CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a culinary chef.
Is becoming a culinary chef right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
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Frequently Asked Questions
How to become a Culinary Chef
Entry level positions will be open to people willing to work hard, perform well, and move up the ladder. However, to bypass some rungs or to jumpstart a culinary career, formal education will certainly help.
A wide variety of formal culinary training exists, ranging from a few months to four years. There are associates degrees that can be earned in two years, and bachelors degrees that take four years. All programs have hands-on training, where the students will be in a kitchen and learn cooking and baking techniques, nutrition, preparation, as well as safety and sanitation procedures. Internships may also be required depending on the program.
There are over 550 cooking schools in the United States alone, and more and more employers are expecting academic success from their prospective employees. Of these, just under 70 schools have been accredited by the American Culinary Federation.
Nearly all graduates start their careers as an apprentice to a higher-level chef and work their way up, regardless of education.