How Can I Become A Chef? Best Schools, Cost, Salary

Do you enjoy cooking? Does your meal get a lot of recommendations? It would be best if you made a living doing what you want.

This article on how to become a chef is all you need to start a career with your culinary skills.

World Scholarship Forum team wants you to earn a living while enjoying yourself. So, this article will give you accurate information on how to become a cook and the best schools. Also, it will highlight the cost of being a chef and how much you may earn.

Well, a lot of people enjoy cooking. They all get recommendations on how tasty their meals are. However, they don’t know that they can make a career out of their culinary skills.

Who is a Chef?

A chef is a professional cook with the proper training and proficiency in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine.

Actually, the word “chef” is a french word that means the head of a kitchen. In addition, different terms use the word chef in their titles.

While the second-in-command in a kitchen is called a sous-chef, one who handles a specific production area is called a chef de partie. However, this hierarchy or kitchen brigade system is found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff.

A chef can cook his face off simultaneously and has the foresight to manage, lead, and create a successful kitchen operation, restaurant, or otherwise.

What does a Chef do?

Majorly, a chef’s duty is to man the kitchen. A chef controls the kitchen in restaurants or other places where food is served.

In addition, they watch all the activities and food preparation with any staff that would assist in the kitchen. Also, they supervise the preparation of food, seasoning, garnishing, and presentation for a perfect taste.

Below are the responsibilities of a chef in a restaurant:

  • inventing new recipe
  • planning menus
  • managing customer relations
  • training the kitchen staff
  • managing inventory
  • quality control
  • monitoring safety standards
  • coordinating with the logistics department
  • maintaining good hygiene
  • obtaining feedback from guests.

What are the available Chef and Culinary Career Paths?

Chefs may occupy one of the following positions. Depending on the management’s decision, a restaurant may have the following:

This is the highest in the chef hierarchy of a kitchen’s management structure. An executive chef in most parts of the world is called a head chef or master chef.

Even though they can help with cooking, their primary role is managing the overall work output in the kitchen. So, they make sure supplies are ready each day, control kitchen costs, and operate multiple outlets in a restaurant.

Similarly, the sous-chef is to assist the Chef de Cusine, otherwise known as the Head/master Chef.

The compound word “sous-chef” is of French origin to mean ‘under chef’ or ‘second chef’.

The sous chef must mainly carry out the instruction given by the head chef. His likely daily responsibilities may include:

  • Preparing a roaster for kitchen staff
  • Assisting the other chefs’ when necessary
  • Making sure the kitchen is spotless and conducive
  • Creating and overseeing the timely rotation of all food product
  • Engineering the everyday operation of the kitchen

Unlike the other chefs, a Chef de partie or station is to manage a particular area of production. That is to say that a kitchen may have more than one chef de partie.

In large establishments, a chef de partie works with his assistants and cooks to present the best meal service to clients. However, a chef de partie may also be the only staff in that department obtainable in normal restaurants.

Usually, station chefs are in sub-divisions like ‘first cook”, ”second cook” and so on. This is just for hierarchy purposes and easy identification.

Finally, butcher-chef, fish chef, roast chef, grill chef, soup chef, vegetable chef, pastry chef, and pastry chef are the numerous types of chefs that are obtainable and the department they oversee.

He is the main cook who works directly under a chef de partie. He mainly learns the station’s responsibilities and operation. Most times, a commis is usually found in a big establishment.

What are the requirements for becoming a chef?

If you don’t enjoy cooking or working in the kitchen, please don’t choose this career path. Basically, chefs love cooking and working in a kitchen and enjoy what they do so much.

To become a chef, you may need to assess your love for the aforementioned and be certain you want to become one. This is the first requirement.

Also, you will need to meet stamina, knowledge, skills, and educational requirement to become a professional chef. Now, let’s look at and see how to meet up these requirements in detail.

Skill Requirement for a Professional Chef

Well, everyone can be a cook, but to be a professional chef, you must be creative, have a strong work ethic, be physically fit and have manual efficiency to excel.

As a Head chef, a Sous-chef, or a Chef de partie, you must incorporate new food items or improve the existing food menu.

Also, apart from preparing your dish, your presentation skill must be creative. Creativity and the ability to create new designs will keep customers returning to your restaurant.

