of cooking you want to do. A lot of diplomas are specific, and you will have to chose to bake and make pastries or cook professionally, or any other area of specialty.
Knowing exactly what you want to do will guide your choice of a school and diploma program to undertake.
2. THE RESEARCH
You want to attend a school that’s accredited because many employers would not recognize a diploma in culinary arts from one that isn’t. You
want to be able to apply for a professional certification after you’ve obtained your diploma, and you wouldn’t if the school isn’t accredited. This means that you want to look for schools that are accredited when you’re making up your choice list.
Something else you want to look out for is the tuition and the program plans. Some institutions have evening and weekend schooling options which is great if you’re going to school and working. Some institutions are more affordable than others, and some have different time plans for the same program which may or may not affect your tuition. You want to look at all these variables before you make your selection of which school you should attend.
3. THE CONTACT
After you have made your informed decision on what cooking skill to harness, and the institution you should attend, you have to reach out to their admissions office and talk to their representative. That way you know how best to go about applying for a spot to earn a diploma with them.
4. ADMISSION AND REGISTRATION
If you’re accepted by the school, then it’s time to get there, go through the registration process and settle in to do the work you have signed up for to earn that diploma of your dreams in the culinary arts.
5. REQUIREMENTS FOR A DIPLOMA IN THE CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM
Generally, you’re not going to be asked to show proof that you can cook to be able to gain acceptance to work for a diploma. A culinary career is not an easy one since it’s usually fast-paced and stressful.
Basically, you need to be passionate about cooking, and derive joy from creating master pieces in the kitchen to succeed in your career.
For school, one or more of these basic requirements are expected;
- A high school diploma or its equivalent
- ACT or SAT
- A minimum age of 17 years
SCHOOLS THAT OFFER THE 10 BEST DIPLOMAS IN CULINARY ARTS PROGRAMS IN 2022.
#1. AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS
It’s a private school that was named after a famous French chef and is located in Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado. You can earn a diploma in culinary, and pastry arts in their campuses, and a diploma in professional pastry arts, and plant based culinary arts in their online school.
They teach you extensively how to cook fresh meals from the farm, give you an opportunity to get good on the job experience and help you secure a lifetime career after your program has run its course. If you decide to run your own business at the end, you can do it confidently since you’ll be getting a foundation in business as a student.
You’ll have to pay a tuition of $17,725, but they have financial aid packages you can apply for.
#2. SULLIVAN UNIVERSITY
You’ll get the opportunity to bag a diploma as a professional baker, or as a professional cook. This is a school that is well equipped in terms of equipment for international cuisines.They also have highly experienced and skilled instructors that would ensure you fully participate and push you to become better.
Sullivan university offers courses like business, nursing, and pharmacy among others, but they are well known for their culinary school. As a student, you’re prepared extensively for a career, and they have a career service office that helps you secure placement for a lifetime career. They also organise programs that help you network and assist you in your job search and you’ll pay a tuition of $495 per credit hour
#3. CULINARY ARTS ACADEMY, SWITZERLAND.
This is a highly prestigious school that has been ranked in the QS world university rankings. Your instructors would be skilled chefs with experience from five-star, and michelin rated restaurants.
you’ll be able to perfect your skills whilst working alongside professionals, and with state of the art equipments for European cuisines.
They update their courses regularly to ensure that relevance, and prepare you as their student for the professional world. There’s an opportunity to network meaningfully and in a way that’s profitable for your career after school. You’ll be able to earn a swiss grand diploma in culinary arts, a swiss grand diploma in pastry, or a chocolate arts diploma in vegetarian culinary arts
Read: Rouxbe Cooking School Review 2022: Certifications, Cost, Aid
Fanshawe is one of London’s largest colleges. In their culinary school you can earn a diploma in Bakery and pastry arts management, Culinary skills and Culinary management among a host of other available culinary arts courses.
