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Top 10 Line Cook Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most prestigious and sought-after line cook certifications available today.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 16 min read

Certifications are important for a line cook in the job market because they demonstrate that an individual has a certain level of knowledge, skill, and experience. They provide employers with assurance that the applicant is qualified for the position. Certifications also show that the applicant has taken the time to invest in their career and take it seriously. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire certified line cooks over non-certified ones as it provides them with a guarantee of quality.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Line Cooks and explain how they can help further a line cook's career.

What are Line Cook Certifications?

Line cook certification is a formal training program that certifies individuals to work in professional food service establishments. It is designed to provide aspiring chefs, cooks, and other kitchen staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties safely and effectively. The course covers topics such as basic food safety, proper knife handling, menu planning, cooking techniques, food preparation, and customer service. Upon completion of the program, participants receive a certificate that demonstrates their competency in the field.

Having line cook certification can be beneficial for those looking for employment in professional kitchens. Employers may view certification as evidence of an individual’s commitment to learning about the culinary arts and providing quality customer service. Furthermore, it can help those seeking entry-level positions stand out from other applicants and increase their chances of landing a job. Additionally, having this type of certification may also lead to promotional opportunities or higher salaries due to the increased level of expertise they can offer employers.

Pro Tip: When considering line cook certification, research the various certifications available to determine which is best suited for your particular career goals. Consider the cost of the certification, the amount of time it will take to complete and the potential job opportunities that may come with certification.

Related: What does a Line Cook do?

Top 10 Line Cook Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Line Cooks today.

1. ServSafe Food Handler Certification

ServSafe Food Handler Certification is a food safety certification program offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). It is designed to help food service workers understand and practice proper food safety techniques and procedures. The certification consists of an online course that takes approximately two hours to complete, followed by a proctored exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, participants will receive a ServSafe Food Handler Certificate valid for three years.

The cost of the ServSafe Food Handler Certification varies depending on the state in which it is taken. Generally, it costs between $15 and $30 per person. The cost includes the online course and proctored exam.

To get certified, individuals must first register for the online course through the NRAEF website or through an approved provider. Once registered, individuals can take the course at their own pace over a period of time up to one year from registration date. After completing the course, individuals must take a proctored exam at an approved testing center in order to receive their certification.

2. National Restaurant Association ServSafe Manager Certification

The National Restaurant Association ServSafe Manager Certification is a comprehensive food safety training and certification program designed to help protect the public from foodborne illness. It is recognized by more federal, state, and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification.

ServSafe Manager Certification takes approximately 8 hours to complete and can be done in one day or split into multiple days. The course consists of a 2-hour online exam, which covers topics such as personal hygiene, cross contamination prevention, time and temperature control, cleaning/sanitizing procedures, pest control, and more.

To get the ServSafe Manager Certification, you must first register for the course online or through your local National Restaurant Association office. You will then receive an email with instructions on how to access the online course materials and take the exam. After completing the exam successfully, you will receive a certificate of completion that is valid for 5 years.

The cost of the ServSafe Manager Certification varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically ranges from $100-$150 USD per person.

3. American Culinary Federation Certified Line Cook

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certified Line Cook is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and experience in the culinary field. It is designed to recognize individuals who have acquired the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to work in a professional kitchen as a line cook.

To become certified, applicants must have at least two years of full-time employment as a line cook in a commercial kitchen or equivalent experience. Applicants must also pass an ACF-approved examination with a score of 75% or higher. The exam consists of multiple choice questions related to food safety, sanitation, nutrition, menu planning, recipe development and more.

The cost for the exam is $300 USD plus any applicable taxes. This fee includes study materials and access to practice exams. The exam can be taken at any ACF-approved testing center or online through ProctorU.

It typically takes about 4-6 weeks from start to finish to become certified once all requirements are met.

4. Professional Kitchen Training Program

A Professional Kitchen Training Program is a comprehensive program designed to teach aspiring chefs the skills and techniques needed to work in a professional kitchen. This program typically consists of hands-on instruction in food preparation, sanitation, safety, and kitchen management. It also includes lessons on nutrition, menu planning, and cost control. The program can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete depending on the institution offering it.

