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

If you plan to attend culinary schools in New Mexico, you will be immersed in the local cuisine culture. The culinary arts education system in New Mexico is a combination of technical institutes, private culinary arts colleges, community colleges, and public universities.

The goal of New Mexico Culinary Schools is to educate students on the cutting edge of innovation related to the food service and hospitality industry and to offer a conducive learning environment that develops the student’s technical skills leading to successful employment in the culinary industry.

With the variety of courses offered by culinary schools in New Mexico, a student will be able to learn business practices, dining room skills, supervisory skills, human relations, equipment use, nutrition, safety, sanitation, and of course, baking and professional cooking.

Classes at New Mexico culinary schools include classroom and laboratory classes.

Are There Culinary Schools in New Mexico? 

New Mexico has seven culinary schools spread evenly across the state. Tuition in New Mexico is one of the most affordable in the nation, with an average tuition of $1,455. Tuition can be even more affordable when you consider the state’s average scholarship of $832.

There are two types of programs you can attend in New Mexico. The shortest option is a certificate, which takes a year or less of full-time study. An Associate in Culinary Arts degree takes approximately two years of full-time study.

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How Much Do Culinary Schools Cost in New Mexico? 

New Mexico has seven culinary schools spread evenly across the state. Tuition in New Mexico is one of the most affordable in the nation, with an average tuition of $1,455.

What Are The Requirements For Culinary Schools In New Mexico? 

Education requirements differ for each intended career. The American Culinary Federation lists a number of certifications available and the applicable educational requirements that accompany each, such as a certificate or diploma (can be earned in a few months), an associate’s degree (two years), or a bachelor’s degree (four years).

For example, someone who earns a certificate can become an entry-level chef, while a student who earns an associate degree can become a personal chef or executive sous chef, overseeing various stations in a professional kitchen. A bachelor’s degree plus years of experience can qualify a chef for a career as a culinary educator.

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What Are The Best Culinary Schools In New Mexico? 

Navajo Technical University

This facility was established in 1979, where it began as the Navajo Skill Center. Since then, the university has been providing quality education to its immediate community through programs that strike a unique balance between science and technology, culture and tradition.

The university offers an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. Designed to prepare students for a thriving career in the industry, this program helps students gain training and skills in professional cooking and baking.

Each course is tailored to specific industry requirements. This includes key skills such as food and beverage management, human resource management, and planning and management.

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Central New Mexico Community College

Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this school’s Culinary Arts program aims to provide education on the most advanced trends in the food and hospitality industry.

It offers an associate degree and students will be able to learn various skills such as business practices, dining room skills, supervisory skills, sanitation, safety, professional cooking and baking.

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Santa Fe Community College

The Culinary Arts program at this school will provide students with hands-on experience designed to ensure that students develop their culinary arts skills.

Santa Fe Community College offers world-class training in all areas of culinary, hospitality, industrial, hot and cold kitchens, cost control, management, sanitation and safety, baking, catering, dining and bar.

Graduates of this school are in demand in Santa Fe restaurants and establishments with professionals earning approximately $12 to $15 per hour for entry-level positions.

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Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico State University has solidified its place as one of the best culinary schools in the state. Their commitment to quality education has been proven for 85 years, preparing students for careers and advancement.

The University strives to provide equal opportunities to all through affordable tuition fees. It is also recognized as New Mexico’s largest regional comprehensive university. Today, they offer more than 90 programs with 1,200 courses.

Students seeking careers in the food industry may consider pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Culinary Arts, which focuses on professional cooking and hospitality administration as core skills.

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Luna Community College

Located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, this school offers a culinary arts curriculum that ensures compliance with all American Culinary Federation standards and guidelines for culinary skills and knowledge.

The program focuses on the hands-on experience of students using cutting-edge kitchen innovations. Each class emphasizes professional food service skills in a modern kitchen and prepares students for positions in the culinary field.

Students will gain knowledge of basic and advanced refrigeration skills, culinary professionalism, and food safety and sanitation.

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University of New Mexico Taos Branch

This school is located in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. The institution offers an associate degree, and students can also earn a 1- to 2-year certificate and a less than 1-year culinary arts certificate.

