How to Become a Chef in Delaware

Today’s world of culinary arts is fast-paced and exciting, with plenty of growth on the horizon. Throughout the U.S., the hospitality industry is expected to keep expanding—not only with regards to traditional food-related jobs, but also into new types of businesses such as meal delivery services and home cooking courses. Those looking to go into the world of cooking, baking, butchery or even food service administration have more opportunities than ever to follow a fascinating and rewarding culinary career. [En Español]

Chefs are typically the highest paid workers in professional kitchens, and often take on the role of manager and coordinator of most aspects of food preparation, service and menu planning. They are typically the key decision-makers when it comes to food safety, ordering, pricing and supplies, and also work alongside hospitality managers to work on business initiatives such as marketing and budget planning.

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Delaware

There are no formal requirements for becoming a chef in Delaware; however, both hands-on experience and relevant training are typically preferred by employers. Chefs-in-training who wish to work in the area should gain familiarity with local food and restaurant trends and immerse themselves in real-world experience whenever possible, and they should also consider certification with the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

Culinary Arts Training and Educational Programs in Delaware

If you’re looking for culinary arts schools in Delaware, you’ll be pleased to find a variety of institutions to choose from. High-rating culinary schools in the state include:

  • The Hospitality School.The Hospitality School offers culinary arts training to those who face barriers to employment. They offer a 14-week program, which covers all aspects of culinary arts training as well as job readiness and placement services. This is a full-time course meant for people with little to no prior training or experience.
  • Delaware Technical Community College.Delaware Technical Community College offers an associate’s degree program in culinary arts. The program covers all aspects of contemporary culinary trends as well as business and management skills

Certification for Becoming a Chef in Delaware

Being a great chef requires years of hands-on experience, and this is essential to becoming an outstanding job candidate. Professional chefs typically start out as cooks and work their way up, with many getting training at a trade school or community college. Though it is not necessary to get formal education to become a chef, most restaurants will prefer to hire people with at least some education. Cooks and chefs should also consider getting nationally certified by the American Culinary Federation to ensure that they remain competitive in the industry

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Chefs and Culinary Artists in Delaware

As of 2016, there were about 250 chefs and head cooks working in the state of Delaware, and this number is expected to increase slightly to 280 by 2026. Culinary areas with the most notable growth projections into the next several years are chefs and head cooks (11.1 percent), restaurant cooks (12 percent) and food prep and serving workers (13.2 percent). Chefs and head cooks in Delaware make an average of $26.08 per hour, or $54,240 per year.

There are expected to be 680 job openings annually for restaurant cooks, but only about 40 annually for chefs. Thus, those looking to gain beginner and intermediate experience as cooks as they train to become chefs should find plenty of opportunities, but experienced chefs may face high levels of competition in the state.

Working as a Chef in Delaware

Over the next several years, there will be about 20,300 annual job openings for chefs in the U.S., with a projected job growth rate of 9.6 percent. Delaware is a relatively small state with a booming food services sector and plenty of opportunities for those interested in high-end hospitality jobs. Graduates and experienced professionals in the culinary arts will find the best jobs in locales such as resorts and spas.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Dover, DE Area

Delaware Technical Community College-Terry

100 Campus Drive, Dover, Delaware 19901
(302) 857-1000
Baking and Pastry Skills – Certificate Program

Delaware Technical Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their Terry campus in the city of Dover, DE. The majority of of the school’s 13,471 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,607 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $10,899 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,600, although this will vary with the program.

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

Neighbor States

Residents of Delaware may also wish to review their options in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and New York.