Associate in Culinary Arts

Food is a basic necessity of life. No matter how busy people are, they still take out the time to go out and eat. This is where the role of culinary artists comes into play. Thousands of chefs, culinary artists, and cooks make up the large food industry. These professionals prepare food for people in restaurants. The importance or demand for great-tasting food can't be denied. The industry comprises of many restaurants and food chains that specialize in certain cuisines and have established reputations for their services.

The food industry offers numerous career opportunities to individuals who have the passion for cooking and wish to make a career out of it. However, high competition has also increased the demand for well-educated and skilled food artists. Individuals may prepare for challenging careers in the food industry by enrolling in degree programs and certifications in culinary arts. This field is offered for study by many prestigious schools all across the nation.

Associate in Culinary Arts
An associate level degree in culinary arts is a suitable path to preparing for an entry-level career in the field. This program may be pursued after graduating from high school or earning a GED. The program is geared towards teaching students how to prepare different foods, and acquire a brief understanding of how the food industry operates. The curriculum of the program is divided into classroom learning and practical training. During the initial phase of the program, students are required to study a variety of relevant subjects that help build a solid foundation of knowledge. Some of the subjects covered include:

  • Kitchen essentials
  • Foundations for cooking
  • Food service nutrition
  • Culinary operations
  • Restaurant management
  • High-volume production cooking
  • Communication skills

An associate in culinary arts degree will train students and provide essential practical experience. Some schools offer state-of-the-art learning kitchens where students acquire hands-on learning. It is important that students master the skills, and learn how to cook various cuisines with expertise. Here are a few of the objectives of the program:

  • Allow students to demonstrate general skills needed for culinary professions
  • Learn to identify culinary trends
  • Prepare foods according to industry standards
  • Apply fundamental cooking procedures and standards

Students may also specialize in a certain field or cuisine. Some students choose baking and pastry-making while others choose restaurant management. Before enrolling in any school, make sure it is accredited by a recognized agency such as the American Culinary Federation.

Career Prospects
With an associate's degree in culinary arts, you may prepare for an entry-level career in restaurants, food chains, catering firms, and more. You could work as a food preparation supervisor, assistant-chef, chef, and restaurant cook. It is important to remember that your area of specialization will determine your career ahead. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual income of cooks was $20,550 in 2012, with a fast growth rate in the coming years.


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