How to Become a Chef California

Being a chef is a rewarding, exciting career for people who enjoy culinary arts. There are a variety of work environments and specialties to choose from, so being a chef is never boring. In a restaurant, executive chefs oversee the work of specialized chefs—pastry chefs, for example, or salad chefs—and are responsible for planning menus and ensuring food quality. A personal chef is self-employed and works for families or individuals, using their creativity to meet the needs of their clients. If you love working with food, are creative and thrive in fast-paced jobs, culinary arts may be the right niche for you. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in California

Post-secondary education is not a requirement for chefs in California, but many aspiring chefs do take courses in culinary arts programs, technical colleges and universities. Other options for training include learning on the job, mentorship programs with a skilled chef or apprenticeships sponsored by professional institutes, associations or unions.

Culinary Arts Programs in California

Different positions in the food and beverage industry require different levels of training, so see if the schools you are considering have the certificate or diploma you need.

  • Columbia College. Columbia College in Sonora offers both certificates and associate’s degrees in various aspects of culinary arts, so students can choose the program that best suits them. Program costs are based on California state tuition and current college fees.
  • The Culinary Institute of America. Located in the heart of the Napa Valley, the Culinary Institute of America offers associate’s degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, a master’s degree in food business and two advanced certificates for students with bachelor’s degrees in hospitality fields. The estimated cost per semester is $17,410.00 at this time.
  • Orange Coast College. This college in Costa Mesa, Orange County, offers certificates in culinary arts and in baking and pastry. Students can pair these certificates with OCC’s general education requirements to earn an Associate of Science degree. The estimated tuition currently varies between $1,690.00 and $3,848.00, depending on the certificate, and is higher for those pursuing a degree.

Certification or Licensing for Chefs in California

No certification or licensing is required for chefs, but 16 optional professional certifications are available through the American Culinary Federation. Applicants must pass a practical and a written exam. This evidence of skill can place a chef in good stead during the job search.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Earnings for chefs vary greatly depending on the specific area of the food industry they are in. For example, in 2017, half of chefs and head cooks earned at least $23.29 per hour, while 50 percent of short-order cooks made only $12.32 or more.

The same sort of variation is found in projected industry growth. Restaurant cooking is the fastest-growing sector, with a projected growth rate of 17.7 percent between 2016 and 2026 and over 22,000 job openings each year. Fast food cooking, on the other hand, is steadily shrinking at the rate of -0.5 percent over the same period.

Working as a Chef in California

Full-service restaurants offer the most job opportunities for chefs and head cooks, but positions can be found in other places, including hotels, cafés, assisted living facilities and test kitchens. These openings are spread across the state. However, regardless of where you find a position, it takes hard work and dedication to become the best. Take advantage of the training available, maintain the connections you make and put in the effort to improve, and see where the culinary arts can take you.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Bakersfield-Delano, CA Area

Bakersfield College

1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, California 93305-1299
(661) 395-4011
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Bakersfield College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Bakersfield, California. This public college has about 20,448 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $1,326 and for students from outside the state in the order of $7,822 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,791, although this will vary with the program.

Fresno, CA Area

Fresno City College

1101 E. University Ave, Fresno, California 93741
(559) 442-4600
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Culinary Arts Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Fresno City College can be taken at their campus in the city of Fresno, CA. The college has about 22,697 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $1,304 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,944 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.

Institute of Technology

564 W Herndon, Clovis, California 93612
(559) 297-4500
Baking and Pastry – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Institute of Technology offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Clovis in Fresno County. The majority of of the school’s 1,415 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are, as a rough guide, around $17,248 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $302, although this varies from program to program.

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division Area

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Hollywood

5250 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, California 91601
(818) 299-5100
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their Hollywood campus in the city of North Hollywood, CA. The majority of of the school’s 1,198 students are on 4-year programs. The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $18,744 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education

4640 N. Maine Ave, Baldwin Park, California 91706-4221
(626) 856-4101
Food Service and Hospitality – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Food Service and Hospitality at Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education is taught at their campus in Baldwin Park in Los Angeles County. The majority of of the school’s 427 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are likely to be about $1,650 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,165, although this will vary with the program.

Cerritos College

11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, California 90650-6298
(562) 860-2451
Culinary Arts Management – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts Professional Cooking – Associate Program

Cerritos College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Norwalk in Los Angeles County, California. The college has roughly 22,043 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $1,346 and for out-of-state students in the order of $8,598 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $1,790, although this will depend on the program.