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University of New Mexico Taos Branch offers a wide range of programs leading to an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts degree. A student can also advance a 1 to 2 year certificate and a less than 1 year certificate in Culinary Arts.

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Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute

This New Mexico accredited culinary school is located in Albuquerque and offers an associate degree in culinary arts. Students can also earn a Culinary Arts Certificate in 1 to 2 years.

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How Much Do Chefs In New Mexico Earn?

Chefs and senior chefs in New Mexico earned an average of $20.92 per hour and $43,510 per year in 2017. Those in the top 10 percent for their career earned $71,140, ​​so there’s plenty of room for growth.

Non-management restaurant chefs earned an average of $23,430 per year, which shows how you can get a better, higher-paying job in this industry.

The growth of the culinary industry in New Mexico is mostly positive, but slightly slower than in other states. For head chefs and line cooks, the increase is currently 7.9 percent.

The growth for bakers is 9.9 percent, and for restaurant chefs and catering managers, 11.2 and 8.5 percent, respectively.

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How Do I Become A Chef In New Mexico?

New Mexico is a great place to live and pursue a culinary career with warm weather, clear skies, a thriving tourism industry, and some delicious local cuisines.

The New Mexico state government has no requirements for people who work as chefs and cooks. There are no licenses or certifications, and no training or education requirements.

Employers are free to determine what credentials or experience their new hires should have, usually a high school diploma or equivalent as a minimum.

Some restaurants hire people with no culinary experience or training. If you choose this career path, expect to start at the bottom, even washing dishes, and work your way up to cook and chef through on-the-job training.

Alternatively, you can start by completing a culinary program at a higher education institution, which will help you land a job and start a little higher up the kitchen ladder.

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What Are The Best Paying Culinary Arts Jobs in New Mexico

Once you’ve earned your culinary degree or certification, it’s time to explore your employment options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 46% of employed chefs work in restaurants. 13% of chefs are self-employed restaurant owners, catering company owners or private chefs.

If you have business experience or want to learn the ins and outs of the industry, self-employment may be right for you.

Some of the largest culinary employers in New Mexico include Sodexo, Bonefish Grill and Cheddar’s Casual Cafe. Most of the large restaurants and catering companies in New Mexico are located in large cities.

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New Mexico joins most states in America in not requiring certification or licensing for chefs. This saves you time because you don’t have to wait to start your job search.

Although certification is not required, many chefs choose to become certified by the American Culinary Federation.

Chefs in New Mexico can earn varying salaries. The salary you receive depends largely on your experience and length of service. Head chefs are the highest paid chefs in kitchens, followed by sous chefs and line chefs.

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Best Culinary Schools In New Mexico FAQs

Are There Scholarships For Culinary Schools In New Mexico?

Culinary school scholarships may be available to students who demonstrate financial need. For example, the Culinary Academy of America offers scholarships to high school and college students as well as professional chefs who wish to pursue education or certification.

Do You Need License To Work As A Chef In New Mexico?

You do not need a license or certification to work as a chef or cook in New Mexico. However, ACF offers nationally recognized certifications in 16 areas that can help you be more employable and earn a higher salary. To become certified in one of the areas offered, you will need some experience or education to pass a written and practical exam.

Are Chefs In Demand In New Mexico?

The growth of the culinary industry in New Mexico is mostly positive, but slightly slower than in other states. For head chefs and line cooks, the increase is currently 7.9 percent. The growth for bakers is 9.9 percent, and for restaurant chefs and catering managers, 11.2 and 8.5 percent, respectively.

Conclusion

Culinary schools in New Mexico offer students one or more specialties. Common options include culinary arts, baking, and food business. Beginner cooks learn about recipes. They also develop leadership and management skills. Future hospitality managers study hotel operations, finance and event planning.

The time it takes to graduate depends on the program. Learners can earn some certifications in about 12 months. Students pursuing an associate’s degree take about two years to complete. Most bachelor’s degree programs require four years to complete. Some undergraduate programs offer a three-year accelerated curriculum. Part-time students take longer to earn a certificate or degree.

Programs depend on the culinary school. Not every school offers the exact courses and programs described in this culinary school guide. Prospective students should research schools thoroughly before applying.

References

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