Best Culinary Schools In Georgia | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

When choosing the right school for you, it’s important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we’ve created a series of ranking of the best culinary arts schools in Georgia to help you make your college decision.

If you are a culinary novice, Georgia has several culinary schools that you can attend to learn about the local cuisine, experiment with new flavors, cook with a variety of ingredients, and become a true professional in the kitchen.

Are There Culinary Schools in Georgia? 

There are about 20 culinary schools in Georgia. Georgia’s average acceptance rate is 45%, so you may have to go through a competitive admissions process to be accepted. In Georgia, the average tuition is $3,964 and the average scholarship is $770.

Georgia schools offer a variety of certificate and degree programs. If you complete your culinary certificate, you can plan to earn it in a year or less. Associate degree programs, on the other hand, take an average of two years.

Culinary programs focus on the core aspects of a chef’s job, including food safety, cooking, and menu planning, and working in the kitchen. At the beginning of your program, you can schedule a basic cooking class that will teach you knife skills, different cooking methods, and food safety.

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How Much Do Culinary Schools Cost in Georgia? 

Chattahoochee Technical College offers several degree options, including an associate degree program and a certificate program. All programs are distributed at their Marietta campus in Cobb County, Georgia.

Most of the school’s 9,817 students are enrolled in 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition for in-state students is likely to be around $2,746 and for out-of-state students around $4,882 per year. Books and supplies can cost around $1,050, although this will depend on the program.

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What Are The Requirements For Culinary Schools In Georgia? 

Getting into the program is usually the easiest part of the process. Admission usually requires only a high school diploma or GED.

For some programs, you may need to prove your ability by taking an assessment test or by demonstrating your skills through experience or personal study. Previous work experience or participation in conferences or seminars can be the icing on the cake.

When you’re looking for a program, make sure you find one that has quality cuisine as a central part of your education. It should be well stocked, open for students to visit. And of course, the quality of your education is only as good as your teachers.

Look for programs that showcase experience, especially chefs or former chefs. But don’t focus all your attention on theory. Find a program that encourages students to get their hands dirty by offering internships, apprenticeships and apprenticeships.

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What Are The Best Culinary Schools In Georgia? 

Southern Crescent Technical College

Southern Crescent Technical College offers several degree options, including a certificate program, an associate’s degree program, and a certificate program. All programs are offered at their Griffin campus in Spaulding County.

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Most of the school’s 4,867 students are enrolled in 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition for in-state students is typically around $2,758 and for out-of-state students around $4,894 per year. Study materials can cost around $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

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Savannah Technical Institute

The Culinary Institute of Savannah at Savannah Technical Institute has a state-of-the-art culinary laboratory and experienced professional instructors.

CIS offers a variety of culinary programs that are ideal for both aspiring professionals and those who want to advance in their careers. Courses cover international and American cuisine, as well as baking and pastry, garden nursery and contemporary cuisine.

The AAT program can be completed in two years and includes an internship opportunity to gain work experience. A leadership course is also required. The diploma program can also be completed in two years and requires fewer core skills courses.

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Atlanta School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Atlanta is a premier accredited culinary school offering a variety of culinary programs taught by professional instructors with extensive experience in the industry.

Students have access to modern kitchen equipment in a hands-on learning environment. Professional development opportunities exist through the opportunity to demonstrate skills to the public at the La Carte Class event, where students prepare all courses for a dining room open to the public.

The Art Institute has a well-rounded curriculum that prepares graduates for successful careers in hotels, clubs, restaurants, resorts and convention centers.

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Ogeeche Technical College

Ogeechee Technical College offers several degree options, including a certificate program, an associate’s degree program, and a certificate program.

Classes are held at their campus in Statesboro. The college has a total enrollment of 2,068 students, most of whom are enrolled in 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Vocational Education.

Tuition for in-state students is around $2,872 and for out-of-state students is likely to be around $5,008 per year. Study materials can cost around $1,231, although this varies by program.

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Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offers a Culinary Arts Diploma that is suitable for those just entering the field as well as those seeking certification for advancement.

To successfully graduate, students complete eight credit hours of general courses and 44 credit hours of professional culinary arts courses.

Culinary courses include principles of baking, principles of cooking, modern cuisine and fundamentals of restaurant operations. Courses at this top cooking school are taught in a blended format with time spent in both the classroom and the kitchen lab.

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Atlanta Technical College

Atlanta Technical College is located in Atlanta, a city with a rich culture and a huge tourism and hospitality industry.

The College has an AAS in Culinary Arts, a 52-hour program that requires both general education and professional coursework. Students have the opportunity to complete a practicum to gain professional work experience.

A diploma is also offered. ATC is accredited by the American Culinary Federation, and graduates of the program are eligible to receive the Certified Culinary Certificate.

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West Georgia Technical College

West Georgia Technical College is a top culinary school that offers a variety of culinary programs. The Culinary AAS Degree program is a two-year program with an opportunity for students to complete a practicum.

Students have the opportunity to showcase their skills at a variety of fun events, including an Oscar party where students create Oscar-themed desserts and appetizers. The degree program also has an internship option and can be completed in 18 months.

Certificate programs provide instruction in basic entry-level skills such as sanitation and fundamentals. Culinary courses are taught in a hands-on environment and students have the opportunity to practice what they learn in the classroom.

