Culinary Arts Programs in Alabama

This webpage provides comprehensive data on culinary schools and education options in the state of Alabama. Furthermore, we provide in depth data employment prospects and local pay rates. [En Español]

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) informs that there were approximately 48,050 persons working as culinary professionals, such as chefs, head chefs and cooks in Alabama in May 2016. In addition, there were 1,780 persons in employment as baking and pastry professionals, and an additional 9,460 in employment in food preparation. There were 2,250 employed as food service managers. It is predicted that jobs for chefs and cooks in the yellowhammer state will increase by 2.6% for the 10-year period to 2024, which is lower than 4.5% growth expected across the nation.

Cooks and Chef Salaries in Alabama

In 2016, the average salary for restaurant chefs in the nation’s 23rd most populous state was $21,730 (BLS). Chefs and experienced senior cooks made an average salary of $51,240 for the same period, and baking and pastry specialists made $24,150 or $11.61 per hour.

Salaries in Alabama by Occupation

Job TitleTotal EmployedMean Hourly PayMean Annual Salary10th Percentile25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bakers1,780$11.61$24,150$17,080$19,070$22,610$27,640$35,280
Butchers and Meat Cutters1,620$13.89$28,890$18,980$23,420$28,290$33,800$39,050
Chefs and Head Cooks610$24.64$51,240$33,320$40,030$50,580$59,520$69,210
Fast Food Cooks6,940$8.77$18,240$16,160$16,930$18,190$19,490$21,810
Food Preparation Workers9,460$9.65$20,080$16,380$17,400$19,100$22,410$26,680
Food Service Managers2,250$30.94$64,350$38,500$47,780$60,410$77,120$99,290
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks10,700$9.47$19,710$16,190$17,110$18,660$21,310$25,970
Other Cooks210$13.50$28,080$19,430$21,210$23,930$35,600$45,400
Other Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers800$9.59$19,940$16,340$17,270$18,820$21,460$25,940
Restaurant Cooks15,790$10.45$21,730$16,610$18,060$20,740$25,160$29,440
Short Order Cooks3,100$9.87$20,530$16,480$17,850$20,230$23,340$25,390

Chef and Head Cook Salaries in Alabama by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Birmingham-Hoover, AL170$26.31$54,730
Columbus, GA-AL60$19.50$40,560
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL40$23.96$49,830
Huntsville, AL100$21.69$45,110
Mobile, AL40$22.02$45,800
Montgomery, AL90$27.81$57,850
Tuscaloosa, AL30$27.05$56,270

Restaurant Cook Salaries in Alabama by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL410$10.01$20,820
Auburn-Opelika, AL630$9.62$20,020
Birmingham-Hoover, AL4,580$10.76$22,380
Columbus, GA-AL1,050$10.08$20,980
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL1,530$12.27$25,520
Decatur, AL460$9.65$20,060
Dothan, AL690$9.42$19,600
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL560$9.78$20,340
Huntsville, AL1,580$10.68$22,220
Mobile, AL890$10.56$21,970
Montgomery, AL1,470$10.38$21,580
Tuscaloosa, AL950$9.93$20,660

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Birmingham-Hoover, AL Area

Virginia College-Birmingham

488 Palisades Blvd., Birmingham, Alabama 35209
(205) 802-1200
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

Virginia College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their Birmingham campus in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. This is a full, 4-year private college with 2,138 students, of which 97% are undergraduates. Fees for tuition are about $14,632 per year.

Huntsville, AL Area

J F Drake State Community and Technical College

3421 Meridian St N, Huntsville, Alabama 35811
(256) 539-8161
Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management – Associate Program

J F Drake State Community and Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Huntsville, Alabama. The majority of of the school’s 996 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $4,350 and for students from other states around $7,860 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $2,000, although this varies from program to program.

Mobile, AL Area

Virginia College-Mobile

3725 Airport Blvd, Suite 165, Mobile, Alabama 36608
(251) 343-7227
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

Virginia College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their Mobile campus in the city of Mobile. This private, for-profit college has approximately 418 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition is in the order of $14,632 yearly.

Montgomery, AL Area

H Councill Trenholm State Community College

1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, Alabama 36108-3199
(334) 420-4200
Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management – Associate Program

H Councill Trenholm State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Montgomery. The majority of of the school’s 1,401 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $4,134 and for students from other states likely to be about $7,644 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,800, depending on the program.

Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area Area

George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville

801 Main St NW, Hanceville, Alabama 35077-2000
(256) 352-8000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

George C Wallace State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Hanceville campus in the town of Hanceville, AL. This public college has in the order of 5,418 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,380 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $7,890 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,400, although this will depend on the program.

Tuscaloosa, AL Area

Shelton State Community College

9500 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405-8522
(205) 391-2211
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Shelton State Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Tuscaloosa. This public college has approximately 4,834 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $4,107 and for students from outside the state around $7,617 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,800, depending on the program.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of Alabama may also wish to review their options in Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.