How to Become a Chef Missouri

Anyone in Missouri who has dreamed of working with food to make a living can begin a career in the culinary arts. Restaurant cooks, chefs, food service managers, food prep cooks and cafeteria cooks are all members of the culinary arts team. The best way to earn a title like Master Chef or Personal Chef is to gain experience as a cook, study in culinary arts school and apply for national certifications. Reputation and advancements in the culinary arts field can be earned with hard work, and those in Missouri who want to explore this career field have many options when it comes to finding training and employment options. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Missouri

Missouri doesn’t carry specific requirements for those who work in the culinary arts. Those who have graduated high school or earned their GED might be ready to begin their careers. This type of job requires the ability to work in fast-paced environments for long periods of time on one’s feet. The ability to work well with others is also necessary in this field, as chefs and cooks must work together in the kitchen to accomplish common goals.

Culinary Arts Training and Educational Programs in Missouri

With quality culinary arts schools located across the state of Missouri, including St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City, options for culinary training include:

  • L’Ecole Culinaire Culinary Institute of St. Louis. Located in the suburbs of St. Louis, this school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Students can learn the fundamentals of culinary arts and earn a diploma in less than 10 months or earn their associate’s degree with further study to gain knowledge on management of restaurants and kitchens.
  • Ozarks Technical Community College. The top-notch culinary arts program at this school is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEF). Students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts or study the related field of hospitality management.

Certification for Becoming a Chef in Missouri

As culinary arts students complete training in school and earn experience in the kitchen, they become eligible to earn prestigious certifications from the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Based on knowledge and experience, the ACF’s exams allow culinary artists to prove their skill and earn certifications to enhance their resumes. There are 16 professional culinary arts certifications ranging from Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC) to Certified Master Chef (CMC) and Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA).

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

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the demand for restaurant cooks in Missouri will increase by 11.7 percent by the year 2026. In 2016, 25,860 restaurant cooks were employed in Missouri, with a mean income of $11.44 per hour. Chefs and head cooks were paid higher, at an average of $21.54 per hour, while food service managers in Missouri were paid a mean income of $24.03 per hour.

Working as a Chef in Missouri

In 2017, restaurant cooks were heavily employed in St. Louis and Kansas City compared to other areas of Missouri. Restaurant cooks in Kansas City made the highest mean income, at $12.19 per hour. Chefs and head cooks were mainly employed in Kansas City, but made the highest incomes in Springfield, Columbia and St. Louis. With so many opportunities for culinary arts education and employment in Missouri, this career field will continue to thrive in the future. Entering the culinary arts is entering a rewarding lifetime career.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

[mashup query=”category_name=mqMO&posts_per_page=-1″ poiList=”false” directions=”false”]

Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL Area

Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center

1080 S. Silver Springs Rd., Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63703-7511
(573) 334-0826
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center can be taken at their campus in the city of Cape Girardeau. The college has round 252 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. Tuition fees are generally around $8,372 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,013, although this will depend on the program.

Central Missouri nonmetropolitan area Area

Lake Career and Technical Center

269 Dare Blvd., Camdenton, Missouri 65020
(573) 346-9260
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Lake Career and Technical Center’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is offered at their campus in Camdenton in Camden County. The majority of of the school’s 13 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees are around $4,500 annually. Study materials can cost around $350, depending on the program chosen.

Waynesville Career Center

400 G. W. Lane, Waynesville, Missouri 65583
(573) 842-2500
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Waynesville Career Center is offered at their campus in the town of Waynesville. Most of the school’s 69 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees are around $13,615 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,885, depending on the program.

Joplin, MO Area

Franklin Technology-MSSU

3950 E. Newman Road, Joplin, Missouri 64801-1595
(417) 659-4400
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Franklin Technology-MSSU can be taken at their campus in the city of Joplin, MO. The majority of of the school’s 167 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $13,107 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,560, depending on the program.

Kansas City, MO-KS Area

L’Ecole Culinaire-Kansas City

310 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri 64112-2110
(816) 627-0100
Culinary Fundamentals – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Fundamentals at L’Ecole Culinaire is taught at their Kansas City campus in the city of Kansas City, MO. The majority of of the school’s 202 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees are around $11,340 for each academic year. Study materials can cost about $2,100, although this will depend on the program.

