Starting Your Culinary Education in Arizona

In recent decades, Arizona has become a popular destination for golfers, shoppers, spa seekers, and gourmet food lovers from all over the world. The one hundred days of 100-plus degree heat in summer may not be for everyone, but nobody’s complaining when it’s a perfect 70 degrees in January.

For those seeking a spot in Arizona’s culinary arts world, employment can easily be found in any of the state’s thousands of restaurants, resorts, hotels, universities, or hospitals. There are two American Culinary Federation (ACF)-accredited programs in the state and a handful of other trade schools and community colleges where students can earn a certificate or degree in culinary arts and hospitality management services.
Phoenix Skyline.
Traditional culinary programs in Arizona offer certificate and degree options in a range of areas. Certificates can take between six and eighteen months to complete, and generally provide specialty training for students in baking, pastry, food handling, and other facet of the culinary profession. Central Arizona College in Coolidge offers two unique certificate programs that address important issues that are generally outside the mainstream of the culinary world: Diabetes Care & Nutrition and Community Nutrition.

Degree programs here are comparable to others throughout the country, offering Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees that incorporate general education requirements in addition to culinary-career-intensive courses in food handling, food purchasing, cooking techniques, nutrition, and chemistry. Degree programs often include an internship or apprenticeship component for real-world work experience. At Pima Community College in Tucson, students can earn an Associate’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management with courses in executive housekeeping, front office operations, and commercial food management in addition to math, writing, and economics.

After graduation from an accredited program, students have the opportunity to join the culinary and hospitality workforce. Students who attend ACF-accredited schools will be eligible to take a national ACF certification exam which will enhance their marketability to employers.

Typical food industry salaries in Arizona range according to position, city, and experience. A waiter/waitress will earn an annual average salary of $36,550; a Registered Dietitian earns $56,850; a first-line supervisor will earn about $36,680; a head chef will earn approximately $53,190; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $28,990.

2019 wage data sourced from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Current wage conditions in your area may vary.

On-Campus Schools

Art Institute of Phoenix
2233 West Dunlap Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021-2859
Culinary Arts
Baking & Pastry
Culinary Management
ACF Accredited

Central Arizona College
District Office
8470 N. Overfield Road
Coolidge, AZ 85128
Culinary Arts
ADA & NCACS Accredited

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
8100 East Camelback Road-Suite 1001
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Culinary Arts
Patisserie & Baking
Culinary Management
ACF Accredited

Mesa Community College
1833 West Southern
Mesa, AZ 85202
Culinary Studies
NCACS Accredited

Mohave Community College
1971 Jagerson Ave
Kingman, AZ 86409-1238
Culinary and Hospitality Management
Baking & Pastry
NCACS Accredited

Pima Community College
2202 W Anklam Rd
Tucson, AZ 85709-0001
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Arts
NCACS Accredited

Scottsdale Community College
9000 E. Chaparral Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Culinary Arts
Hospitality/Tourism Management
ADA & NCACS Accredited

Online Programs

American Culinary Federation
The ACF has over 200 chapters in the United States; its main campus is located in Florida
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL
Continuing Education
Chef Certification
Chef Educators
Food Safety Certification
ACFEFAC Accredited

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
The Ai has over 40 campus locations across North America, plus this online campus
420 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Management
MSCHE Accredited

Ashworth College
430 Technology Pkwy
Norcross, GA
Professional Gourmet Cooking and Catering
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC Accredited

DeVry University
This University has 90 campus locations in 26 different states
One Tower Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

eCornell is an online program and subsidiary of Cornell University, located in New York
950 Danby Road, Suite 150
Ithaca, NY
Leadership and Strategic Management
Project Leadership and Systems Design
Financial Management
Management Essentials
Human Resources Management
Hospitality and Foodservice Management
Certificate in plant-based nutrition
HRCI and PMI Approved

Johnson and Wales University
JWU has campuses in Providence, Charlotte, and North Miami; its largest campus is in Rhode Island
8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

New England Culinary Institute
NECI has two campuses in Vermont; its main campus is in Montpelier
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan University
SU has three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The main campus for its Global e-Learning program is located in Louisville
2100 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Phoenix
This University has campuses in over 40 states, and two locations in Canada
4602 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
HLC Accredited

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2 Responses to “Starting Your Culinary Education in Arizona”

  1. Jim Sams Says:

    Any good culinary school that are ACF accredited in Napa Valley?

  2. Rob Says:

    Hi, I’m interested in getting a review and link of my cooking site. I am willing to pay. Is that something that you would be interested in?

    I can provide the content if you like. Let me know

    Rob Dunfey
    Mobile: 619-240-6488

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