Skip to Content

A Detailed Guide on How to Become a Chef Instructor

Are you aspiring to be a chef instructor and you want to know the qualification required? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to become a chef instructor..

What is a Chef Instructor?

Chef instructors are individuals who train aspiring chefs in high school vocational programs, vocational schools, and colleges. They do this by way of lectures, demonstrations, guide skill labs and assigning homework. Chef instructors need to develop lesson plans, interact and/or collaborate with fellow teachers, assess students’ skills through exams and demonstrations of abilities, meet with and advise individual students, and stay informed about the latest trends in the field.

It is good to note that a chef instructor is a master chef and as such, if you are not that good at preparing meals, then this career is definitely not for you. However, if you are passionate and talented in the culinary arts and you would like to be in a position of impacting your knowledge and skill to others, then becoming a chef instructor is not so difficult.

You simply need to take the coursework necessary to understand various aspects of the business, and have a desire to teach others. Being a chef instructor can be a rewarding profession because you get to train future master chefs who may work in some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants.

The Average Salary of a Chef Instructor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the median annual salary for career and vocational post-secondary teachers was $49,470 in May 2015.

If you are someone who has experience as a culinary professional like a chef, baker, or caterer, becoming a culinary instructor could be a great next step for you. However, if you are yet to start a career in the culinary industry or you recently got started, then you should know that it will take you quite some time before you can start training professional chefs.

Even though it will take you quite some time to become a chef instructor, you can succeed by completing all the necessary requirements. Here are some things you should do in order to become a chef instructor.

A Detailed Guide on How to Become a Chef Instructor

1. Obtain a culinary degree: in order to become a chef instructor, you must get a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. A master’s degree in this field will also go a long way to boost your chances.

You can get a culinary degree from any higher institution. These days degree can be gotten over the internet as long as you are able to complete the coursework. After you get the degree, you will need to get about 3-5 years of work experience in the field of culinary arts. The importance of acquiring experience before you apply as a chef instructor cannot be overemphasized.

In addition to your degree, you should also develop skills in every facet of baking and cooking. By doing this, you would have armed yourself with valuable skills that can make you more valuable as a chef instructor.

2. Gain license certification: if you don’t already have a certification, you will need to get the necessary certifications. You also need to have a teaching license. You can get your certificate or license from the culinary federation in your country. If you intend to teach via an online school, you will be required to have computer skills, specifically, in instructional software and online learning course software.

What Goes into Chef Instructor Certification?

The American Culinary Federation requires applicants to complete an associates or bachelors culinary degree program. They must also attend 120 hours of Education Development courses which cover:

  • Curriculum planning and development
  • Evaluation and testing
  • Teaching methodology
  • Educational psychology

3. Work experience: Before you can teach others, you need to become an expert yourself. It will be very difficult to train others to drive a car if you can’t drive one yourself. So learn all you can, focus on your own ability and talents in this field and build a reputation as a master chef.

Then word will get around and you will be highly sought after as a chef who can teach others. You must have 3-5 years of professional culinary working experience. Occupying the position of a head chef or executive chef is a plus.

You can further boost your experience by teaching in community centers or other local venues. In some cases, you will be required to get an education or teaching license. While this is not always the case, find out what the requirements are in the setting in which you wish to work and get the proper credentials.

4. Teach others on the job: before you become a chef instructor, you should form a habit of teaching others on the job in the kitchen or restaurant in which you currently work. By doing this, managers will notice you for your talent and this will come to be very valuable in future when you need their recommendation to move into the role of an instructor.

5. Make a demo video: you can create a video showcasing your cooking prowess in an instructional manner and upload it on YouTube. Choose a recipe that you are very familiar with and film every step showing your expertise in cooking, as well as your ability to instruct others. People may see it on YouTube and you could be discovered by a well-known establishment. Or download the video and use it to show area restaurants, et al.

6. Apply for a chef instructor role: With all of these items in hand, begin looking at top culinary cooking schools or online culinary art colleges and apply to start a rewarding career in the teaching sector. As teaching and the culinary arts are two different fields, you may have to purposely learn teaching methods in order to effectively perform the duties required in the instruction of students enrolled in the course you will be teaching.

You will also have to learn how to objectively evaluate student’s performance. Take note, you may also be asked to show a sample lesson plan when you apply for work as a culinary instructor, so be ready with this as well as references and a great resume before you submit your application.

If you are successful and score the job, you can look forward to a high salary in addition to the prestige that you gain from teaching. You can be employed by a culinary institute, college or university. Employment could be on a full-time basis. Classes may be day, evening or weekend programs.

In conclusion, a career as a chef instructor offers the best of both worlds for those who are talented in culinary arts. Not only do you get to cook in popular kitchens but you also get to teach others what you know. So, if you are skilled enough to handle this, then you should definitely go for it.