How to Become a Chef New Jersey

Before becoming a chef, you may start off as an entry-level cook. You will work under an executive chef who will thoroughly inspect your techniques, giving you pointers on how to improve. After gaining some experience, you can become a chef who may be responsible for supervising other cooks, planning menus and creating new dishes using your personal innovation. Working in this field requires passion, integrity, attention to detail and the ability to retain a great deal of information. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in New Jersey

There are no nationwide regulations in place for this career field. State legislation is also not in place for the cooking profession. In most cases, a high school diploma or GED will help you land an entry-level food service position. If you want to become a chef, though, you will either need to work your way through the ranks by practicing under executive chefs, or you can enroll in a post-secondary education program. Earning certification is another way to exemplify your credentials and expertise before seeking employment.

Depending on the city in which you choose to work, you may need to obtain a food handler’s license in order to work as a cook or chef. This comes in the form of a permit or card, which can be obtained online for less than $30.

New Jersey Schools for Chefs

Although completing a post-secondary training program in culinary arts is not a requirement by law, it will be a great way to develop your skills and acquire knowledge that you may not learn outside of a curriculum-based training program.

  • Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences is located in the city of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and offers a Bachelor of Science degree in food science research. Other majors include general food science as well as food science and management economics. The degree program requires four years of study to complete.
  • Rowan College at Burlington County has four locations across the state of New Jersey. The school offers associate’s degree programs in culinary arts as well as pastry arts. These programs will require about two years of study to complete.
  • Atlantic Cape Community College has three locations throughout New Jersey. The school offers associate’s degree programs in culinary arts, food service management, and baking and pastry arts. These programs require two years of study to complete.

National Certification for Chefs in New Jersey

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers a total of 16 certifications for culinary artists, pastry chefs, military chefs, students and educators. There are nine levels of certification available for culinary artists. These certifications can be earned depending on your level of education, work experience or a combination of both.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, there will be a 14.7 percent expansion in the job market for chefs in New Jersey during the 10-year period between 2016 and 2026. Their data show that, during 2016, there were 3,090 chefs working in this state. This number is expected to increase to 3,550 by 2026.

BLS data also indicate that chefs in New Jersey earned an average of $31.02 per hour, or $64,510 per year, in 2017. The top 10 percent of chefs working in this state earned $86,860 during the same year.

Working as a Chef in New Jersey

If you want to work as a chef in New Jersey, you will likely earn the highest compensation in cities like Hoboken, Cliffside Park and Edgewater.

Employment will be available at local restaurants, private dining establishments, banquet centers and other entertainment venues. Working as a freelance chef is also possible if you would like to create your own schedule. With online reviews and networking, you can even become a personal chef to prominent people in society. If you enjoy the culinary arts and are motivated to build your career, you should know that now is a great time to get started.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

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

Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Area

Atlantic Cape Community College

5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, New Jersey 08330-2699
(609) 625-1111
Food Service Management – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Atlantic Cape Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Mays Landing in Atlantic County, New Jersey. The majority of of the school’s 6,361 students are 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 usually about $4,407 and are $6,147 and $7,707 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,900, depending on the program.

Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Rowan College at Burlington County

601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, Pemberton, New Jersey 08068-1599
(609) 894-9311 x1541
Cooking and Baking – Certificate Program, Pastry Arts – Associate Program

Rowan College at Burlington County offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and two Associate programs. Classes are taken at their campus in Pemberton in Burlington County, NJ. The college has in the order of 8,762 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 roughly around $4,065 and are $4,545 and $6,495 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Brookdale Community College

765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, New Jersey 07738-1597
(732) 224-2345
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Pastry Arts – Associate Program

Brookdale Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Lincroft in Monmouth County. The majority of of the school’s 13,835 students are 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 usually about $3,861 and are $6,639 and $7,239 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.

Middlesex County College

2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, New Jersey 08818-3050
(732) 548-6000
Baking and Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

Middlesex County College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their campus in Edison in Middlesex County, NJ. The majority of of the school’s 11,662 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-district students is usually in the order of $3,420 and are $6,840 and $6,840 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,380, although this will vary with the program.

137 Bey Lea Rd, Toms River, New Jersey 08753
(732) 473-3100 x3139
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Ocean County Vocational-Technical School’s Certificate program in Culinary Arts is taught at their campus in Toms River in Ocean County. This public college has round 519 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are broadly about $10,160 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,973, depending on the program.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division Area

Bergen Community College

400 Paramus Rd, Paramus, New Jersey 07652-1595
(201) 447-7200
Hotel and Restaurant Management – Certificate Program

Bergen Community College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are imparted at their campus in Paramus in Bergen County, New Jersey. The college has around 14,585 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. Fees for tuition for in-district students are roughly about $4,362 and are $7,878 and $8,238 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while study materials may cost roughly $1,400, depending on the program.

Hudson County Community College

70 Sip Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
(201) 714-7100
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Hudson County Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Jersey City, New Jersey. The college has around 9,051 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 usually in the order of $5,353 and are $9,223 and $13,093 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division Area

County College of Morris

214 Center Grove Rd, Randolph, New Jersey 07869-2086
(973) 328-5000
Culinary Arts – Associate Program

County College of Morris’s Associate-level Culinary Arts program is taught at their campus in Randolph in Morris County, NJ. This public college has approximately 8,026 students in total, with the majority of students 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 $4,690 and are $8,380 and $11,530 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost around $1,400, although this will vary with the program.

Trenton-Ewing, NJ Area

Mercer County Community College

1200 Old Trenton Rd, West Windsor, New Jersey 08550-3407
(609) 586-4800
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Mercer County Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program, an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in West Windsor in Mercer County, NJ. The college has in the region of 7,979 students in total, with the majority of 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 $3,768 and are $4,932 and $7,068 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,364, although this will depend on 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 New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.