Culinary Arts Programs in Tennessee

This site offers detailed information on culinary arts schools and education options both public and private in Tennessee. Furthermore, we provide comprehensive facts employment prospects and local pay rates in the state of Tennessee. [En Español]

Job Outlook

As stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016, there were approximately 65,970 persons working as culinary professionals, such as chefs, head chefs and cooks in Tennessee. In addition, there were 3,020 people working as baking professionals, as well as a further 16,530 working in food prep. There were 9,710 making a living as food service managers. Jobs for chefs and cooks in the volunteer state are expected to expand by 5.5% in the decade to 2024, which compares favorably with 4.5% growth expected nationwide.

Cooks and Chef Salaries in Tennessee

The mean wage for chefs working in restaurants in the nation’s 17th most populous state, as of May 2016, was $11.05 per hour, $22,980 annually (BLS). Chefs and experienced senior cooks earned a mean salary of $34,300 during the same period, while bakers earned $26,970 or $12.97 per hour.

Salaries in Tennessee by Occupation

Job TitleTotal EmployedMean Hourly PayMean Annual Salary10th Percentile25th PercentileMedian75th Percentile90th Percentile
Bakers3,020$12.97$26,970$17,390$19,670$23,160$29,410$52,100
Butchers and Meat Cutters2,840$14.02$29,150$19,590$23,510$28,760$34,900$39,390
Chefs and Head Cooks3,420$16.49$34,300$18,040$21,390$28,720$43,510$57,390
Fast Food Cooks14,390$8.75$18,200$16,100$16,860$18,120$19,410$21,760
Food Preparation Workers16,530$9.94$20,680$16,390$17,570$19,580$23,660$28,070
Food Service Managers9,710$20.85$43,370$23,250$29,010$39,600$51,120$64,770
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks9,750$10.92$22,710$16,820$18,630$21,890$25,650$30,340
Other Cooks480$11.42$23,750$17,000$18,870$22,020$25,930$34,650
Other Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers2,100$11.19$23,280$16,360$17,600$19,680$24,660$40,450
Restaurant Cooks21,680$11.05$22,980$17,120$19,340$22,530$26,220$30,370
Short Order Cooks6,500$9.55$19,870$16,220$17,280$19,040$22,480$25,500

Chef and Head Cook Salaries in Tennessee by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA300$16.67$34,680
Clarksville, TN-KY**$19.09$39,700
Cleveland, TN**$13.21$27,480
Jackson, TN40$14.68$30,520
Johnson City, TN**$17.11$35,590
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA**$15.34$31,910
Knoxville, TN670$14.40$29,940
Memphis, TN-MS-AR700$17.48$36,360
Morristown, TN**$13.29$27,650
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN730$20.45$42,550

Restaurant Cook Salaries in Tennessee by Region

area_titleTotal EmployedAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA1,850$11.44$23,790
Clarksville, TN-KY560$11.14$23,180
Cleveland, TN200$11.31$23,520
Jackson, TN670$11.08$23,050
Johnson City, TN690$10.51$21,870
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA910$10.55$21,940
Knoxville, TN2,720$10.87$22,620
Memphis, TN-MS-AR4,670$10.91$22,690
Morristown, TN160$9.81$20,410
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN7,070$11.57$24,060

Popular Colleges

College Programs

Chattanooga, TN-GA Area

Southern Adventist University

4881 Taylor Cir, Collegedale, Tennessee 37315-0370
(423) 236-2000
Vegetarian Culinary Arts – Associate Program, Vegetarian Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Southern Adventist University offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are based at their campus in Collegedale in Hamilton County, Tennessee. This is a full, 4-year private college with 3,125 students, of which 86% are undergraduates. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $21,150 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,100, although this will vary with the program.

Virginia College-Chattanooga

721 Eastgate Loop Rd., Chattanooga, Tennessee 37411
(423) 893-2000 x2009
Pastry Arts – Certificate Program

Virginia College offers various Certificate program options for chefs. All programs are offered at their Chattanooga campus in the city of Chattanooga. The majority of of the school’s 287 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees are generally around $14,236 yearly.

Knoxville, TN Area

Pellissippi State Community College

10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37933-0990
(865) 694-6400 x6526
Business/Culinary Arts Concentration – Certificate Program

The Business/Culinary Arts Concentration Certificate program in Business/Culinary Arts Concentration at Pellissippi State Community College can be taken at their campus in Knoxville in Knox County. The majority of of the school’s 10,325 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,084 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $15,748 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,300, although this will depend on the program.

Memphis, TN-MS-AR Area

L’Ecole Culinaire-Memphis

1245 N. Georgetown Parkway, Cordova, Tennessee 38016
(901) 754-7115
Culinary Fundamentals – Certificate Program, Culinary Fundamentals – Associate Program

L’Ecole Culinaire offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Memphis campus in the city of Cordova, Tennessee. Most of the school’s 402 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are around $13,500 annually. Study materials can cost around $2,300, depending on the program chosen.

Morristown, TN Area

Walters State Community College

500 South Davy Crockett Parkway, Morristown, Tennessee 37813-6899
(423) 585-2600
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Walters State Community College’s Certificate-level Culinary Arts program is offered at their campus in the city of Morristown, Tennessee. The majority of of the school’s 5,947 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $4,032 and for out-of-state students in the order of $15,696 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN Area

Nashville State Community College

120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, Tennessee 37209-4515
(615) 353-3333
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program, Culinary Arts – Associate Program

Nashville State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Nashville, TN. The college has in the region of 10,192 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally in the order of $3,969 and for students from outside the state approximately $15,633 annually. Learning materials may cost about $1,512, although this varies from program to program.

The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville

100 Centerview Drive, Suite 250, Nashville, Tennessee 37214-3439
(615) 874-1067
Baking & Pastry – Associate Program, Baking & Pastry – Certificate Program

The Art Institute of Tennessee offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their Nashville campus in the city of Nashville, TN. The college has in the order of 740 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees are about $17,592 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

North Central Tennessee nonmetropolitan area Area

Tennessee College of Applied Technology-McMinnville

241 Vo Tech Dr, McMinnville, Tennessee 37110
(931) 473-5587
Culinary Arts – Certificate Program

Tennessee College of Applied Technology offers various Certificate program options for chefs. Classes are taken at their McMinnville campus in the town of McMinnville, TN. Most of the school’s 276 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is 100%. Tuition fees are usually around $3,948 annually. Study materials can cost around $2,600, depending on the program chosen.

* 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

Residents of Tennessee may also wish to review their options in Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.