Restaurants in Pennsylvania are a driving force in the state’s economy as well as across the country. Restaurant jobs represent 10% of employment in Pennsylvania by employing well over half a million workers. With a solid foundation in culinary education, graduates can enter the workforce and look forward to continued job growth, or continue to build upon their skills at a culinary institute.

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The Culinary Arts program is currently one of only 122 secondary programs in the United States accredited by the American Culinary Education Foundation (ACFEF). The ACF is a professional organization for cooks, bakers, and chefs; they also provide clear path to industry certification giving graduates an advantage as they develop entry-level marketable skills. Attending an ACFEF-recognized quality program ensures our students are receiving a culinary education that maintains high standards. Students are able to obtain Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC), if they meet requirements.

Training for a career in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities begins with theory and hands-on experience in our fully-equipped commercial restaurant facilities. Our ACF-accredited program of study includes safety and sanitation, nutrition, basic knife skills, cooking and baking concepts, menu planning and dining room service, while students are encouraged to develop a work ethic that is in line with the industry’s stringent standards.

Students can obtain ServSafe Food Handler certification, which is a national certification that makes them marketable to employers.


  • Be self-motivated independently or in teams
  • Be able to master measurement requirements, including division and multiplication of fractions
  • Stand for long periods of time
  • Comprehend written and verbal instructions
  • Perform repetitive work motion requiring hands-on skills
  • Possess a neat appearance and good personal hygiene

For information on this occupation’s description, required knowledge, job tasks and related job titles, state/national wages and employment trends, visit the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s site for this career field.


Student Testimonial:
Culinary Arts


GACTC graduates can get a jump start on post-secondary education by taking advantage of the various articulation and/or dual enrollment opportunities. Review the college credit opportunities for the Culinary Arts program.


  • Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC)
  • OSHA 10
  • ServSafe Allergens
  • ServSafe Food Handler
  • ServSafe Workplace
  • ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification (adult learners only)

Heather McCloskey

Culinary Arts Teacher
2nd Floor