To get a Professional Kitchen Training Program, one must first find an accredited culinary school or college that offers such a program. Most schools will require prospective students to have a high school diploma or equivalent before enrolling in the program. Additionally, some schools may require applicants to pass an entrance exam prior to acceptance into the program.

The cost of a Professional Kitchen Training Program varies depending on the school offering it and whether it is taken online or in-person. Online programs are typically more affordable than in-person programs due to their convenience and lower overhead costs associated with running them. In-person programs may be more expensive due to additional fees for room and board as well as other expenses associated with attending classes on campus.

In summary, a Professional Kitchen Training Program is an intensive educational experience designed to teach aspiring chefs the necessary skills and techniques needed for success in the culinary industry. To get this type of training one must first find an accredited culinary school or college offering such a program and meet any prerequisites they may have for enrollment. The cost of such programs can vary widely depending on whether they are taken online or in-person as well as other factors like room and board fees associated with attending classes on campus.

5. Safe Food Handling Certificate

A Safe Food Handling Certificate is a document that certifies an individual has completed a food safety course and is knowledgeable in safe food handling practices. The certificate is often required by employers in the food service industry, such as restaurants, grocery stores, and catering companies.

It usually takes between four to eight hours to complete the course and obtain the certificate. Courses can be taken online or in person at a local college or university. The cost of the course varies depending on where it is taken, but typically ranges from $50-$100.

In order to obtain the certificate, individuals must successfully complete all components of the course, which may include lectures, quizzes, tests, and hands-on activities. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive their Safe Food Handling Certificate.

6. National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) Certifications

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) is a non-profit organization that provides education and training to the foodservice industry. The NRAEF offers certifications in various areas of the restaurant industry, such as food safety, hospitality, and management. These certifications provide employers with assurance that their employees have received training in important areas of the restaurant business.

The length of time it takes to get an NRAEF certification depends on the type of certification being sought. Generally, most certifications can be completed within six months or less. To obtain an NRAEF certification, individuals must complete a series of courses and exams related to their chosen field. Depending on the type of certification, these courses may be offered online or in-person at accredited institutions.

The cost for an NRAEF certification varies depending on the type of certification being sought. Generally speaking, most certifications range from $100-$500 USD. Some certifications may require additional fees for books or materials needed for completion.

Overall, obtaining an NRAEF certification is a great way for individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to their chosen field in the restaurant industry.

7. American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) Certifications

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) is a professional certification program that provides hospitality industry professionals with the knowledge and skills required to excel in their field. AHLEI offers a variety of certifications, including Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS), Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE), Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP), and Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA).

The length of time it takes to get an AHLEI certification varies depending on the type of certification you are pursuing. Generally speaking, most certifications require between one and three months of study and preparation for the exam. The amount of time needed will also depend on your current experience level in the hospitality industry.

To get an AHLEI certification, you must first register with AHLEI and pay any applicable fees associated with the certification process. After registering, you will receive access to online learning materials such as videos, articles, quizzes, and practice exams that cover all aspects of the certification topic. Once you have completed your studies and feel ready to take the exam, you can schedule an appointment at a local testing center or take the exam online.

The cost of an AHLEI certification varies depending on which type of certification you are pursuing. Most certifications range from $150-$400 USD per person. In addition to this fee, there may be additional charges for any books or other materials needed for preparation.

8. HACCP Certification

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a certification system designed to ensure food safety. It is an internationally recognized system that identifies, evaluates, and controls potential health hazards in food production.

The HACCP certification process typically takes between six months to one year to complete. The process involves completing a series of training courses, conducting a hazard analysis, developing critical control points, establishing corrective action plans, and implementing the HACCP plan.

To get HACCP certified, you must first complete the necessary training courses and pass the exams. You will then need to conduct a hazard analysis of your business’s processes and develop critical control points for each identified hazard. Once this is done, you can create a corrective action plan for any potential issues that arise during production. Finally, you must implement your HACCP plan and document all activities related to it.

The cost of HACCP certification varies depending on the size of your business and the complexity of your processes. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$5,000 or more to become certified.