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North Georgia Technical College

North Georgia Technical College has two campuses with culinary arts programs: the Curragh Campus and the Blairsville Campus. NGT offers a culinary program accredited by the American Culinary Federation.

This top culinary school had a 2015 placement rate of 100% at the Blairsville campus and 94% at the Currahee campus. Students have the opportunity to work on campus preparing lunch or dinner available for visitors.

Students receive hands-on training in areas such as baking, leadership and decision-making, purchasing, catering, security, banquet preparation, and American and international cuisine.

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Chattahoochee Technical College

The Culinary Arts program at Chattahoochee Technical College includes both a Diploma and an AAS degree in Culinary Arts. Students are introduced to various culinary applications and techniques in a hands-on learning environment.

The Diploma in Culinary Arts is a 53-hour program that consists of foundational skills and vocational courses including principles of baking and cooking, culinary safety and restaurant operations.

The Culinary Arts AAS degree can be earned in two years and offers a more extensive list of common core courses. Both programs have hands-on experiences to give students the opportunity to apply their skills.

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Gwinnett Technical College

Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia offers culinary arts programs that provide training in cooking, baking, service and management skills.

Students can earn a degree, diploma or certificate and return to continuing education courses in areas such as Basic Management Skills or Starting a Small Business.

GTC is accredited by the American Culinary Federation and provides a hands-on learning environment. Students learn culinary skills in a modern kitchen environment and gain real-world professional experience through internship opportunities.

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College of Coastal Georgia

Coastal Georgia College is proud to be the only school in the University System of Georgia accredited by the American Culinary Federation. This top cooking school has some of the best cooking instructors in the world.

The campus is centrally located between several popular resorts and restaurants. Students have the opportunity to interact with chefs from around the world through the Visiting Distinguished Chef program, which brings chefs to campus for lectures and presentations.

Students who want to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree have several options, including a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in hospitality, resort and tourism management or a degree in food science at the University of Georgia.

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How Much Do Chefs In Georgia Earn?

Choosing a career as a cook or chef in Georgia will give you a chance to earn an excellent salary. Cooks and chefs earn an average of $21.86 an hour and $45,480 a year.

Top earners in these positions earn an average of $70,560 per year. Food service managers earn the most in the industry, earning up to $74,500 a year on average.

Currently, there is an overall increase in the number of culinary vacancies in Georgia, although there are some differences by type of work.

The positions of cooks and senior cooks are increasing by 9.3 percent, and bakers are increasing by almost 15 percent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only fast food chef and line cook jobs are shrinking.

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How Do I Become A Chef In Georgia?

After obtaining a culinary degree, there are three main areas in which you can develop your culinary career. First, you can work in a restaurant. It’s a popular choice, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants.

Second, you can work in a catering company. Finally, you can work as a private chef. All of these career paths have different requirements and benefits.

Some of the top chef employers in Georgia include Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, Gecko Hospitality and Patrice & Associates. If you don’t want to work for others, you can open your own catering business or restaurant.

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In Georgia, as in almost every other part of the country, there are no licensing or certification requirements for chefs and cooks. However, employers may require you to complete a specific healthy and safe food guide for each restaurant.

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What Are The Best Paying Culinary Arts Jobs in Georgia

Graduates are likely to find work to their liking in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools and hotels in Georgia. Typical food industry salaries in Georgia vary by position, city, and experience.

A waiter/waitress will earn an average annual salary of $21,570; a registered dietitian earns $50,580; a first line manager will earn around $32,240; a chef will earn approximately $52,950; and a restaurant chef earns an average salary of about $26,030.

Wage data for 2019 is from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Current pay conditions may vary in your region.

If you’re just starting out, there are some things you can do to improve your chances. Try attending local food and wine festivals and entering contests to increase your exposure.

Some examples include Taste of Atlanta, the Vidalia Onion Festival, and the Celebrity Chef Tour. Never underestimate the power of networking. Check out professional groups like the American Hotel and Hotel Association and the National Restaurant Association.

Best Culinary Schools In Georgia FAQs

Do You Need License To Work As A Chef In Georgia?

Chefs and cooks are not required to be licensed or certified, but national certification can help them land jobs and earn higher wages. You can become certified through the American Culinary Federation (ACF), which has 16 specializations. These include areas such as basics, culinary, sous chef, chef and executive chef, as well as pastry chef specialties. To qualify, you must pass a written and practical exam.

Why Study Culinary Arts In Georgia?

Georgia has a unique culinary tradition, rich in southern products and dishes. Working here in the kitchen can be a dream come true for anyone who loves food and cooking. There are several large and mid-sized cities in Georgia with great cuisine where you can easily find your first culinary job: Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah, and Athens. Expect to find most of the jobs in restaurants, but also look at hotels and resorts, convention centers, schools, and hospitals.

Are Chefs In Demand In Georgia?

Currently, there is an overall increase in the number of culinary vacancies in Georgia, although there are some differences by type of work. The positions of cooks and senior cooks are increasing by 9.3 percent, and bakers are increasing by almost 15 percent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only fast food chef and line cook jobs are shrinking.

Conclusion

In addition to the curriculum, you should also check to see if any Georgia cooking school has the proper facilities to provide comprehensive training. Good schools have internship or externship programs before or after graduation.

They also have on-site facilities like restaurants and experienced instructors who not only teach students how to cook and know how to cook, but also share industry tips and advice for success. Your instructors should be well connected to the local industry and train you professionally and personally to meet the requirements of the job.

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