Types of Cooking Degrees

Updated July 19, 2017

Are you considering a new career in the culinary business? There are several different types of cooking degrees for you to consider. Cooking degrees are useful in finding that perfect job. Maybe you're considering your own catering business, or becoming a wedding cake designer. Maybe a school, hospital or hotel chain is needing a knew cook. Either way, the cooking industry is a popular career choice these days, with many types of jobs available for your choosing.

Diplomas or Certificates

The diploma or certificate cooking degrees are the first step toward a cooking career for most people. These degrees generally take one month to two years to complete and require a high school diploma, or equivalent, for entry. This is a popular cooking degree as it takes less time to obtain and prepares you to start working in the culinary arts at an entry-level position much sooner.

Associate Degree

An associate degree takes nine months to two years to complete. This cooking degree requires a high school diploma, or equivalent, and a work or academic recommendation for entrance. It also counts toward a bachelor's degree, if you choose to go forward with your culinary education. The associate degree is perfect for those who want the education and job experience at a faster pace.

Bachelor's Degree

The bachelor's degree takes four years to complete and is one of the most popular cooking degrees available. A bachelor's degree makes it possible for you to obtain a master's or doctorate degree. You're required to have a high school diploma, or equivalent, with high GPA and SAT scores, or one of the above degrees for entrance. Restaurant managers, food writers and restaurant owners are known to have a bachelor's degree.

Master's Degree

A master's degree is aimed toward those wanting a management position in a restaurant. This degree is less about skill and more about knowledge. By the time you've reached this level you'll already have accomplished the cooking skills. This is a good degree for those wanting to open their own restaurant, or manage the one they currently work at, as well as for instructors, nutritionists and dietitians. The master's degree requires a bachelor's degree for entrance and takes approximately two years to acquire.


Apprenticeship isn't a cooking degree, but it is a great way to get started in a cooking career. An apprenticeship is based on learning through working. With a good work recommendation, an apprenticeship can get you into a culinary program and help you obtain your cooking degree.

What to Consider

Not all schools offer all of these cooking degrees. Check them out thoroughly in order to assure that the school you choose can offer exactly what you require. Is the school's location convenient? Does the degree's time requirement match your employment goals? What kind of job do you want to use your degree for? Does the school offer job placement? How much will it cost to obtain your degree of choice? All of these are questions you must ask when choosing the right cooking degree and culinary school for you.

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About the Author

Christie Silvers is a wife, mother and writer. She enjoys writing family-related topics and paranormal fiction. Silvers has been writing for years, but only professionally since 2006. She has hundreds of articles and a few paranormal fiction novels available for your reading pleasure.