The time it takes to complete a culinary school education varies depending on what type of school you go to and the certificate or degree you end up achieving.
If you go to a simple school designed to help you get started, then you may complete the course in a couple of months or even weeks. But if you want a diploma or degree from your education then you can expect up to 6 years in school.
To get started in professional cooking, you don’t necessarily need a degree. Anna Brooks, visionary at CooksDream.com, is technically an amateur cook but she has been teaching the internet how to create amazing recipes for years. Sometimes learning the basics of cooking is all you need to get started.
But if you want to know more about the different options available to you, keep reading.
Types Of Culinary Schools
Generally speaking, there are three types of culinary schools.
The first type of cooking school will offer you a handful of classes to help you learn about the kitchen. They are just a couple of months long and are designed to teach you the basics such as baking a cake and cooking a lasagne, along with food safety. These classes are normally aimed at people with little-to-no knowledge and no desire to start a business. If you need help cooking for your family or starting the hobby, then this is the class for you.
The second type of culinary school is found in a community college. These lessons are classroom-focused, they give you skills to complete more complex dishes and will award you a certificate or degree at the end of the year. By the end of this course, you’ll know about the health and safety measures expected in restaurants, you’ll know how to cook moderately difficult dishes, and you should be ready for a fast-paced working environment.
The third type of culinary school is as long as a university degree. They often take 4 years to complete and will leave you with business knowledge, hospitality skills, and expert experience in complicated dishes.
Certificates You Can Achieve
The first type of cooking school mentioned above will not give you a certificate that can be translated into the workplace. They are normally designed to help those with no knowledge at all.
The second type of culinary school will give you a certificate. Depending on the type of school you have entered you will either achieve a school diploma that allows you to work at entry-level positions, or you will receive a diploma allowing you to jump to higher positions in the culinary industry. This is because you will know how to cook, but also will have experience working for restaurants already, thereby giving you real-world experiences.
Degrees You Can Achieve
From a university level of education, you can either choose to go down the artistic or scientific branches. Both are fantastic, but depending on the opportunities they may give you, you should read about each school’s offerings.
Either way, you can achieve one of these degrees:
- Associate’s Degree – 2 years of training.
- Bachelor’s Degree – 4 years of training.
- Master’s Degree – 2 years plus Bachelor’s Degree.
These degrees will teach you about culinary theories, different concepts of foods, and how to safely prepare dishes and grant you exposure to food you might not have tried before.
All of this information will help you learn how to balance flavors and create new dishes for everyone to try.
What You Can Expect From Culinary Schools
No matter what your previous experience is, expect to start from the bottom when you enter culinary school. This is because each layer of knowledge you receive will feel like a whole new world.
The best schools will give you the chance to train in a restaurant, learning the pace you need to keep up with demand while still cooking delicious food.
Depending on the school you apply for, you can expect written essays to help understand different theories in cooking, practical classes to learn about special techniques, and real-life casework such as building your own business or entering into an already successful restaurant.
If you want to learn as much as you can about cooking, we suggest taking either an Associate’s Course or a Bachelor’s Course. One will last 2 years while the other will last 4. From there you will have all the knowledge you need to become a professional chef.