College of the Canyons

26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, California 91355-1899
(661) 259-7800
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at College of the Canyons can be taken at their campus in Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County, California. The majority of of the school’s 18,437 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $1,154 and for students from outside the state around $6,458 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,791, depending on the program.

Glendale Community College

1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, California 91208-2894
(818) 240-1000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Glendale Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Glendale, CA. Most of the school’s 15,588 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $1,175 and for students from other states likely to be about $6,335 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,792, depending on the program.

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education

14101 E. Nelson Ave, La Puente, California 91746-0002
(626) 934-2801
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Hacienda La Puente Adult Education’s Certificate program in Culinary Arts is taught at their campus in La Puente in Los Angeles County, CA. This public college has about 4,115 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $3,330 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,338, depending on the program.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Pasadena

530 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California 91101
(626) 229-1300
Pâtisserie And Baking – Certificate Program, Pâtisserie And Baking – Associate Program

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Pasadena campus in the city of Pasadena. This private, for-profit college has roughly 1,510 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are generally around $12,701 yearly.

Long Beach City College

4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, California 90808-1706
(562) 938-4111
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Baking and Pastry Arts – Associate Program

Long Beach City College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Long Beach, California. The majority of of the school’s 24,478 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are around $1,182 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $7,350 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,791, although this will depend on the program.

Los Angeles Harbor College

1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, California 90744-2397
(310) 233-4000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Los Angeles Harbor 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 Wilmington, California. Most of the school’s 10,115 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $1,220 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,538 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,791, although this varies from program to program.

Los Angeles Mission College

13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, California 91342-3200
(818) 364-7600
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Los Angeles Mission College’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is offered at their campus in the city of Sylmar. Most of the school’s 10,188 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $1,220 and for students from other states around $7,538 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,791, depending on the program.

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90015-4181
(213) 763-7000
Baking Professional – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Los Angeles Trade Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Los Angeles, CA. Most of the school’s 14,650 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $1,220 and for out-of-state students around $7,538 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,791, depending on the program.

Mt San Antonio College

1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, California 91789-1399
(909) 594-5611
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Mt San Antonio College’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is based at their campus in Walnut in Los Angeles County, CA. The college has approximately 28,991 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $1,348 and for out-of-state students around $8,659 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,791, although this will depend on the program.

Pasadena City College

1570 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, California 91106-2003
(626) 585-7123
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Pasadena City College can be taken at their campus in the city of Pasadena, CA. This public college has about 27,050 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $1,348 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,332 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,791, although this varies from program to program.

University of Antelope Valley

44055 Sierra Highway, Lancaster, California 93534
(661) 726-1911 x125
Professional Baking and Pastry – Certificate Program

The University of Antelope Valley offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in Lancaster in Los Angeles County, CA. This is a full, 4-year private college with 487 students, of which 0% are undergraduates. The University of Antelope Valley has institutional accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Fees for tuition are about $13,100 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $800, although this will depend on the program.

Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area Area

Columbia College

11600 Columbia College Dr, Sonora, California 95370
(209) 588-5100
Hospitality Management – Certificate Program

Columbia College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in Sonora in Tuolumne County, California. The college has about 2,424 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is around $1,162 and for out-of-state students around $6,658 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,746, depending on the program chosen.

Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area Area

Feather River Community College District

570 Golden Eagle Ave, Quincy, California 95971-9124
(530) 283-0202
Baking Enrrepreneurship – Certificate Program, Nutrition, Foods, and Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Feather River Community College District offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Quincy in Plumas County, CA. The majority of of the school’s 1,842 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $1,461 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,821 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,791, depending on the program chosen.

Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division Area

Contra Costa College

2600 Mission Bell Dr, San Pablo, California 94806-3195
(510) 235-7800
Restaurant Management – Certificate Program, Pastry and Baking Skills – Associate Program

Contra Costa College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in San Pablo in Contra Costa County, California. The majority of of the school’s 6,355 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally about $1,308 and for students from other states approximately $7,944 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,792, although this varies from program to program.

Diablo Valley College

321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, California 94523
(925) 685-1230
Bakery and Pastry – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Diablo Valley College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County, California. This public college has in the region of 19,694 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $1,308 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $7,944 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,792, although this will vary with the program.

