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Food Services


Food services programs teach people to prepare and serve food in various settings such as restaurants, bars, and cafeterias.

Food services and technology programs teach people to mix drinks, prepare food, and cut and package meat. Students learn sanitary principles and health regulations. They also learn about nutrition and the functional properties of food.

Food services programs include topics such as:


Many specialized schools and community colleges offer certificate and associate degree programs in food services. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program usually takes two years of full-time study.

Some specialized schools and colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in food services. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program of study by getting your high school diploma or GED.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Many programs include an externship in their curriculum. This gives you the opportunity to practice what you've learned in real-life food services settings. You also benefit from the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced food services and technology worker.

Things to Know

You are expected to purchase your own cooking tools and chef's uniform.

If your program does not offer an internship, you should seek one out on your own. Besides the working experience, you could also make professional contact with potential employers or references.

Every state has different regulations on food safety and preparation in public institutions such as restaurants. Check with your local health department or state restaurant association for more information on specific requirements. You may need to get a certificate in food safety before you can start working.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

King-Snohomish Area

Edmonds Community College

South Seattle College

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

Tacoma Area

Bates Technical College

Clover Park Technical College

Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region

Tri-Cities Area

Columbia Basin College

West Side Area

Skagit Valley College