9. OSHA Food Safety Training

OSHA Food Safety Training is a program designed to educate food service workers on the safe handling of food. This training covers topics such as proper food storage, temperature control, pest control, and sanitation. The goal of this training is to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses by ensuring that all food service employees are properly trained in safe food handling practices.

The length of OSHA Food Safety Training can vary depending on the type of training being provided. Generally, it takes between one and four hours to complete the course. Additionally, some employers may require additional training or certification for their specific workplace needs.

Employers can access OSHA Food Safety Training through various online providers or through an accredited instructor in their area. The cost of the training will depend on the provider and type of course chosen. It is important to research different providers to ensure that you are getting quality instruction at a reasonable price.

In addition to obtaining OSHA Food Safety Training, employers should also consider implementing other safety measures such as providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and following local health codes and regulations. These measures will help ensure that all employees are kept safe while working in a food service environment.

10. International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) Certifications

The International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) is an organization that provides certifications for hospitality professionals. It offers certifications in areas such as hotel management, restaurant management, and institutional foodservice management.

To get an ICHRIE certification, you must first meet the eligibility requirements for the specific certification you are applying for. This includes having a certain amount of experience in the field and completing any required coursework or training. Once you have met the eligibility requirements, you can submit your application to ICHRIE. The application process typically takes two to four weeks to complete.

Once your application has been approved, you will be asked to pay a fee for the certification exam. The cost of the exam varies depending on which certification you are pursuing. For example, the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) exam costs $350 USD while the Certified Foodservice Management Professional (CFMP) exam costs $500 USD.

Once you have paid for your exam, you will receive instructions on how to access it online and schedule a date and time to take it. The exam typically takes about three hours to complete and consists of multiple-choice questions related to hospitality topics such as customer service, financial management, marketing strategies, and more.

Once you have passed your exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will receive your official ICHRIE certification in the mail within 2-3 weeks. Your certification will be valid for five years before needing renewal.

Do You Really Need a Line Cook Certificate?

The decision of whether or not to pursue a line cook certificate is ultimately up to the individual. For some, the certificate may be necessary in order to meet certain requirements for employment in the food industry. Others may simply have an interest in cooking and view the certification as a way to validate their knowledge and skills.

For those considering a career as a line cook, having a certificate can certainly give them an edge over other applicants who lack similar credentials. A line cook certificate can demonstrate that a person possesses the specific skills and qualifications necessary for success in this particular field of work. It also shows prospective employers that the applicant has taken the initiative to learn about food preparation and safety from an accredited institution.

Aside from meeting job requirements, earning a line cook certificate can help individuals develop their culinary skills and gain valuable experience in the kitchen. Courses typically cover topics such as basic knife skills, food safety procedures, proper sanitation techniques, and menu planning. With these skills under their belt, line cooks are more likely to excel on-the-job and make fewer mistakes while preparing dishes.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a line cook certificate depends on your specific goals and circumstances. If you’re looking for employment in this field or want to improve your current culinary abilities, then obtaining certification could be beneficial for you. Otherwise, it may not be necessary depending on your level of expertise and experience.

Related: Line Cook Resume Examples

FAQs About Line Cook Certifications

1. What is a line cook certification?

Answer: A line cook certification is a professional credential that recognizes an individual has achieved a certain level of proficiency in food preparation, safety, and sanitation as it relates to working in a commercial kitchen.

2. How do I become certified as a line cook?

Answer: To become certified as a line cook, you must complete an accredited program or course in food preparation and safety, pass an exam, and receive your certification from the certifying organization.

3. Is a line cook certification necessary for employment?

Answer: While some employers may require line cooks to be certified, it is not always necessary. However, having a certification can demonstrate your commitment to the profession and help you stand out when looking for employment.

4. Are there different types of line cook certifications available?

Answer: Yes, there are different types of certifications available depending on the type of kitchen you will be working in and the level of expertise required. For example, there are basic certifications for entry-level positions and more advanced certifications for experienced cooks.

5. Does my line cook certification expire?

Answer: Yes, most certifications have expiration dates and must be renewed periodically in order to remain valid.