How to Become a Chef Ohio

The field of culinary arts offers a wide range of opportunities to those in Ohio who wish to make a living by preparing food for others. The most notable culinary artists are chefs, who often begin their careers as cooks before climbing the ladder to chef status through education and certification. Cooks can expect to prepare food in a kitchen regularly under the direction of others and are often responsible for kitchen duties, including cleanup. Chefs, on the other hand, often supervise others in the kitchen, plan menus and craft dishes in a specifically trained manner. [En Español]

Requirements for Becoming a Chef in Ohio

There are no statewide requirements for becoming a chef, cook or culinary artist in Ohio. However, a high school diploma or GED, cooking experience and national certifications through the American Culinary Federation will set future chefs on a path to success.

Culinary Arts Training and Educational Programs in Ohio

Training is a wise way to gain experience and prestige in the world of culinary arts. Ohio offers some well-known and well-respected programs such as those at:

  • Midwest Culinary Institute. Part of the Cincinnati State University system, this school offers an Associate of Applied Business Degree and a Certificate in culinary arts. MCI also helps ensure the success of its students by partnering with local restaurants and hospitality venues for student internships and co-ops.
  • Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School. This school offers an 18-month Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and a 12-month Diploma in Culinary Arts program. Both programs expose students to many aspects of the culinary arts field. Three hours of hands-on kitchen training per day is this school’s standard.

Certification for Becoming a Chef in Ohio

Culinary arts certification is highly recommended by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) for those who want to advance in their careers to chef status. There are nine levels of certification for culinary artists, ranging from Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC) to Certified Master Chef (CMC), which can be obtained depending on the education and work experience of candidates.

Career Outlook and Salary Expectations for Chefs in Ohio

The outlook for employment of Ohio chefs and head cooks looks promising, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 6.5 percent increase in their employment from 2016 to 2026. That number is slightly lower for Ohio Institution and Cafeteria cooks, who have a projected employment increase of 4.7 percent in that same timeframe.

Chefs, head cooks and food service managers made the most money in 2017, according to the BLS. Chefs and head cooks earned a mean income of $18.54 per hour, while food service managers made an average of $25.92 per hour. The mean income for all other cooks in Ohio ranged from $10 to $12.50 per hour.

Working as a Chef in Ohio

Generally, larger cities with many five-star restaurants are good places to start your career in the culinary arts. In Ohio, the Columbus and Cleveland metropolitan areas have the most chefs employed. For the highest pay rates, chefs may want to look north, around Akron and Cleveland.

Other jobs in the culinary arts field include butchers, dieticians, personal chefs and pastry chefs. Those who enjoy working with people and crafting delicious food will enjoy a healthy career in this field, no matter which type of job they pursue.

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Akron, OH Area

University of Akron Main Campus

302 Buchtel Common, Akron, Ohio 44325-4702
(330) 972-7111
Culinary Arts – Associate Program, Hospitality Management – Certificate Program

The University of Akron Main Campus offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Akron, Ohio. This is a full, 4-year public college with 23,101 students, of which 83% are undergraduates. The University of Akron Main Campus has institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $10,270 and for students from other states around $18,801 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,000, although this will vary with the program.

Canton-Massillon, OH Area

Stark State College

6200 Frank Ave NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720
(330) 494-6170
Culinary Arts – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Culinary Arts at Stark State College is based at their campus in North Canton in Stark County, OH. The college has round 12,645 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 students living in the state is in the order of $3,686 and for students from outside the state around $6,794 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,100, although this varies from program to program.

Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Area

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

3520 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223-2690
(513) 569-1500
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program, Pre-Nutrition Science – Associate Program

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. The college has approximately 9,630 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-state students is around $3,825 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,393 per year. Learning materials may cost around $1,764, although this will depend on the program.

Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH Area

Cuyahoga Community College District

700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
(800) 954-8742
Professional Baking – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Cuyahoga Community College District offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. The college has round 25,449 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. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $3,136 and are $3,953 and $7,648 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,700, depending on the program chosen.

