Professional Cook: Career Diploma Summary

About this article
By earning your Professional Cook Diploma, you can become a part of a time-honored occupation that is sought after the world over. Courses you may be required to take include sanitation, kitchen management, menu planning and desserts. Read the following article to find out more.
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Why Earn a Professional Cook Diploma?

As a professional cook you will be a vital part of any commercial food preparation operation. Many people get their training through job experience, but more and more restaurants, caterers and resorts are looking for people with skills honed and proven through an academic program of study, in which students are trained by professionals with industry experience. Earning a professional cook diploma may give you the competitive edge and help you get that job!

Career Possibilities

Earning a diploma as a professional cook will help you get an entry-level position in a restaurant or in the cooking industry.

Occupational Outlook

Job openings for professional cooks are expected to be plentiful through 2014, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www. bls.gov. This growth is due in part to increases in population, household income, and leisure time that will allow people to dine out more often and take frequent vacations.

Salary Information

Data from BLS, reveals that cooks, chefs and prep workers wages range from $8.28 to $14.75 an hour in 2004 depending on the area of the country that they were working in and the type of company or restaurant they were working for. In some cases, professional cooks earned about $15 per hour with the highest paid earned as much as $25 per hour or more.

Coursework requirements

Coursework in a Professional Cooking diploma program may include:

  • Culinary Theory
  • Sanitation for food services
  • Desserts and Baking
  • General Nutrition
  • Production of food in quantity
  • Cold Kitchen
  • Dining Services
  • Kitchen Management
  • Management and supervision in hospitality industry
  • Science of baking
  • Menu Planning

Skills that you learn

The skills you gain in a professional cooking diploma program will serve you throughout your career, and provide a foundation for later specialization. You will learn about kitchen tools and equipment, recipe production, measurements, knife drills, and cooking procedures. You will gain proficiency in the theories related to cold food preparation, hors d'oeuvres, display platters, charcuterie, smoking meats, butchery and seafood. As the professional kitchen is a busy place, you will learn about multi-tasking within different restaurant kitchen stations such as broiler, sauté, roundsman, stove and chopping block. A good program will give you solid training in the importance and practices of sanitary food preparation and kitchen maintenance. You will learn health codes and regulations, and develop the ability to implement and oversee proper sanitation techniques. Basic nutrition is part of any cooking job, so you will study the science of nutrition with a focus on topics such as nutrients, energy needs, and the importance of a balanced diet. Most programs will train you in basic techniques for food preparation pertaining to breakfast, lunch and dinner, paying attention to the distinguishing features of presentation, food selection and storage, and menu construction.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • MS in Food Safety Regulation
      • MS in Food Safety Regulation
  • Campus Locations:
    2. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Diploma Program - Culinary Arts
      • Diploma Program - Pastry Arts
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Penn Foster Career School

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Caterer
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • High School with Culinary Arts Professional Pathway
    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • Chicago, IL

    Kendall College

  • Missoula, MT

    The University of Montana

  • Indiana, PA

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Featured Schools

Johns Hopkins University

  • MS in Food Safety Regulation

What is your highest level of education?

Virginia College

  • Diploma Program - Culinary Arts
  • Diploma Program - Pastry Arts

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster Career School

  • Career Diploma - Caterer

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management

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Penn Foster High School

  • High School with Culinary Arts Professional Pathway
  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

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