Food Preparation Certification Options

Learn about certification programs available for food preparation workers. Get information about courses required, certification examinations and degree programs. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kinds of Food Preparation Certification Programs Are Available?

You'll find a variety of programs available if you're looking for a food preparation certification program. Most are non-credit certificate programs or simple 1-2 day courses. The SafeServ Food Protection Manager certification is a 2-day course that ends with a certification exam. This program provides training in food safety and kitchen sanitation. A basic food prep certificate, which is also non-credit, focuses on kitchen basics and teaches you the fundamentals of baking, hot and cold foods and nutrition. This certificate takes about a year to complete. A 1-day course is available for those interested in earning a food service certification.

Types of Programs1-2 day courses are available in food preparation
Course TopicsTraining, buffet management, nutrition, dining room management, baked goods
CertificationStudents can take an exam through the SafeServ Food Protection program
Hourly Salary (2018)* $11.47 (for food preparation and serving related workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 9% (for food preparation and serving related workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

You'll learn food safety and sanitation procedures in addition to learning how prep and prepare various foods. In a basic food preparation certification program, you'll put the skills you're learning into practical use by working in an actual restaurant setting, or putting on catered events as part of the co-op experience requirement. Some topics that you'll study include:

  • Knife skills
  • Sanitation
  • Food safety
  • Training
  • Buffet management
  • Baked goods
  • Creating garnishes
  • Nutrition
  • Dining room management
  • Cold and hot food prep

What Certification Exams Are Available?

The SafeServ program is sponsored by the National Restaurant Association and uses materials prepared by them. At the end of the course, you will take their certification exam to become a certified SafeServ Food Protection Manager. In a food service certification program, you'll earn a SafeServ Sanitation certification. Some basic food prep certificate programs do not offer any certification exams but will prepare you to advance to an associate's or bachelor's degree program in food service management, hospitality management or a related field. In some cases, you may receive course credit applicable towards an undergraduate degree for any certifications that you may hold.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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