Which Schools in New Jersey Offer Cooking Classes?

Learn about cooking classes in New Jersey. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Cooking classes are generally offered by community colleges as part of a cooking certificate or associate's degree program. These programs generally take two years or less to complete if taken full-time. Several programs include externships, which allow students to get hands-on, real-life experience in the field. Programs may also include specializations, such as pastry cooking or food service management. Read on to find out more about these degree programs and see if any meet your goals.


Cooking Certificate Programs in New Jersey

Atlantic Cape Community College

  • Program Name: Certificate
  • Field of Study Options: Baking and pastry, catering, foodservice management, hot foods
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition: $306 per credit for Atlantic and Cape May county residents, as well as out-of county residents with chargebacks; $358 per credit for out-of-county NJ residents; $408 per credit for out-of-state residents (cost for 2012-2013, excluding fees)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 7,600 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: Academy of Culinary Arts, Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ 08330
  • Phone: 1-800-645-CHEF or 609-343-5000

The certificate programs allow you to study a specific area and may be suitable for individuals changing careers or already in the industry. Depending on the certificate, you may take courses in baking fundamentals, culinary arts intro, applied culinary skills or diversified cuisines. Other courses could include Italian regional cuisine, garde manger and preparation of pastries.

Bergen Community College

  • Program Name: Certificate in Culinary Arts
  • Program Length: One year, full-time
  • Tuition: $128.55 per credit for Bergen County residents, $270 per credit for out-of-county residents, $283 per credit for out-of-state residents (cost for 2012-2013, excluding fees)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; nearly 17,300 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 400 Paramus Rd., Paramus, NJ 07652
  • Phone: 201-447-7200

You must complete 35 credits to earn this one-year certificate, and many students take more than two semesters to complete the program. If you're working in the food service industry, you can take this certificate program to update your culinary leadership and preparation skills. Some of the courses you take include menu planning, baking, food safety, quantity food preparation and international cuisine.

Brookdale Community College

  • Program Name: Academic Credit Certificate
  • Field of Study Options: Culinary arts, pastry arts
  • Program Length: 30.5-32.5 credits, depending on concentration
  • Tuition: $115.50 per credit for Monmouth County residents, $231 per credit for out-of-county and out-of-state residents (as of fall 2012, excluding fees)
  • Admission Requirements: Health screening form, meeting with a student development specialist
  • School Type: 2-year public; about 15,000 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft, NJ 07738
  • Phone: 732-774-3782 ext. 10 or 732-988-3299

Some of courses you take in the pastry arts program include patisserie, advanced baking and confectionary. If you enroll in the culinary arts program, which requires more credits, some of your courses include brunch, lunch, nutrition and purchasing. You also take general education and career studies courses. To earn either certificate, you must pass the SERV-SAFE exam in sanitation. In addition, you may apply the credits from the certificate programs towards an associate's degree.

Middlesex County College

  • Program Name: Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Program Length: 18 credits
  • Tuition: $102 per credit for Middlesex County residents, $204 per credit for out-of-county residents (as of fall 2012, excluding fees)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 12,700 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 2600 Woodbridge Ave., Edison, NJ 08818
  • Phone: 732-906-2538

This certificate program is designed for professionals already working in the hospitality industry, individuals interested in working in the hospitality industry and those with several years of industry experience who need education credits to advance. While enrolled in this program, you take courses in baking fundamentals, sanitation, pastry techniques and cakes. You also gain hands-on experience through a required externship.


Cooking Associate's Degree Programs in New Jersey

Atlantic Cape Community College

  • Program Name: Associate in Applied Science
  • Field of Study Options: Culinary arts, baking and pastry, food service management
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition: $306 per credit for Atlantic and Cape May county residents, as well as out-of county residents with chargebacks; $358 per credit for out-of-county NJ residents; $408 per credit for out-of-state residents (cost for 2012-2013, excluding fees)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 7,600 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: Academy of Culinary Arts, Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, NJ 08330
  • Phone: 1-800-645-CHEF or 609-343-5000

This associate's degree program affords you hands-on training and allows you to complete an externship in Europe or the U.S. The culinary arts program can prepare you for a career in the food service or hospitality industry and includes courses in food preparation, baking and management. Topics covered by the baking and pastry program include confections, cake design, breads and pastries. The food service management concentration offers courses in business, marketing, law and management, as well as basic culinary skills classes and baking courses.

Brookdale Community College

  • Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
  • Program Length: Two years, full-time
  • Tuition: $115.50 per credit for Monmouth County residents, $231 per credit for out-of-county and out-of-state residents (as of fall 2012, excluding fees)
  • Admission Requirements: Health screening form, meeting with a student development specialist
  • School Type: 2-year public; about 15,000 students (all undergraduate)
  • Address: 765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft, NJ 07738
  • Phone: 732-774-3782 ext. 10 or 732-988-3299

During your first term, you take courses in culinary math, storeroom, supervisory development and computer literacy. Other courses taken in your second and third terms include breakfast cookery, baking skills, patisserie, meat identification and wines. In your final term, you take classes in seafood, garde manger, mixology and kitchen skills. You also have the opportunity to complete an externship in Scotland, France or New Jersey.


Career Information for Cooking Professionals in New Jersey

To become a cook at an eating establishment, you don't need formal training; you generally learn on-the-job. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that many individuals acquire formal training, such as enrolling in a program at a 2- or 4-year institution, to become a chef or head cook. Certificate and associate's degree programs in culinary arts are available at vocational and community colleges. You may also train by completing an apprenticeship. Cooks, head cooks and chefs don't need licenses to work in New Jersey (NJ), though voluntary certifications are available.

Job Outlook and Salary

The BLS predicted jobs for cooks would increase eight percent between 2010 and 2020, which is considered slower-than-average growth. Head cooks and chefs were expected to see a one percent decline in job growth during the same time period. As of May 2011, the BLS found that there were 18,140 restaurant cooks working in NJ, earning mean salaries of about $26,300. During this time, the 2,470 head cooks and chefs working in the state made mean annual wages of about $60,500.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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