How to Become a Chef Maryland

The culinary arts span a wide range of career options, from line cooks at casual restaurants to executive chefs at fine dining establishments. Many enter the field as cooks, who are responsible for preparing food, from chopping and cooking to cleaning up at the end of the day. Through training and work experience, cooks can rise to the level of chef and take on more supervisory roles that involve overseeing the kitchen’s daily activities and planning menus. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Maryland

The state of Maryland does not have any official requirements for becoming a cook, chef or other type of culinary artist. A high school diploma or GED, cooking experience and certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) can be useful in securing a job, though these credentials are not required.

Maryland Schools for Chefs

Maryland is home to several culinary schools that can help aspiring chefs gain the skills they need to be successful in their new careers. Here are two popular choices:

  • Lincoln Culinary Institute. This school offers courses in culinary arts and food services as well as international baking and pastry. Students have the option to complete externships at restaurants, bakeries, hotels and other real-world jobs prior to graduation.
  • Howard Community College. Howard’s courses include culinary management, culinary arts and baking, food and beverage management and more. The school’s Center for Hospitality and Culinary Studies supports students by providing state-of-the-art equipment for hands-on instruction and flexible scheduling.

Certifications for Becoming a Chef in Maryland

The ACF recommends that cooks who would like to advance to the level of chef receive a culinary arts certification. There are nine levels of ACF certifications, ranging from Certified Fundamentals Cook to Certified Master Chef. Reaching this level is dependent in part on applicants’ levels of education and work experience.

Chefs may be required to attend and successfully pass a ServSafe course or a similar food handling training, depending on their employer’s preferences and city regulations

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

Nationwide, jobs for chefs and head cooks are expected to grow by 9.6 percent in the 10 year period from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cooks, meanwhile, can expect to see an average job growth of 4.2 percent. Maryland chefs will likely see growth of about 8.3 percent, while other cooks’ roles will grow by an average of 8.1 percent.

Maryland chefs and head cooks have an average salary of $50,360 per year. Cooks typically average a salary of $22,852.

Working as a Chef in Maryland

Chefs in Maryland can work anywhere in the state, depending on their career goals and ideal working environment. Larger cities such as Baltimore will have the most options and the highest concentration of fine dining restaurants, while smaller towns will likely have a great number of small, family-run establishments. Higher salaries will be available in metropolitan areas.

Jobs in the field of culinary arts include butchers, personal chefs, pastry chefs and institutional chefs. The field offers a wide range of working environments and schedules, though all are likely to be fast-paced and creative options for people who enjoy making food and working in a collaborative space.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Baltimore-Towson, MD Area

Lincoln College of Technology-Columbia

9325 Snowden River Pky, Columbia, Maryland 21046
(410) 290-7100 x41500
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Professional Baking & Pastry Chef Training – Associate Program

Lincoln College of Technology offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their Columbia campus in the city of Columbia. This private, for-profit college has in the order of 711 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are usually around $31,176 per year. Study materials can cost around $1,369, depending on the program.

Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division Area

Frederick Community College

7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Maryland 21702-2964
(301) 846-2400
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts and Supervision – Associate Program

Frederick 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 Frederick, Maryland. This public college has about 6,197 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly around $3,450 and are $6,810 and $9,018 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost about $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

L’Academie de Cuisine

16006 Industrial Dr, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-1414
(301) 670-8670 x224
Pastry – Certificate Program

L’Academie de Cuisine offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are imparted at their campus in Gaithersburg in Montgomery County. The college has in the order of 161 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. The cost of tuition is, as a rough guide, in the order of $29,775 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $725, although this varies from program to program.

Cumberland, MD-WV Area

Allegany College of Maryland

12401 Willowbrook Rd SE, Cumberland, Maryland 21502-2596
(301) 784-5000
Culinary Arts – Associate Program

The Culinary Arts Associate’s degree program in Culinary Arts at Allegany College of Maryland can be taken at their campus in the city of Cumberland, MD. This public college has approximately 3,091 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-district students is likely to be in the order of $3,750 and are $6,990 and $8,340 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,512, although this varies from program to program.

Upper Eastern Shore nonmetropolitan area Area

Chesapeake College

1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, Maryland 21679-0008
(410) 822-5400
Culinary – Certificate Program

Chesapeake College’s Certificate-level Culinary program is offered at their campus in Wye Mills in Talbot County, Maryland. The college has around 2,264 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $3,820 and are $5,512 and $7,360 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost around $943, depending on the program chosen.

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Area

Prince George’s Community College

301 Largo Rd, Largo, Maryland 20774-2199
(301) 546-7422
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Prince George’s Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Largo in Prince George’S County. Most of the school’s 13,228 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-district students are generally about $3,650 and are $5,762 and $8,090 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost around $1,500, 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 Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.