If you’re looking to advance your career in the culinary field, you are traditionally expected to work your way up from the ground floor through grunt work, persistence and connections. While the traditional method is still highly revered (and often demanded), as the industry becomes more saturated, it can be highly beneficial to set yourself apart with specialized training or certifications. Types of training will depend on your focus and end goal, but can range from degrees or diplomas, post-secondary certificates, apprenticeship training or industry certifications.

We’ve rounded up some of the leading certification programs within the culinary industry below. Whether you’re an aspiring chef, restaurateur or educator, a stamp of approval from one of these industry-recognized experts can help to validate your experience and drive your career forward. (Check out our Continuing Ed Resource Section for a list of organizations that can help connect you to classes, scholarships, and additional assistance.)


Organization Name Certification Offered Training Offered
American Cheese Society ACS Certified Cheese Professional *
American Correctional Food Service Association CFSM - Certified Correctional Food Systems Manager
CCFP - Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional
American Culinary Federation CFC - Certified Fundamentals Cook
CC - Certified Culinarian
CSC - Certified Sous Chef
CCC - Certified Chef de Cuisine
CEC - Certified Executive Chef
CMC - Certified Master Chef
PCC - Personal Certified Chef
PCEC - Personal Certified Executive Chef
CFPC - Certified Fundamentals Pastry Cook
CPC - Certified Pastry Culinarian
CWPC - Certified Working Pastry Chef
CEPC - Certified Executive Pastry Chef
CMPC - Certified Master Pastry Chef
CCA - Certified Culinary Administrator
CCE - Certified Culinary Educator
CSCE - Certified Secondary Culinary Educator
CIA ProChef ProChef Level 1
ProChef Level 2
ProChef Level 3
International Association of Culinary Professionals CCP - Certified Culinary Professional *
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation CSFE - Certified Secondary Foodservice Educator *
North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers CFSP - Certified Foodservice Professional *
Retail Bakers of America Certified Decorator *
ServSafe ServSafe Manager
ServSafe Food Handler
ServSafe Allergens
ServSafe Alcohol
Stampede Meat Certified Butcher *
SUNY Cobleskill Meat Processing and Food Safety Certificate *
United States Personal Chef Association CPC - Certified Personal Chef  
University of Vermont's Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese Cheesemaking Certificate Program (CC)
Advanced Cheesemaking Certificate Program (ACC)
University of Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker *


Certifications & Training Programs:

Note: This list of resources is a small sampling (and a work-in-progress!) of the options that are currently available. If you'd like us to add one that you and/or your team have benefited from, please email us at [email protected]!