So, you must be able to collaborate, experiment and come you with beautiful designs.

As a chef, your duty demands long hours of standing, and you may work nonstop. So, you must be healthy and physically fit to improve productivity and efficiency.

If you want to be a professional chef, you may have to be patient, tolerant, a good teammate, and a good decision-maker.

Basically, you will be working with many people and may need to make a personal sacrifice to get the job done. Also, you must be emotionally intelligent, possess strong interpersonal skills, and be compassionate.

Other Skill Requirements for a Chef include:

Educational Requirement for a Chef

One of the requirements to meet up is the educational need to become a professional chef. There are numerous educational paths to fulfill the dream of being a chef.

On the contrary, there is no best degree to become a chef; choose a degree after considering what you know now and what you seek to understand better.

You may get a culinary certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree.

So, if you love cooking and would love to learn cooking techniques and skills to take your cooking skills to a new level but don’t have the time to enroll for a traditional degree. Then, you may try getting an online culinary certificate.

Also, if you like cooking, running, and managing a restaurant, you may need to opt for a bachelor’s degree program.

If you want the basic knowledge to become a chef and start practicing as soon as possible, you would consider enrolling for an associate degree.

Furthermore, these degrees are available in different learning edifices. While a Culinary school offers a diploma or certificate degree, a community college offers both an associate degree and a diploma.

However, a 4-year school will award a bachelor’s degree upon completing your coursework.

What do these degrees teach?

Now, we know the available degrees you may get as an education to become a chef and which to consider if you wish to become a chef. Let’s see in detail what each of these degree programs covers.

A Culinary Certificate

This program which may be an online degree program, offers either a diploma or a certificate in an area of specialization.

This culinary Certificate program includes the following:

Basically, students learn how to produce various bread and dough food such as pies, cookies, and pastries. At this point, you gain skills in yeast dough preparation and proper baking techniques for large-scale production.

Actually, this course for chefs allows students to know and understand how equipment in the kitchen work. Also, you will know the specific tool and cooking techniques that are best for each food type preparation.

Additionally, a student, after this course, will gain skills in food sanitation procedures that are effective and other cooking methods and tools that are common for preparing different varieties of dishes.

This coursework for a culinary certificate for chefs mainly informs students on how to create certain dishes.

Also, it informs them of how and why specific methods of preparing food may affect the taste.

Furthermore, upon completing this course, a student will understand why ingredients react a certain way to other ingredients.

Additionally, they get to know what cooking method is best at each point in time to get the end result your desire.

Culinary Associate Degree

In as much as an associate degree is one of the most popular and easiest ways to launch a career in the cooking world as a chef, it may take at least two years to graduate.

Holistically, this degree covers essential knowledge on:

Majorly, this course work allows students to learn how to prepare international dishes and what ingredients to use. Also, it says what tools to use and the best preparation method for each.

However, upon completion, students will gain skills in the preparation of authentic intercontinental dishes and be able to invent and try out new cooking methods.

The culinary associate degree teaches the importance of sanitation protocols and food safety, avoiding foodborne illnesses in this course. Students learn proper food handling and storage methods.

Also, they gain insight into effective and efficient training and management techniques that work in teaching other kitchen staff food safety basics.

Actually, another course work that allows students to practice as a chef upon getting a culinary associate degree in Food procurement.

This course teaches students how to acquire ingredients and supplies. Majorly, it brings into the limelight efficient logistic and profitable ways to get it right.

Hence, if you enroll in this degree program, you will learn how to identify proper ingredients and understand the food purchasing method to ensure a steady supply of ingredients.

Culinary Bachelor’s Degree

To maximize your skill and knowledge as a chef, you should get a bachelor’s degree.

It is more holistic and covers both culinary and presentation skills. Some of your coursework will include the following:

you will learn proper etiquette procedures and techniques. Also, it teaches you the fundamentals of a la carte restaurant service.

Furthermore, a student will get skills in understanding a guest’s needs, how to meet up, and what it takes to act as a waiter or waitress.

Well, this coursework ensures that a student understands the nitty-gritty of french cuisine, including french cooking methods and how to make classic French dishes.

