Culinary Arts Programs in Kentucky

Here you will discover in depth information on community colleges and private schools offering education programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry, and other culinary specialties in Kentucky. Moreover, you will find in depth facts job prospects and wage rates in the bluegrass state. [En Español]

Job Outlook

As of May 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 47,330 working as cooks and chefs in the state of Kentucky. Additionally, there were 1,140 persons in employment as baking and pastry professionals, and an additional 6,930 in employment in food preparation. There were 3,750 working in food service management. For the 10-year period to 2024, it is predicted that jobs for chefs and cooks in the bluegrass state will expand by 9.6%.

Cooks and Chef Salaries in Kentucky

The average annual salary for restaurant chefs in the nation’s 26th most populous state, in 2016, was $21,340 (BLS), or around $10.26 per hour. Chefs and experienced senior cooks earned an average salary of $46,760, or a wage of $22.48 per hour, for the same year, while baking and pastry specialists earned $25,140 or $12.09 per hour.

Salaries in Kentucky by Occupation

Job TitleTotal EmployedMean Hourly PayMean Annual Salary10th Percentile25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bakers1,140$12.09$25,140$17,700$20,280$23,510$29,690$36,440
Butchers and Meat Cutters1,570$13.91$28,930$18,440$21,910$27,440$34,900$40,580
Chefs and Head Cooks890$22.48$46,760$31,500$35,970$43,810$57,020$69,210
Fast Food Cooks5,600$9.01$18,740$16,150$17,000$18,410$19,940$23,420
Food Preparation Workers6,930$10.04$20,880$16,380$17,570$19,570$23,630$28,300
Food Service Managers3,750$22.97$47,780$30,280$36,240$45,300$56,510$69,820
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks11,260$11.77$24,490$18,340$20,810$23,600$27,840$32,000
Other Cooks330$14.61$30,380$17,440$21,410$29,310$36,290$40,610
Other Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers180$10.45$21,740$16,250$17,470$19,520$23,380$33,010
Restaurant Cooks16,040$10.26$21,340$16,380$17,620$19,770$24,200$29,780
Short Order Cooks1,950$9.83$20,440$16,580$17,900$20,180$23,290$25,250

Chef and Head Cook Salaries in Kentucky by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN630$21.08$43,850
Clarksville, TN-KY**$19.09$39,700
Evansville, IN-KY40$20.38$42,380
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH30$25.59$53,220
Lexington-Fayette, KY180$25.33$52,680
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN370$21.76$45,260
Owensboro, KY50$22.08$45,930

Restaurant Cook Salaries in Kentucky by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY710$9.94$20,680
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN8,010$11.69$24,320
Clarksville, TN-KY560$11.14$23,180
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY520$9.58$19,920
Evansville, IN-KY1,660$10.38$21,590
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH1,360$10.29$21,400
Lexington-Fayette, KY2,520$10.28$21,390
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN6,250$10.90$22,680
Owensboro, KY360$10.34$21,510

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Bowling Green, KY Area

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

1845 Loop Dr, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-3601
(270) 901-1000
Food and Beverage Management – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical 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 Bowling Green. The college has in the region of 3,962 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 in the order of $3,936 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $13,296 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.

Elizabethtown, KY Area

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

600 College Street Rd, Elizabethtown, Kentucky 42701-3081
(270) 769-2371
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Elizabethtown Community and Technical 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 Elizabethtown. The majority of of the school’s 6,301 students are 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 $3,936 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $13,296 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Area

Ashland Community and Technical College

1400 College Drive, Ashland, Kentucky 41101-3683
(606) 326-2000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Ashland Community and Technical 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 Ashland. This public college has in the region of 2,728 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 about $3,936 and for students from other states likely to be about $13,296 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,000, although this will vary with the program.

Lexington-Fayette, KY Area

Employment Solutions-College for Technical Education

1165 Centre Parkway Suite #120, Lexington, Kentucky 40517
(859) 272-5225
Food & Hospitality Professional – Certificate Program

Employment Solutions-College for Technical Education’s Certificate-level Food & Hospitality Professional program is taught at their campus in the city of Lexington, Kentucky. Most of the school’s 150 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $21,780 for each academic year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Area

Jefferson Community and Technical College

109 E Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky 40202-2005
(502) 213-4000
Advanced Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Catering Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Jefferson Community and Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in Louisville in Jefferson County. This public college has around 12,138 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $4,016 and for students from other states in the order of $13,376 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,000, depending on the program chosen.

Sullivan University

3101 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, Kentucky 40205-3013
(502) 456-6504
Baking & Pastry Arts – Associate Program, Professional Baker – Certificate Program

Sullivan University offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in Louisville in Jefferson County. This is a full, 4-year private college with 3,797 students, of which 69% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees are usually around $19,740 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,800, depending on the program chosen.

South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area Area

Somerset Community College

808 Monticello Street, Somerset, Kentucky 42501-2973
(877) 629-9722
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Somerset Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Somerset, KY. Most of the school’s 6,386 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be around $3,936 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $13,296 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,000, depending on the program chosen.

West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area Area

Maysville Community and Technical College

1755 U.S. Hwy 68, Maysville, Kentucky 41056
(606) 759-7141
Advanced Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Maysville Community and Technical College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in Maysville in Mason County, KY. The college has around 3,158 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $3,936 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $13,296 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.

West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area Area

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, Kentucky 42002-7380
(270) 554-9200 x0
Baking – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts Track – Associate Program

West Kentucky Community and Technical College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Paducah, Kentucky. This public college has around 5,980 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. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $3,936 and for students from other states likely to be about $13,296 yearly. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,000, 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

Residents of Kentucky may also wish to review their options in Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia and Illinois.