Culinary Arts graduate is qualified to work in vast areas of the food service industry. Culinary Arts can become employed as cooks, cook supervisors in a kitchen, entry-level management or assistant managers/manager trainees. The level of success depends on the individual.
Organizations that hire graduates from the program at Texas State Technical College Harlingen include hospitals and other health care providers, restaurants, delis, Army/Air Force exchange service, and national food chains. Also, for students wanting to cook at a country club, or open a catering business or restaurant, this training is indispensable for success and growth.
The TSTC Culinary Arts program offers both certificate and associate degree options. Both options require one-and-a-half to two years. The program teaches students to run a restaurant kitchen, provides hands-on experience for one-and-a-half years, and provides the opportunity for students to earn an associate of applied science degree and a life-long career. In addition, the program has an articulation agreement with Texas A&M Kingsville. Students wanting to earn a bachelor of science degree in restaurant management will be able to transfer a majority of their TSTC credits to that program.
The job outlook for Culinary Arts is very bright. About 35 percent of the new jobs created in Texas in the 1990s will be in the food service field. The starting salary for a food service technician can range from $11,200 locally to $22,000 with a national company.
Prerequisites for the Culinary Arts program include a high school diploma or GED certificate, Pre-TASP test for the certificate program or TASP test for the associate degree program. English, math, writing and human involvement skills are good classes to take in high school. They will help in the food service industry. If students plan to earn an associate degree and then continue a restaurant management education at Texas A&M Kingsville, then four years of upper level college courses in English, math, science and chemistry are recommended.