Interestingly, a bachelor’s degree in culinary will introduce you to food service principles and restaurant settings.

So, students learn menu development and course selection, and external marketing tactics alongside customer service techniques.

Where do Chefs Work?

Even though chefs work in restaurants mostly, they can also work in private households and other establishments where food is served.

So, a chef may be a pastry chef in a pastry shop, hotel, or restaurant. He can also be a chocolatier for an industry that produces sweets or candies.

In addition, with basic managerial skills, a chef can work in a restaurant as either a restaurant manager or as an executive or head chef.

Furthermore, a chef may work as a commis or chef de partier in a hotel restaurant or other organizations as a cook.

Interestingly, not all chefs must work in a hotel or in other establishments. A chef may choose a specialty as a caterer or personal chef where he works remotely for everybody yet for nobody in particular.

The chef’s job outlook is enticing. Though some states need more chefs than others, becoming a chef means you may not have to work for anyone.

So, if you would love to be an employer of labor or enjoy working remotely, this profession is for you. Complete this article for a full guide on becoming a cook.

Full Guide on How to Become a Chef in 2023

Well, if you have no prior knowledge and want to practice as a chef in 2023, here is what to do.

The best degree for you right now is a Culinary certificate. This may take you from one week to a year to get basic culinary art training that will allow you to practice.

So, an online school that offers certificate programs in culinary arts will help you achieve your dream of becoming a chef in 2023. Therefore, academic courses online school is your best bet.

#1. Develop your Cooking skills

Actually, before embarking on a career journey as a chef, it is essential to improve your cooking skills. Becoming a chef starts with becoming a cook. Well, an essential way to do that is to find a job as a cook in a restaurant kitchen.

Also, you may practice cooking at home to build skills. You will need to experiment with your daily cooking. Try out your recipe and find out what works.

In addition, cook for other people to get feedback on your meals; this will help you grow and know where to make changes.

Furthermore, while working in a restaurant, watch other professionals; if you can’t get a chef job, watch television chefs and learn from them.

Finally, try online cooking tutorials and keep improving your skills.

#2 Train to Become a Professional Chef

After improving your cooking skills, it’s essential to get basic formal training to become a professional chef. First, get a high school diploma.

Like every other degree course at the university, you will need a high school diploma to gain a bachelor’s degree in culinary school.

Secondly, enroll in a culinary school, depending on what degree you want to pursue. If you want a bachelor’s degree, you will need a four-year school.

While formal education may not be a prerequisite, you must get a degree: be it an associate’s or bachelors. So, don’t lose focus the endpoint is to become a professional chef.

Finally, train at home or get internships for hotel restaurants and establishments. Practical experience is significant.

#3 Work your way up as a Chef

Basically, when you get basic training and commendable cooking skill, launch your career as a chef. Though it may seem rough initially, be consistent and intentional to work your way up.

Start by applying for entering levels, then network with other chefs and restaurant owners to build connections. Then, move restaurants to get a better experience and a better position.

Finally, remember to enroll in certificate programs from The American Culinary Federation, frequently founded in 1929, to learn new and trendy methods and remain on top of your game.

How much will I earn as a Chef?

How much a chef makes depends on several factors, such as experience level, qualification, current employer, and geographical location.

Also, your position in a firm and salary structure may affect a chef’s take-home pay. According to Learn How to Become a Lodging Manager, the median annual salary is about $49,720, while the Food Service Manager may earn $48,690 on average.

In addition, the Bureau of Labour of Statistics opines that the average earnings of the lowest-paid chefs are about $23,630, while the average pay of the highest-paid chefs is $76,280.  

Where can I get a Culinary Degree?

You may attend four academic institutions depending on where you are currently and what you intend to achieve.

#1: Culinary School

Basically, the curriculum of a culinary school is usually focused on what it takes to become a chef. Most of them are dedicated to just one thing, which is the culinary arts.

Actually, how long you spend in this school depends on the program you have enrolled for.

Attending a culinary school equips you and is one of the surest ways to launch a career as a Chef.

#2. Community College

Most community colleges offer just an associate degree, diploma, or certificate in Culinary Arts. Also, they offer few general education classes that give a well-rounded degree. Interestingly, they are usually cheaper to attend when compared to culinary schools.

