Article

Top 11 Kitchen Helper Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the best certifications for kitchen helpers, including what they involve and how to obtain them.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications for a kitchen helper are important in the job market because they demonstrate a level of knowledge and skill, which employers look for when hiring. Certifications show that an individual has completed formal training and is knowledgeable about safety procedures and food preparation techniques. Certified kitchen helpers are more likely to be employed, as they have proven their commitment to learning and improving their skills. Employers also prefer certified individuals because it provides assurance that the person is qualified to handle the tasks associated with being a kitchen helper.

The article reviews some of the top certifications for Kitchen Helpers and explains how they can contribute to a kitchen helper's career by providing valuable skills and knowledge.

What are Kitchen Helper Certifications?

Kitchen helper certification is a program designed to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to work in a kitchen environment. It covers topics such as food safety, nutrition, sanitation practices, and kitchen management. The program also provides hands-on training in areas such as knife handling, food preparation techniques, and equipment maintenance. Individuals who complete the program will gain confidence and proficiency in their ability to work safely and efficiently in a kitchen setting. Certification may also make an individual more desirable to employers when applying for a job in a restaurant or other food-service related field. In addition to providing knowledge and experience necessary to work in a kitchen environment, certification also allows individuals to demonstrate their commitment to safety and professionalism in the workplace.

Pro Tip: When considering a kitchen helper certification program, look for one that offers an in-depth curriculum covering topics such as food safety, sanitation, nutrition, and customer service. Additionally, make sure the program includes hands-on practice and a comprehensive exam to ensure that you have the skills necessary to be successful in the kitchen.

Related: What does a Kitchen Helper do?

Top 11 Kitchen Helper Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Kitchen Helpers today.

1. Certified Professional Cook

Certified Professional Cook (CPC) is a certification offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). It is designed to recognize professional cooks who have demonstrated excellence in culinary arts and food service management. The certification requires that applicants meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam, and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the kitchen.

It typically takes between six months to two years to become a Certified Professional Cook. To get certified, applicants must first complete an ACF-approved culinary program or apprenticeship. They must also have at least two years of full-time work experience as a cook or chef in a commercial foodservice operation.

Applicants must then pass the ACF Certified Professional Cook Exam, which consists of multiple-choice questions related to culinary techniques, nutrition, safety and sanitation, menu planning, purchasing and storage, equipment usage and maintenance, supervisory skills, and other topics related to the field of cooking.

The cost for taking the exam varies depending on your ACF membership status; it ranges from $125-$250 for non-members and $75-$150 for members.

2. Certified Food Safety Manager

Certified Food Safety Manager (CFSM) is a certification program designed to help food service operators demonstrate their commitment to food safety and quality. The CFSM certification is an industry-recognized credential that verifies an individual’s knowledge of the principles of safe food handling and preparation.

The CFSM program typically takes between six and twelve months to complete, depending on the individual's prior experience with food safety. To become certified, individuals must first complete a training course in food safety and sanitation, which covers topics such as personal hygiene, time/temperature control, cross contamination prevention, pest control, and more. After completing the training course, individuals must pass a written exam administered by an accredited certifying organization.

The cost of the CFSM certification varies depending on the certifying organization; however, most programs range from $150-$300 USD.

3. Certified Dietary Manager

Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) is a professional credential offered by the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the management of foodservice operations, nutrition care, and customer service.

It typically takes about one year to complete the certification process. To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and experience requirements and pass a comprehensive exam. The educational requirements include completing a minimum of 48 semester hours from an accredited college or university with at least 12 credits in foodservice management, nutrition, and/or dietetics. Experience requirements vary depending on the applicant’s level of education but generally require three years of full-time experience in a foodservice operation.

The cost for certification varies depending on the type of application submitted but generally ranges from $250-$400. This includes the application fee, exam fee, and any additional fees associated with the application process.

4. ServSafe Certification

ServSafe Certification is a food safety certification program developed by the National Restaurant Association. It is designed to help restaurants, bars, and other food service providers ensure that their staff are knowledgeable in food safety practices and procedures. The certification is recognized throughout the United States and Canada as a reliable indicator of an individual’s knowledge in food safety.

The ServSafe Certification exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed within two hours. The exam covers topics such as personal hygiene, cross-contamination prevention, time/temperature control, cleaning/sanitizing, pest control, and more. In order to pass the exam, individuals must score 75 percent or higher.