Lex La-Ray Technical Center

2323 High School Dr, Lexington, Missouri 64067-1525
(660) 259-2264 x201
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Lex La-Ray Technical Center’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is taught at their campus in the town of Lexington. The college has around 32 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $11,835 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $2,775, although this will vary with the program.

Northland Career Center

1801 Branch, Platte City, Missouri 64079
(816) 858-5505
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Northland Career Center’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is based at their campus in the town of Platte City. Most of the school’s 36 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $11,000 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $2,152, although this will depend on the program.

Southeast Missouri nonmetropolitan area Area

Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center

3203 Oak Grove Rd, Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901-8960
(573) 785-2248
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Culinary Arts Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center is taught at their campus in the town of Poplar Bluff. The college has round 60 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $11,361 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $3,070, although this will depend on the program.

Sikeston Career and Technology Center

1002 Virginia, Sikeston, Missouri 63801-3347
(573) 472-2581
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Sikeston Career and Technology Center can be taken at their campus in the town of Sikeston, MO. This public college has roughly 46 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is about $8,500 annually, while study materials may cost around $1,500, depending on the program.

South Central Career Center

407 W. Thornburgh, West Plains, Missouri 65775
(417) 256-2256
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

South Central Career Center’s Certificate program in Culinary Arts is based at their campus in the town of West Plains, MO. Most of the school’s 56 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 100%. The cost of tuition is in the order of $10,580 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $2,445, although this varies from program to program.

Southwest Missouri nonmetropolitan area Area

College of the Ozarks

100 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout, Missouri 65726-0017
(417) 334-6411
Culinary Arts – Bachelor Program

The Bachelor’s degree program in Culinary Arts at College of the Ozarks is taught at their campus in the town of Point Lookout. The college, which has a Presbyterian Church (USA) religious affiliation,, which has a Presbyterian Church (USA) religious affiliation, has in the order of 1,441 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are generally about $18,930 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,000, depending on the program chosen.

Nevada Regional Technical Center

2015 North West Street, Nevada, Missouri 64772
(417) 448-2016 x4
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Culinary Arts Certificate program in Culinary Arts at Nevada Regional Technical Center is based at their campus in the town of Nevada. Most of the school’s 16 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $7,500 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $4,135, although this will vary with the program.

Springfield, MO Area

Ozarks Technical Community College

1001 E. Chestnut Expressway, Springfield, Missouri 65802
(417) 447-7500
Baking Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry – Associate Program

Ozarks Technical Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Springfield. The college has in the order of 13,614 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. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $2,952 and are $4,164 and $5,352 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $800, depending on the program chosen.

St. Louis, MO-IL Area

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Rd, Union, Missouri 63084
(636) 584-6500
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

East Central College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in Union in Franklin County. The majority of of the school’s 3,222 students are 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-district students is likely to be in the order of $2,376 and are $3,216 and $4,584 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost about $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Hickey College

2700 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Saint Louis, Missouri 63114
(314) 434-2212 x185
Culinary Arts – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Hickey College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Saint Louis in Saint Louis County. The college has approximately 391 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are around $13,930 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,860, depending on the program chosen.

Jefferson College

1000 Viking Drive, Hillsboro, Missouri 63050-2440
(636) 797-3000
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Jefferson College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Hillsboro in Jefferson County, MO. Most of the school’s 4,705 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-district students are generally around $2,400 and are $3,576 and $4,728 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $916, although this will depend on the program.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-St Louis

7898 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, St Peters, Missouri 63376
(636) 696-4850
Pâtisserie And Baking – Certificate Program

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their St Louis campus in St Peters in Saint Charles County, Missouri. This private, for-profit college has around 142 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The cost of tuition is in the order of $13,306 per year.

L’Ecole Culinaire-St Louis

9811 South Forty Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63124-1188
(314) 587-2433
Culinary Fundamentals – Certificate Program, Culinary & Restaurant Management – Associate Program

L’Ecole Culinaire offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their St Louis campus in St. Louis in Saint Louis County. This private, for-profit college has around 246 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The cost of tuition is in the order of $13,500 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $2,100, although this varies from program to program.

Saint Louis Community College

300 South Broadway, Saint Louis, Missouri 63102-2810
(314) 539-5000
Baking and Pastry Arts – Associate Program

Saint Louis Community College offers various Associate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Saint Louis. This public college has about 18,902 students in total, with the majority of students 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-district students is usually in the order of $3,180 and are $4,560 and $6,240 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. 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

See options in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois.