Culinary Arts Programs in Iowa

This page provides comprehensive data on college listings, both public and private, for culinary arts, baking and pastry and other food service programs in the state of Iowa. Also, we provide comprehensive data employment prospects and wage rates in the hawkeye state. [En Español]

Job Outlook

In May 2016, there were about 34,140 working as cooks and chefs in the state of Iowa as stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, there were 1,790 persons in employment as baking professionals, and an additional 5,640 in employment in food prep. There were 3,390 working in food service management. It is predicted that employment for chefs and cooks in the hawkeye state will expand by 5.4% in the 10 years to 2024, which compares favorably with 4.5% growth expected nationwide.

Cooks and Chef Salaries in Iowa

The average wage for chefs working in restaurants in Iowa, as of May 2016, was $10.45 per hour, $21,740 per annum (BLS). Head cooks and chefs earned an average annual salary of $34,920, or $16.79 per hour, in the same year, while baking and pastry specialists earned $27,240 or $13.10 per hour.

Salaries in Iowa by Occupation

Job TitleTotal EmployedMean Hourly PayMean Annual Salary10th Percentile25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bakers1,790$13.10$27,240$18,330$21,840$26,730$31,640$37,980
Butchers and Meat Cutters3,040$12.18$25,330$18,060$20,640$23,880$29,280$35,840
Chefs and Head Cooks1,240$16.79$34,920$19,380$25,850$31,250$41,970$52,150
Fast Food Cooks3,720$8.98$18,680$16,110$16,900$18,230$19,630$23,660
Food Preparation Workers5,640$10.28$21,370$16,430$17,760$20,190$24,100$28,880
Food Service Managers3,390$19.98$41,560$26,060$29,820$38,410$48,780$65,500
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks7,520$11.97$24,890$17,950$20,770$24,230$28,740$32,590
Other Cooks180$11.82$24,580$17,040$18,920$22,530$29,110$35,690
Other Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers530$10.33$21,490$16,380$17,540$19,480$24,560$30,520
Restaurant Cooks12,060$10.45$21,740$16,690$18,200$20,890$24,690$29,390
Short Order Cooks1,900$9.64$20,060$16,260$17,410$19,350$22,700$25,220

Chef and Head Cook Salaries in Iowa by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Ames, IA50$22.77$47,350
Cedar Rapids, IA90$15.83$32,930
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL150$18.29$38,050
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA240$17.06$35,480
Dubuque, IA120$15.70$32,660
Iowa City, IA170$19.98$41,550
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA270$27.02$56,190
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD50$23.91$49,730
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA40$18.36$38,180

Restaurant Cook Salaries in Iowa by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Ames, IA210$10.29$21,410
Cedar Rapids, IA840$11.29$23,490
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL960$10.49$21,810
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA2,790$11.31$23,510
Dubuque, IA470$10.70$22,250
Iowa City, IA1,020$10.87$22,620
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA3,220$11.64$24,210
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD550$11.90$24,750
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA650$10.10$21,000

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Cedar Rapids, IA Area

Kirkwood Community College

6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406-2068
(319) 398-5411
Baking and Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

Kirkwood Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Cedar Rapids, IA. The majority of of the school’s 14,368 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,362 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $5,202 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $2,500, although this varies from program to program.

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Area

Eastern Iowa Community College District

306 W River Dr, Davenport, Iowa 52801-1221
(563) 336-3300
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Eastern Iowa Community College District offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Davenport. The majority of of the school’s 8,383 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are about $4,570 and for students from other states around $6,912 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,600, depending on the program.

Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Area

Des Moines Area Community College

2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa 50023-3993
(515) 964-6241
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Des Moines Area Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in Ankeny in Polk County, IA. This public college has approximately 22,298 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-state students are around $4,410 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $8,820 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,526, although this varies from program to program.

Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area Area

Iowa Central Community College

One Triton Circle, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
(515) 576-7201
Baking and Pastry Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management – Associate Program

Iowa Central Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Fort Dodge. The majority of of the school’s 5,634 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $5,580 and for students from outside the state around $7,815 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost about $1,200, although this will vary with the program.

Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Area

Iowa Western Community College

2700 College Rd, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503-1057
(712) 325-3200
Baking and Pastry Art – Certificate Program, Food Service – Associate Program

Iowa Western 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 Council Bluffs, IA. The majority of of the school’s 6,472 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $5,472 and for students from other states around $5,632 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,253, depending on the program.

Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Area

Western Iowa Tech Community College

4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, Iowa 51102-5199
(712) 274-6400
Hospitality Operation Concepts – Certificate Program

Western Iowa Tech Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Sioux City. Most of the school’s 6,152 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $4,200 and for out-of-state students in the order of $4,224 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,224, depending on the program chosen.

Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area Area

Indian Hills Community College

525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
(641) 683-5111
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Hotel & Restaurant Management – Associate Program

Indian Hills Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the town of Ottumwa, IA. The college has about 4,773 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is in the order of $3,960 and for students from outside the state in the order of $5,760 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,248, 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 (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Students may also wish to review their options in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.