How to Become a Chef in North Dakota

Whether you work as a pastry chef or culinary chef, you will need some degree of training before being capable of holding such a title. Developing your knowledge of the industry by working directly under an executive chef is a great way to advance, so working as an entry-level cook may be necessary before being promoted to chef status. As a chef, you will be expected to plan menus, supervise other cooks and take responsibility for every dish that leaves the kitchen. [En Español]

Find Schools in North Dakota

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in North Dakota

Chefs working in North Dakota are not required by law to earn a degree or complete a certificate program in culinary arts. While many employers will prefer candidates who have these credentials, you may also be able to find employment as a chef if you have extensive professional experience within the trade. Finding a job as an entry-level cook can often be achieved with a just high school diploma or GED.

Food handler’s licenses come in the form of a card of permit that can be obtained online for less than $30. This may or may not be a requirement depending on the city in which you work.

North Dakota Schools for Chefs

The programs below have been designed to train culinary artists to learn important skills and develop the tools necessary to succeed in this industry. Consider these programs in North Dakota:

  • North Dakota State College of Science has locations in the cities of Fargo and Wahpeton. The school offers both a diploma and an associate’s degree program in culinary arts. Students enrolled in this program will receive hands-on training at the school’s on-campus restaurant, the River Valley Inn
  • North Dakota State University is located in the city of Fargo. The school allows students to complete a four-year degree program in hospitality and tourism management. As part of this program, students will study food selection and preparation principles, restaurant operations, human resource management and much more.
  • Penn Foster Career School allow students to complete a gourmet cooking certificate program entirely online. The program can be completed with less than one year of study and is ideal for those who would like to take classes on their own time.

National Certification for Chefs in North Dakota

Cooks and chefs nationwide may earn certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). This organization offers a total of 16 certifications, which include those for culinary artists, pastry chefs, military chefs, students and educators. Nine of these certifications are for culinary artists in particular, and they range from intermediate-level cooks to executive chefs. Each certification may be earned with professional experience, education or a combination of both.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, there will be a 16 percent increase in the job market for chefs in North Dakota during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Their data show that, in 2016, there were 360 chefs working in this state. This number is projected to increase to 420 by 2026.

BLS data from 2017 also indicated that chefs in North Dakota earned an average of $22.21 per hour, or $46,200 per year. The top 10 percent of chefs working in this state earned $62,060 during the same year.

Working as a Chef in North Dakota

If you can appreciate a very upbeat environment, you may enjoy working as a chef in a casino, banquet center or other entertainment venues. Chefs can also be found working in local restaurants and private dining establishments.

North Dakota cities like Harwood, Fargo and West Fargo are where some of the highest paid chefs can be found working in this state.

Working as a freelance chef will allow you to create your own schedule and prepare food in a setting that you may find more appealing. This can be achieved by networking and establishing your place in the industry through word-of-mouth or perhaps a social media presence. If you are determined to succeed, you will find that there are many ways to gain fulfillment and a sense of purpose when working as a chef.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Far Eastern North Dakota nonmetropolitan area Area

North Dakota State College of Science

800 N 6th St, Wahpeton, North Dakota 58076-0002
(701) 671-2403
Chef Training and Management Technology – Certificate Program, Restaurant Management – Associate Program

North Dakota State College of Science offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Wahpeton, ND. This public college has about 3,123 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. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,697 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $12,059 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,000, depending on the program.

* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics ( Confirm with college before applying.

Neighbor States

Residents of North Dakota may also wish to review their options in Montana, South Dakota and Minnesota.