#3 Vocational/Trade School

This is the quickest way to obtain culinary training of any sought. Specifically, their curriculum is designed to focus on a particular culinary skill.

Generally, they prepare their students and equip them with the right knowledge to move right into the kitchen once they complete their course.

#4: 4-year School

This could basically be a university. Its curriculum is often designed to cover management, business, marketing concepts, and other issues that could arise from managing a restaurant or other food-related business.

They usually cover a wide variety of cuisines, and their cooking methods

Culinary Schools and Associations for Cooks.

This professional organization promotes and enhances the culinary profession by providing certification, accreditation, and other educational resources.

The federation has released its program for 2023, which includes chef connect and a national convention in Dallas 2023. This usually starts on July 19 and ends on Thursday, July 23.

Also, it offers an online learning center for individuals who wish to advance their careers and maintain their Certifications from ACF.

Finally, you may enroll and take part in 2023 competitions to improve your culinary skills and earn a degree. For more information, click the button below. Website

USCA is a professional association that helps chefs achieve their goals. So it offers certification and education opportunities to its members.

Besides taking a certification program to improve your skills, USCA differs greatly from the usual as it recognizes chefs worldwide.

Also, it offers online certifications for chefs and awards certificates in the following programs.

  • Master Culinarian Certified
  • Certified Executive Culinarian
  • Certified Master Chef
  • Executive Chef certified
  • Certified Sous Chef executive.


Other Associations to Identify with

Best Culinary Schools For Bachelor’s Degree

Alabama A and M University Normal Al

The university offers a four-year degree program that awards a bachelor of science degree upon completion of coursework.

Interestingly, it also has available Masters and doctoral degree programs in food science. With an acceptance rate of 32.25% and a student population of 5, 591, its tuition fee is about $7,500 dor in-state and $15,000 out-state.

School Website

California State Polytechnic University – Pomona

Tuition Fees= $5,472 in-state Out-state=$16,632

This university awards a bachelor of science in Food Science upon completion of coursework. Its acceptance rate is 56.38%, and this degree program is available for both on-campus students and distance students.

School Website

Chemeketa Community College Salem OR

Tuition fee: $3,600 In-state $10,890 Out-state

Well, this community college has an acceptance rate of 13.15% and awards an Associate degree in food science.

Interestingly, this associate degree is available to both on-campus and distance students. Visit the school website below for more information.

School Website

Other schools to Get a degree include:

  • Appalachian State University Boone NC: Bachelors in food and science technology
  • Arizona Western College Yuma AZ: Certificate program in Food Science
  • Brigham Young University-Provo: Bachelor’s and Master’s in Food Science
  • Cornell University Ithaca, New York: offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral in Food Science.

Becoming a Chef FAQs

How long does it take to become a chef?

Getting a bachelor of science degree in culinary or food science takes at least two to four years. However, it may take less than a year if you want a Culinary certificate to enhance your cooking skills. That there is no specific length or duration to become a chef.

What are the requirements to become a chef?

Even though no basic educational qualification is required to become a chef, you may need a degree to appear professional, as employers usually ask for one.

What skills do I need to become a chef?

To become a top chef, ensure you’re not just a cook by getting certification and a degree to back up your culinary skills. Then, you must work your way up, get a brand name, build your network, and change positions to assume better positions. In no distant time, you will become a top chef if you’re consistent.

What are the basic educational qualifications to become a chef?

There is no basic educational qualification to become a chef. However, it is important to enroll in culinary school and earn either a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree. Usually, employers ask for this, which can help make you a top chef in no distant time.

See the video for more:


Many people enjoy cooking, but they don’t know that they can earn cool cash by just cooking. This article lets you know how to become a professional chef with your culinary skills.

Also, at the end of this article, you will know the basic difference between a cook and a chef. While no formal training is needed to become a cook, you may have to go the extra mile to become a chef.

Well, don’t let your heart skip because we got your back. This post shows your simple degree options for you to pursue to become a talented chef.

So, read through, find the amount you may make, where you can work, and how you can improve your skills.

There is no better thing in life than to do a job you enjoy. Now, scroll up to pick a program that best suits your preliminary skills and start your journey to greatness.



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