To get ServSafe Certification, individuals must first register for the exam online or by phone. After registering for the exam online or by phone, individuals will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online proctoring system used to take the exam remotely. Once the exam has been completed successfully, individuals will receive their certification card via mail within 7-10 business days.

The cost of ServSafe Certification varies depending on which version of the exam you choose to take (online or paper). Generally speaking, it costs between $90 - $120 USD to take the ServSafe Certification Exam.

5. Food Handler Certification

Food Handler Certification is a certification that shows an individual has been trained in the safe handling and preparation of food. It is required by many states and employers to work in the food service industry.

How long does it take to get it? Depending on the state, Food Handler Certifications can be obtained in as little as one hour. Most states require a minimum of two hours of training before certification can be granted.

How to get it? Food Handler Certifications are available through online courses or classroom-based courses. Online courses typically involve completing a series of modules with quizzes at the end of each module to ensure understanding. Classroom-based courses involve attending a class taught by an instructor who will provide instruction and answer questions about food safety.

How much does it cost? The cost of obtaining a Food Handler Certification varies depending on the state, but most range from $10-$20 for online courses and $25-$50 for classroom-based courses.

6. Culinary Arts Certificate

A Culinary Arts Certificate is a credential that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and skills in the culinary arts. It is typically earned through a post-secondary program or apprenticeship, and it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete.

To get a Culinary Arts Certificate, individuals must complete coursework in food preparation, nutrition, baking and pastries, restaurant management, and food safety. Depending on the school or program offering the certificate, courses may also include topics such as wine appreciation, international cuisine, and hospitality management.

The cost of earning a Culinary Arts Certificate varies depending on the school or program offering it. Generally speaking, tuition for a certificate program ranges from $2,500 to $15,000. Additional costs may include textbooks and supplies, as well as any fees associated with taking exams or obtaining certifications.

7. Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

A Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate is a type of certification that is designed to give students the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful bakers and pastry chefs. This certificate program typically takes six months to one year to complete, depending on the school or institution offering it. The program covers topics such as baking techniques, food safety, nutrition, cake decorating, bread making, and other related subjects.

To get a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate, you must first complete an application process at the school or institution offering the program. Once accepted into the program, you will be required to take classes in baking techniques, food safety and nutrition, cake decorating, bread making, and other related subjects. After completing all of the coursework requirements for the certificate program, you will then need to pass a final exam in order to receive your certificate.

The cost of a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate varies depending on the school or institution offering it. Generally speaking, most programs cost between $2,000-$5,000 for tuition fees alone. Additional costs may include textbooks and supplies which can range from $500-$1,000 depending on what is required for each individual course.

8. Certified Kitchen Supervisor (CKS)

Certified Kitchen Supervisor (CKS) is a certification program designed to give kitchen supervisors the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage a commercial kitchen. The program focuses on topics such as food safety, sanitation, nutrition, menu planning, cost control, and human resources.

The CKS certification requires successful completion of an online course that includes lectures and assignments. The course typically takes about 40 hours to complete. After successful completion of the course, students must take and pass a final exam in order to receive their certification.

To get certified as a Certified Kitchen Supervisor (CKS), you must first register for the online course through an accredited provider like ServSafe or National Restaurant Association Solutions. Registration fees vary depending on the provider but typically range from $200-$400 USD. Upon successful completion of the course and passing of the final exam, you will receive your CKS certification.

9. Certified Executive Chef (CEC)

Certified Executive Chef (CEC) is a professional certification awarded to chefs who have met the standards of excellence set by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The CEC is the highest level of certification offered by the ACF, and it requires a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

To become a Certified Executive Chef, you must have at least five years of experience as an executive chef or related culinary position, plus two years of management experience in the foodservice industry. You must also pass a comprehensive written exam that covers topics such as nutrition, menu planning, sanitation and safety, purchasing and inventory control, financial management, human resources management, and marketing.

It typically takes six months to two years to prepare for the CEC exam. During this time period, you should focus on studying for the exam and gaining more experience in your current job. You can find study guides online or through local chapters of the ACF.

The cost of taking the CEC exam varies depending on your location. In most cases, it will cost between $300-$500 USD to take the test. Additionally, there may be other fees associated with becoming certified such as membership dues or application fees.

