Associate of Applied Science Degree
Culinary Arts Programs
If you love cooking, have a passion for food and have always dreamed of being a chef, then Bellingham Technical College’s Culinary Arts associate degree program is for you. BTC’s programs and certificates in Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts are ideal for students with cooking skills and an interest in the fast-growing food service industry. You’ll receive training from an award-winning faculty in state-of-the-art kitchens and get the skills and experience you’ll need to get top jobs in the fast-paced culinary field. Hone your culinary arts skills and gain training in every aspect of food service – from chef to restaurant manager to hostess – at BTC’s Café Culinaire, where students run the International Buffet in winter quarter and a full-service a la carte restaurant in spring. To expand on your cooking skills, you can also take classes for your pastry arts certificate and get training for the best pastry chef jobs.
Awards for 2017-18: Congratulations to BTC's Culinary Arts students who competed in this year's American Culinary Federation Washington State Chefs Culinary Salon. BTC had the highest scores of all student competitors and took home gold, silver and bronze medals for their work.
Culinary Arts Associate Degree Programs and Certificate Programs
AAS: You take seven quarters of culinary arts classes and training graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts, ready to start your culinary career.
AAS-T: You take seven quarters of culinary arts and general education classes and graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. You can start your culinary career or transfer select courses to a four-year college or university to earn your bachelor’s degree.
Culinary Arts Certificate: You take three quarters of culinary arts classes to give you skills and training for your culinary career.
Pastry Arts Certificate: You take three quarters of classes to train you for work as a pastry chef, including courses on artisan breads, specialty cakes and chocolate showpieces.
Culinary Arts Jobs & Employment
After taking BTC’s culinary arts courses, you can graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary arts and let your career take you wherever you want to go: restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops, hotels, schools and universities, hospitals, and catering companies. Graduates of BTC’s Culinary Arts programs are trained for jobs as: sous chefs; line, pantry and prep cooks; bakers; deli workers; food managers; and caterers. Employment opportunities for those with culinary arts degrees are expected to be plentiful as new restaurants and bars open, creating new positions; outgoing employees also will need to be replaced.
About 76% of BTC Culinary Arts program students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in culinary field is $40,282, with an earning potential of about $49,718 per year.*
76% BTC graduate placement rate
• 72% job placement rate in 2017-18 (for students graduating in 2016-17)
• 69% job placement rate in 2016-17 (for students graduating in 2015-16)
• 84% job placement rate in 2015-16 (for students graduating in 2014-15)
$42,286 starting annual wage
$52,416 average annual wage
$63,419 potential annual wage
Employment and wage data sources
21% graduation rate in 2018-19 (for students starting in 2015-16)
31% graduation rate in 2017-18 (for students starting in 2014-15)
37% graduation rate in 2016-17 (for students starting in 2013-14)
BTC Culinary Arts graduation rates:
The graduation rate reflects the percentage of students starting in the Culinary Arts program who receive a Culinary Arts degree within three years.
25% ACF certification rate for students graduating in 2018-19
10% ACF certification rate for students graduating in 2017-18
BTC ACF certification rates:
The ACF certification rate reflects the percentage of students graduating with a Culinary Arts degree who receive ACF certification within one year of program completion.
Estimated Program Costs:
Estimated Books, Tools and Supplies Costs
Tuition Fees and Rates
The Culinary Arts Program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Foundation.