International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute

8700 Mayfield Rd, Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-7340
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are based at their campus in Chesterland in Geauga County, OH. This private, for-profit college has in the order of 34 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. Tuition fees are broadly around $21,905 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,175, depending on the program.

Lorain County Community College

1005 North Abbe Rd, Elyria, Ohio 44035-1691
(440) 366-5222
Culinary and Hospitality – Certificate Program, Culinary and Hospitality – Associate Program

Lorain County Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Elyria. Most of the school’s 11,520 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-district students are roughly around $3,077 and are $3,679 and $7,302 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost roughly $1,404, depending on the program chosen.

Columbus, OH Area

Bradford School

2469 Stelzer Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 416-6200
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Bradford School offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in Columbus in Franklin County. This private, for-profit college has about 410 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees are generally around $13,980 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,320, although this will depend on the program.

Central Ohio Technical College

1179 University Drive, Newark, Ohio 43055-1767
(740) 366-1351
Basic Baking and Pastry Skills – Certificate Program, Culinary Science – Associate Program

Central Ohio Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Newark in Licking County, OH. This public college has about 3,566 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. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $4,296 and for out-of-state students around $7,056 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,320, although this varies from program to program.

Columbus State Community College

550 E Spring St, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 287-5353
Baking – Certificate Program, Culinary Apprenticeship – Associate Program

Columbus State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Columbus, OH. The college has in the order of 25,983 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 students living in the state is roughly about $3,808 and for students from other states around $8,430 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,442, although this will depend on the program.

Dayton, OH Area

Sinclair Community College

444 W. Third St., Dayton, Ohio 45402-1460
(937) 512-3000
Bakery Specialist – Certificate Program, Bakery Specialist – Associate Program

Sinclair Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and two Associate programs. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Dayton, Ohio. This public college has about 18,136 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. The cost of tuition for in-district students is roughly in the order of $2,476 and are $3,604 and $6,868 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,080, although this varies from program to program.

Eastern Ohio nonmetropolitan area Area

Zane State College

1555 Newark Rd, Zanesville, Ohio 43701-2626
(740) 454-2501 x1271
Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Zane State College’s Associate-level Culinary Arts program is based at their campus in the town of Zanesville, OH. Most of the school’s 3,362 students are 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 students living in the state is roughly about $4,646 and for students from other states around $9,206 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,600, although this varies from program to program.

Other Ohio nonmetropolitan area Area

Knox County Career Center

306 Martinsburg Rd, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
(740) 393-2933
Culinary – Certificate Program

Knox County Career Center’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in the town of Mount Vernon. The college has in the order of 210 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is, as a rough guide, in the order of $13,452 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $2,748, although this varies from program to program.

Sandusky, OH Area

EHOVE Career Center

316 W Mason Rd, Milan, Ohio 44846
(419) 499-4663 x280
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Culinary Arts at EHOVE Career Center is offered at their campus in Milan in Erie County, OH. The majority of of the school’s 355 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 80%. The cost of tuition is broadly in the order of $10,590 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,275, depending on the program.

Southern Ohio nonmetropolitan area Area

Hocking College

3301 Hocking Parkway, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
(740) 753-3591
Culinary Arts – Associate Program

The Culinary Arts Associate’s program in Culinary Arts at Hocking College is based at their campus in the town of Nelsonville. Most of the school’s 3,243 students are 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 likely to be in the order of $4,390 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $8,780 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,350, although this will vary with the program.

Toledo, OH Area

Owens Community College

30335 Oregon Rd, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
(567) 661-7000
Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program

Owens Community College’s Certificate-level Baking & Pastry program is based at their campus in Perrysburg in Wood County. This public college has around 11,531 students in total, with most students 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-state students are generally around $4,643 and for out-of-state students approximately $8,305 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,400, 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 Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan.