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Culinary Arts Major

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Culinary Arts

672 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
31 Master's Degrees Annually
#182 in Popularity
$33,210 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Culinary Arts Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many culinary arts graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 9,185
Undergraduate Certificate 8,562
Basic Certificate 8,217
Bachelor’s Degree 679
Master’s Degree 31
Graduate Certificate 1

What Culinary Arts Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to culinary arts were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Culinary Arts Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in culinary arts should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Culinary Arts Majors

A major in culinary arts prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Abilities for Culinary Arts Majors

As a culinary arts major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Culinary Arts Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with culinary arts:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Bakers 7.6% $26,520
Bartenders 2.5% $22,550
Butchers and Meat Cutters 5.7% $31,580
Chefs and Head Cooks 9.6% $48,460
Cooks 9.0% $28,650
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria 7.7% $26,860
Cooks, Private Household 5.2% $37,590
Cooks, Restaurant 11.8% $26,530
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers 9.3% $32,450
Food Scientists and Technologists 5.9% $65,300
Food Service Managers 9.0% $54,240
Professors 9.4% $65,660
Slaughterers and Meat Packers 0.6% $28,260

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts?

679 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
61% Percent Women
37% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 672 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts in 2019, making it rank #182 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 61% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of culinary arts majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Culinary Arts Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 17
Black or African American 73
Hispanic or Latino 129
White 352
International Students 39
Other Races/Ethnicities 69

Geographic Diversity

Culinary Arts appeals to people across the globe. About 5.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • China
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Canada

How Much Do Culinary Arts Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of culinary arts students with a bachelor’s degree is $28,700 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $27,500 (25th percentile) and $29,100 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a culinary arts degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $28,450 to $52,160 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to culinary arts. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Culinary Arts Major  ( 28450 to 52160 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with culinary arts require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to culinary arts have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 16.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 43.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 11.4%
Some College Courses 9.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 7.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 10.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.6%
Master’s Degree 1.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.1%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 0.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.3%

Online Culinary Arts Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 658 schools offered some type of culinary arts program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 517 5
Certificate (1-2 years) 584 5
Certificate (2-4 Years) 36 0
Associate’s Degree 611 3
Bachelor’s Degree 1 0
Post-Baccalaureate 517 5
Master’s Degree 2 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Culinary Arts Worth It?

The median salary for a culinary arts grad is $33,210 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to culinary arts.

Major Number of Grads
Cosmetology 103,674
Funeral & Mortuary Science 1,965
Other Personal & Culinary Services 320

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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