Exciting Career Opportunities with a Culinary Arts Degree

To get started in the culinary arts field, you need little more than a short educational program and a passion for food. Colleges and other educational facilities have everything from one-month career programs to master’s degrees in culinary arts, and the training that’s best for you will depend on your goals in this field. Let’s take a look at some of the exiting career opportunities for those with a degree in culinary arts:

Restaurant Leadership Positions

One of the most common career paths in the culinary arts field is to work in a restaurant kitchen. Without a degree, you may only qualify for very low-level jobs, such as dishwashing, but with some training, you can actually work with food. A head chef (or executive chef) runs the kitchen, but under him or her, you have a number of other chefs who work to make the food at any restaurant a success. The sous chef is second in command, and many restaurants also employ line cooks, sauciers (who make sauces), garde mangers (in charge of cold dishes), and pastry chefs.


A culinary arts degree can also help you prepare for a career as a caterer. In this job, you’ll work as part of a team to provide the food for events, which can include conferences, weddings, movie sets, gallas and balls, non-profit events, and more. Caterers specialize in making food that can be prepared in advance and has a long “life” as it sits on a banquet table as part of a buffet or makes its rounds around a party on serving trays.

Personal Chef

Celebrities, business people, and others with enough money to spare something hire personal chefs to either live in their home and cook meals full time or cook on special occasions, such as for dinner parties or birthdays. In this type of job, the challenge is that you be working in a kitchen that is not your own and may not be set up to your specifications.

Bar Jobs

Lastly, don’t overlook bar-related jobs. At the lower level, you can serve as a bartender, but you can also become a mixologist, learning how to create your own drinks and perfecting classics, as well as become a sommelier, where you’ll help diners pair food and wine. Bartenders are also often called upon to be entertainers, not only mixing drinks, but also engaging guests, performing pouring tricks, and more.

Culinary Programs and Schools

Penn Foster Career School — The Catering certificate from Penn Foster Career School includes ten instruction sets that teach you how to enter the exciting catering business. This at-home learning program takes you step-by-step through the techniques and skills you will need to succeed. Graduates learn all there is to know about catering, including layout, stocks, sauces, baking, and beverages.
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