Once you have passed the exam and become certified as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), you will join an elite group of professionals who are recognized for their expertise in culinary leadership and management.

10. Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate

The Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate is a professional development program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful chefs. This certificate provides students with the opportunity to develop their culinary skills through hands-on instruction in a variety of cooking techniques and styles. The program also covers topics such as nutrition, menu planning, food safety, and customer service.

The Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate typically takes between six months and one year to complete. During this time, students will take classes in areas such as baking and pastry arts, culinary fundamentals, international cuisine, nutrition, and food safety. Students may also be required to complete an internship or externship at a local restaurant or other foodservice establishment.

To get the Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate, you must first meet any prerequisites set by the institution offering the program. These may include having a high school diploma or equivalent, passing an entrance exam, or completing certain courses related to the culinary arts. After meeting these requirements, you can apply for admission into the program.

The cost of earning an Advanced Culinary Arts Certificate varies depending on which institution you attend and how long it takes you to complete the program. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $2,000-$10,000 depending on course length and fees associated with materials used during class instruction.

11. Advanced Food Safety Management Certificate

Advanced Food Safety Management Certificate is a professional certification program designed to help food service professionals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure safe food handling practices in their workplace. This certificate program is offered by the International HACCP Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes the adoption of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles for food safety management.

The Advanced Food Safety Management Certificate program consists of three courses: Introduction to HACCP, Advanced HACCP Principles, and Implementing HACCP in Your Organization. Each course covers topics such as foodborne illness prevention, risk assessment, hazard analysis, critical control points, monitoring systems, verification procedures and record keeping. The courses are self-paced and can be completed online or through a combination of online and classroom instruction.

In order to receive the Advanced Food Safety Management Certificate, individuals must successfully complete all three courses within one year. Upon completion of the courses, individuals will receive an official certificate from the International HACCP Alliance recognizing their achievement.

The cost for the Advanced Food Safety Management Certificate program varies depending on how it is taken (online or classroom). Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$600 for all three courses if taken online; however, prices may vary depending on location and provider.

Do You Really Need a Kitchen Helper Certificate?

No, you do not need a kitchen helper certificate in order to work as a kitchen helper. While having such a certificate may be beneficial in some cases, it is not an absolute requirement.

That said, there are certain skills and qualifications that many employers will look for when hiring a kitchen helper. These may include knowledge of basic food safety principles, knife handling skills and the ability to read and follow recipes. Depending on the job, other qualifications such as customer service experience or prior culinary experience may be necessary. Having a certificate can demonstrate that you have the necessary training and qualifications for the job.

In addition, having a kitchen helper certificate can also make you more competitive when applying for jobs. Employers often prefer to hire workers who have taken the time to gain additional qualifications in their field of work. By having this certification, you can show potential employers that you are dedicated to your profession and are willing to put in the extra effort required to succeed.

Overall, while having a kitchen helper certificate is not strictly necessary, it can certainly help when applying for jobs or seeking promotions within your current position. It demonstrates commitment to your profession and shows employers that you have the right skills and qualifications for the job.

Related: Kitchen Helper Resume Examples

FAQs About Kitchen Helper Certifications

Q1. What is a Kitchen Helper Certification?

A1. A Kitchen Helper Certification is a certificate issued by the local government or health department to verify that an individual has successfully completed a course of instruction in food safety and sanitation, as well as basic kitchen skills such as food preparation and cooking techniques.

Q2. How do I become certified as a Kitchen Helper?

A2. To become certified as a Kitchen Helper, you must complete an approved training program and pass an examination administered by your local health department or other governing body.

Q3. How long does it take to get my certification?

A3. The length of time it takes to get your certification will vary depending on the specific requirements of your local health department or governing body and the type of training program you have completed. Generally, it can take anywhere from one week to several months to receive your certification.

Q4. Are there any prerequisites for becoming certified?

A4. Depending on the specific requirements of your local health department or governing body, there may be some prerequisites for becoming certified, such as having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, being at least 18 years old, and/or having prior experience in the food service industry.

Q5. What are the benefits of getting a Kitchen Helper Certification?

A5: There are many benefits to getting a Kitchen Helper Certification, including increased job opportunities, higher wages, greater job security, improved customer satisfaction due to better food safety practices, and overall recognition for demonstrating knowledge and expertise in food safety and sanitation practices in the kitchen environment