How to Become a Chef in Indiana
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment rates for advanced chefs and cooks in Indiana are rising, while the demand for fast food and short order cooks is declining. Now is a great time for those who love working with food to seek professional training, certification and advanced culinary arts jobs. [En Español]
Culinary arts job titles range from cooks, who generally prepare food as ordered and are responsible for kitchen cleanup, to master chefs, who may be in charge of entire kitchens and plan menus at five-star restaurants.Food Service Managers are the highest-paid individuals in the culinary arts field, with the BLS reporting that they earned a national mean income of $25.02 in 2017.
Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Indiana
There are no specific state requirements for becoming a chef; however, training and certification is the fastest way for a cook to move up the culinary arts ladder and eventually become a chef or food service manager. Earning a high school diploma or GED is generally a necessary starting point, and culinary artists can then pursue further training while gaining work experience.
Culinary Arts Training and Educational Programs in Indiana
While regular work in the kitchen will offer valuable experience and help culinary artists advance in their field, higher-level certifications from the American Culinary Association (ACF) require formal training on top of experience. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) oversees the state-specific Indiana Culinary Arts Certification.
- Ivy Tech Culinary School. Ivy Tech Community College campuses are located across Indiana and offer top culinary training at only one-fourth the cost of other culinary schools in the Indiana area. The school’s Hospitality Administration program offers numerous culinary associate degrees and certificates, ranging from culinarian training to baking and pastry arts.
- Vincennes University. Located in Indianapolis, this school offers a general Culinary Arts Associate Degree as well as a Baking and Pastry Arts Associate Degree. Students at this school prepare menus to be served on campus and are offered travel opportunities for learning on the job. This school also helps place graduates at jobs upon completion.
Certification for Becoming a Chef in Indiana
For all levels of the culinary arts career spectrum, the ACF offers national culinary arts certifications, which can help chefs and cooks secure higher-paying employment. From Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC) to Certified Master Chef (CMC), there is certification available for every culinary arts career stage.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Chefs in Indiana
In 2017, Indiana food service managers were the highest paid culinary artists in the field, with the BLS reporting their mean income to be $25.56 per hour. Chefs and head cooks earned a mean income of $21.87 per hour, while other types of cooks in Indiana earned a mean income of about $9 to $12 per hour, depending on level and industry.
The job outlook for upper-level culinary artists is expected to grow by nine percent in Indiana by 2026, which falls in line with national projections for the field.
Working as a Chef in Indiana
The best place to work as a chef, cook or food service manager in Indiana is the capital city, Indianapolis. In 2017, the BLS reported 1,300 food service managers and 8,380 restaurant cooks employed in the city. Bloomington and Michigan City were the highest paying cities for food service managers, while the highest paid restaurant cooks in Indiana worked in Evansville, Lafayette and South Bend.
Regardless of location, the field of culinary arts is as rewarding as ever in the state of Indiana. Anyone who is interested in this career path can work their way up the ladder of culinary arts with hard work and enjoy a fast-paced, creative career.
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Area
550 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2611
Pastry Arts – Associate Program
Harrison College offers various Associate program options for chefs. All programs are imparted at their Indianapolis campus in the city of Indianapolis. Most of the school’s 3,040 students are on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are usually about $16,275 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $825, depending on the program chosen.
Ivy Tech Community College
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
Baking and Pastry Arts – Certificate Program
Ivy Tech Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. The college has about 81,668 students in total, with the majority of 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 students living in the state is roughly around $4,175 and for out-of-state students around $8,052 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,196, although this will depend on the program.
The Art Institute of Indianapolis
3500 DePauw Blvd, Suite 1010, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Hospitality Food & Beverage Management – Certificate Program
The Art Institute of Indianapolis offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Indianapolis, IN. Most of the school’s 782 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are around $14,820 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,500, depending on the program chosen.
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area Area
1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
Culinary Arts – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program
Vincennes University offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and two Certificate programs. All programs are imparted at their campus in the town of Vincennes. The majority of of the school’s 18,711 students are on 4-year programs. The university 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 $5,575 and for students from outside the state in the order of $13,184 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,274, 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.
Residents of Indiana may also wish to review their options in Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.