Cooking instructors teach students at culinary and technical schools, private for-profit schools, community colleges, middle and high schools, park district programs, and in any other setting where cooking classes are offered. Many cooking instructors are self-employed, providing cooking classes for the general public.
When pursuing work as a cooking instructor, you should contact colleges, private trade schools, vocational high schools, or other appropriate institutions that have culinary arts programs in place to receive additional information about employment opportunities.
The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission accredits secondary and postsecondary culinary education programs. It’s Web site, https://www.acfchefs.org/ACF/Education/ACF/Education, is a good place to find information about schools that hire cooking instructors.
Many colleges, technical schools, and state departments of education offer job lines or bulletin boards of job listings. Check with your area park district for possible employment opportunities. You can also often find job openings online at job sites such as Indeed.com.
Opportunities for advancement vary by position. An instructor at a cooking school might advance to the position of cooking school director or start his or her own school. Middle and secondary school cooking instructors advance by receiving pay raises and additional duties. Some may become department heads or principals. Advancement for a skilled educator teaching classes at a community college or park district may mean a larger class load, higher pay, or additional teaching assignments dealing with different culinary specialties. They may also work toward a goal of someday teaching full time at a larger college or university.
Tips for Entry
Take as many cooking classes as you can.
Practice cooking as often as possible.
Teach your friends and family members how to cook your favorite dish.
Record yourself as you teach others about cooking. Review the recording and try to improve areas in which you were deficient.
Volunteer at a local cooking school to get your foot in the door.