Laney College

900 Fallon Sreet, Oakland, California 94607
(510) 834-5740
Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program, Restaurant Management – Associate Program

Laney College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Oakland. The college has about 11,667 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $1,232 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,896 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,792, although this will vary with the program.

Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Area

Oxnard College

4000 S Rose Ave, Oxnard, California 93033-6699
(805) 986-5800
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Restaurant Management – Associate Program

Oxnard College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Oxnard. Most of the school’s 7,006 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $1,388 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,050 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,791, depending on the program chosen.

Redding, CA Area

Shasta College

11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, California 96003
(530) 242-7500
Hospitality Management – Culinary Arts Concentration – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Shasta College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in Redding in Shasta County, CA. The majority of of the school’s 8,620 students are on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $1,183 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,319 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,764, although this will vary with the program.

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Area

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire

674 East Brier Drive, San Bernardino, California 92408-2800
(909) 915-2100
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are imparted at their Inland Empire campus in the city of San Bernardino, CA. The majority of of the school’s 1,553 students are on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Fees for tuition are broadly about $18,744 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program.

Chaffey College

5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, California 91737-3002
(909) 652-6000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Chaffey College’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is based at their campus in Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County. This public college has around 21,054 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $1,169 and for students from other states around $6,521 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,792, depending on the program chosen.

College of the Desert

43-500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, California 92260
(760) 346-8041
Basic Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Management – Associate Program

College of the Desert offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Palm Desert in Riverside County. This public college has approximately 10,466 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is around $1,327 and for out-of-state students around $6,926 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,791, depending on the program chosen.

Riverside City College

4800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, California 92506
(951) 222-8000 x8979
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Riverside City 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 Riverside. The college has roughly 19,086 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $1,426 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,756 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,792, depending on the program chosen.

San Bernardino Valley College

701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, California 92410-2798
(909) 384-4400
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

San Bernardino Valley College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of San Bernardino, CA. This public college has in the order of 13,136 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $1,238 and for out-of-state students approximately $5,500 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,866, although this will depend on the program.

Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA Area

American River College

4700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, California 95841-4286
(916) 484-8011
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management – Associate Program

American River College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Sacramento in Sacramento County, CA. The majority of of the school’s 29,381 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $1,104 and for students from other states around $7,704 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,792, although this will depend on the program.

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Sacramento

2850 Gateway Oaks Dr., Suite 100, Sacramento, California 95833
(916) 830-6320
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their Sacramento campus in the city of Sacramento, CA. Most of the school’s 731 students are on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. Fees for tuition are about $18,744 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,500, although this will depend on the program.

Lake Tahoe Community College

One College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
(530) 541-4660
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Lake Tahoe Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in South Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County. The majority of of the school’s 2,437 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally in the order of $1,224 and for students from outside the state approximately $7,074 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,791, although this varies from program to program.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Sacramento

2450 Del Paso Road, Sacramento, California 95834
(916) 830-6220
Pâtisserie And Baking – Certificate Program, Pâtisserie And Baking – Associate Program

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their Sacramento campus in the city of Sacramento, CA. The college has about 348 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are around $12,468 annually.

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA Area

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-San Diego

7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego, California 92108-4423
(858) 598-1200
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their San Diego campus in the city of San Diego. Most of the school’s 1,382 students are on 4-year programs. The university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are usually around $18,744 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Grossmont College

8800 Grossmont College Dr, El Cajon, California 92020-1799
(619) 644-7000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Grossmont College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in El Cajon in San Diego County, CA. The college has round 18,159 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $1,386 and for students from other states around $6,948 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program.

Palomar College

1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, California 92069-1487
(760) 744-1150
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Palomar College is offered at their campus in San Marcos in San Diego County. The college has in the order of 23,482 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $1,338 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,078 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,764, depending on the program chosen.

San Diego Culinary Institute

8024 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, California 91942
(619) 644-2100
Pastry – Certificate Program

San Diego Culinary Institute offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are imparted at their campus in La Mesa in San Diego County. The college has around 104 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees are around $21,660 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,821, although this varies from program to program.

San Diego Mesa College

7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, California 92111-4998
(619) 388-2604
Culinary Arts – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

San Diego Mesa College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of San Diego. Most of the school’s 24,208 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $1,142 and for out-of-state students around $5,894 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,791, depending on the program.

Southwestern College

900 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, California 91910-7299
(619) 421-6700
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Southwestern College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Chula Vista in San Diego County, California. Most of the school’s 18,716 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $1,336 and for out-of-state students approximately $5,956 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,791, depending on the program chosen.

