Culinary School

Attend an Imagine America Culinary School


Culinary School
Imagine America High School Scholarship Recipient – John Ruane – Culinary Institute of Virginia

Find out why culinary students choose an Imagine America Culinary School!

Is it us, or does everyone love food? Of course, we all have our favorite foods, but some of us have that something special that’s rooted in a passion for creating recipes and cooking for others.  Culinary school can be a great first step to a rewarding career. Chefs and cooks can be entrepreneurs, managers at chain and independent restaurants, and work for food companies in areas of product development. If you’re just starting out in your culinary program at an Imagine America culinary school, we’re rooting for you! If you haven’t checked out the culinary programs and culinary colleges in your area that qualify for our scholarship programs, download our mobile app right now and start your application. Since 2006 Imagine America has awarded over 3,600 scholarships and awards to students studying culinary arts programs. Listed below are Imagine America scholarship participating institutions, that you will want to consider when selecting a culinary school.



2428 Almeda Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23513

  • Baking & Pastry Arts
  • Culinary Arts
  • Food Service Management


3050 Hempland Road, Lancaster, PA 17601

  • Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management
  • Pastry Arts

What’s the Outlook for Students Attending a Culinary School?

No matter what part of your road to success you’re on, here are some reasons why a culinary career can be a good move for students who love to cook and want to work in the restaurant or food industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the culinary arts field are expected to grow by 9 percent between 2021 and 2031, which is faster than the national average for all other occupations. And with a growing population, you can expect the need for qualified cooks, chefs and other related jobs to continue. When you speak with your career counselor, be sure to ask which food companies and restaurants hire their graduates.

There’s a world of difference between working as a line cook at a chain restaurant, creating products for a small or large food business, and working as a chef at a world-renowned restaurant. We imagine that all these jobs are high energy and sometimes may require working long hours. However, for someone with a true passion for the craft, we believe it’s worth the short-term commitment most culinary school programs require.

With both the population and average household income growing at a steady pace, more restaurants are opening to meet industry needs. Couple this with a generation of workers nearing retirement age, and you’ve got job opportunities popping up faster than they can be filled. Additionally, as people become more health- and ecologically conscious, movements such as farm-to-table are creating opportunities for specialty restaurants. In a world where small businesses and entrepreneurs can brand themselves directly to consumers through social media, there has never been such a diverse range of opportunities for graduates.

For students looking for a career where they can be on the job almost immediately, this can be a perfect fit. More than 200 programs across the U.S. are certified by the American Culinary Federation, the largest culinary organization in the country. But there may be other accrediting agencies for programs in your area that verify the program’s credibility. That’s why it’s best to contact our culinary arts trade schools who offer culinary certificates, diplomas and/or associate degree programs. They can tell you how they help students step into the workforce after graduation.

The median annual salary for a professional chef in 2021 was $50,160. Those who work in smaller restaurants and chains typically earn slightly less than this, while executive chefs in upscale establishments earn considerably more. Salaries vary not only by the type of establishment, but also by location, with tourist areas and large cities commanding higher wages. If you’re already enrolled in a culinary program, make sure you discuss salary expectations for students like yourself. This will be important for planning your financial aid and repayment strategy when you’re done.

While not required, chefs who want to open their own restaurant or start their own catering company should seriously consider taking courses in business and hotel management in addition to their culinary arts courses. Some of our culinary arts trade schools offer introductory business administration programs that can be worth a look, if that path is appealing to you.

So what does all this mean? We think it means a few things: Make sure you download our mobile app. You can manage your whole experience with us through this simple tool at the touch of a button. We also think you need to keep an eye out for more of our monthly alerts that can inform you of this career path and other valuable tips to help you while you learn.


Culinary Arts Trade Schools not for you? Try visiting our other programs HERE