They equip you with the knowledge, expertise, and experience you need, help you fine-tune your skills, and prepare you for life in a professional kitchen.
As a student, you’ll get to explore your passion as you get the hands-on training you need working in their teaching restaurant that’s also in London.
#5. INSTITUTE OF CULINARY EDUCATION
They give you an opportunity to earn a diploma that will change your life in the course of six to thirteen months.
It’s named the best culinary school in America, and you’ll get an opportunity to learn from top tier chef instructors. The institute of culinary education gives you vigorous hands-on training through externship opportunities that are also networking opportunities.
If you decide to work for one of the three diplomas they offer in culinary arts, Pastry and Baking Arts and Health supportive Culinary Arts and also for the Restaurant and culinary management diploma at the sametime, the school has made it so that you won’t have classes that clash with each other, so you can own your own establishment after school.
There’s also a tuition incentive for earning more than one diploma..
#6. LE CORDON BLEU COLLEGE OF CULINARY ARTS
This is a well known prestigious culinary school you can attend to be trained by professional and highly skilled chefs. you can work for a diploma in culinary arts, or a more specialized diploma in pastries and baking, or hospitality and restaurant management. This is the school for you if you’re interested in learning about french cuisine. The school also assists you to find a career placement after school.
You’ll have to pay a tuition of 28,850 with an application fee of 1500 euro for the cuisine diploma and 49,200 with an application fee of 1500 for the grand diploma.
#7. ITALIAN CULINARY FOUNDATION
They’re a non-profit organization that trains you if you want to study italian cuisine. skilled native italian chefs would be there to teach you.
You’ll also be able to use Italian products too. they keep their cooking methods authentic so you can appreciate the Italian way of making meals.
you’ll be getting a lot of hands-on training that would solidify your background as an expert of the italian cuisine. They help you build the confidence you need to stand out as you prepare for your duties as a professional cook on graduation
#8. BUSINESS AND HOTEL MANAGEMENT SCHOOL, SWITZERLAND
As a student, you’ll get to work hands-on to build your competence at B.H.M.S.
They have a new state of the art training kitchen within which you’ll be taught new skills, and the skills you already have will be polished. you have to develop your prowess with utensils and learn how to use and combine different ingredients.
You can get a diploma, a higher diploma, and a postgraduate diploma from the school by learning under her professional instructors. there’s an opportunity to intern in one of the fine dining swiss restaurants.
#9. ASHBURTON COOKERY SCHOOL AND CHEF ACADEMY
Training programs are inspiring, and make the entire concept of food preparation exciting. Their kitchens are highly equipped, their tutors are skilled, and they even have kitchen porters to clean up after you. What more can you ask for?
As a student, you’ll get hands-on training, and a lot of networking opportunities. They help you build up the confidence you need to work in a professional kitchen. There are courses designed especially for you no matter what point you are in your grasp of cooking.
You’ll have an opportunity to earn a diploma in culinary arts, and in pastries, and an advanced diploma in cuisines and pastries.
Read: How Can I Become a Chef in 2022? Best Schools, Cost, Salary.
#10. GEORGIAN COLLEGE
They partner with relevant industries and the community to afford you the best experience in their culinary management program.
You’ll acquire knowledge, and skills that are invaluable in the culinary profession. You’ll also get an opportunity to work in highly equipped kitchens that help you hone your equipment and utensils handling skills.
As a student, you’ll gain experience working hands-on under professional chefs and also build your business handling skills. You’ll get a chance to participate in their apprenticeship program that will allow you to network and create useful connections for when you’re through with school.
A lot of chefs think it’s better to apply and get a job in a restaurant and then work your way up if you love cooking. In a way, they could be right, but in the real sense, there’s no better way than earning a certificate. There’s a whole lot more you can do as a chef that way.
Most culinary schools also help you find jobs with better pays than you’ll be able to find on your own. It ensures you have a stable reasonable income and still get to work at a job you’re passionate about.