San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division Area

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-San Francisco

1170 Market St, San Francisco, California 94102-4908
(415) 865-0198
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their San Francisco campus in the city of San Francisco. Of the 791 students, about 100% are postgraduates. The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. Fees for tuition are, as a rough guide, about $18,744 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

City College of San Francisco

50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, California 94112-1898
(415) 239-3000
Culinary Basic Skills Training – Certificate Program, Culinary & Service Skills Training – Associate Program

City College of San Francisco offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of San Francisco, CA. The majority of of the school’s 23,391 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $1,598 and for out-of-state students approximately $9,010 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,791, depending on the program chosen.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-San Francisco

350 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco, California 94103
(415) 216-4416
Pâtisserie And Baking – Certificate Program, Pâtisserie And Baking – Associate Program

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their San Francisco campus in the city of San Francisco, CA. The majority of of the school’s 380 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Fees for tuition are about $13,254 for each academic year.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Area

CET-Sobrato

701 Vine St, San Jose, California 95110
(408) 287-7924
Culinary – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary at CET is offered at their Sobrato campus in the city of San Jose, California. This private, not-for-profit college has approximately 431 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is, as a rough guide, in the order of $11,954 yearly.

International Culinary Center-California

700 West Hamilton Avenue, Campbell, California 95008
(408) 370-5500
Professional Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

International Culinary Center offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their California campus in Campbell in Santa Clara County, CA. The college has around 121 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. Tuition fees are usually around $37,670 annually. Study materials can cost around $670, depending on the program chosen.

San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA Area

Cuesta College

Highway 1, San Luis Obispo, California 93403-8106
(805) 546-3100
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Cuesta College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo County, CA. The college has roughly 9,600 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $1,234 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,408 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,764, depending on the program chosen.

Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division Area

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California-Orange County

3601 W Sunflower Ave., Suite 100, Santa Ana, California 92704
(714) 830-0200
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Argosy University-The Art Institute of California offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their Orange County campus in the city of Santa Ana. The college has round 1,072 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission. Tuition fees are around $18,744 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Cypress College

9200 Valley View, Cypress, California 90630-5897
(714) 484-7000
Baking and Pastry Arts – Certificate Program, Hospitality Management – Associate Program

Cypress College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Cypress in Orange County. Most of the school’s 16,187 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $1,140 and for students from other states approximately $6,156 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,764, although this will vary with the program.

Orange Coast College

2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California 92626
(714) 432-5072
Advanced Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts Basic – Associate Program

Orange Coast College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Costa Mesa. This public college has about 22,140 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $1,184 and for students from other states around $6,728 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,791, although this will depend on the program.

Saddleback College

28000 Marguerite Pky, Mission Viejo, California 92692-3635
(949) 582-4500
Basic Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Saddleback College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Mission Viejo in Orange County, CA. Most of the school’s 19,552 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $1,326 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,766 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,792, depending on the program chosen.

Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA Area

Santa Barbara City College

721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, California 93109-2394
(805) 965-0581
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Santa Barbara City College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Santa Barbara, CA. The college has about 17,920 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $1,374 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $8,326 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,680, depending on the program.

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Area

Cabrillo College

6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, California 95003
(831) 479-6100
Cooking – Certificate Program, Food Services Management – Associate Program

Cabrillo College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Aptos in Santa Cruz County, CA. The college has in the order of 13,086 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $1,456 and for students from outside the state in the order of $5,796 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,746, although this will vary with the program.

Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Area

Santa Rosa Junior College

1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California 95401-4395
(707) 527-4011
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Restaurant Management – Associate Program

Santa Rosa Junior 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 Santa Rosa, California. This public college has in the order of 22,411 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $1,340 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,388 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,792, although this will depend on the program.

Stockton, CA Area

San Joaquin Delta College

5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, California 95207
(209) 954-5151
Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program, Baking & Pastry – Associate Program

San Joaquin Delta College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Stockton, CA. The majority of of the school’s 17,895 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $1,104 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,168 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,792, although this will vary with the program.

Yuba City, CA Area

Yuba College

2088 N Beale Rd, Marysville, California 95901
(530) 741-6700
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Yuba College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Marysville in Yuba County. Most of the school’s 6,869 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $1,144 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,304 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,791, although this varies from program to 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

See options in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.