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Culinary Arts and Hospitality

The hospitality industry is big business in New Jersey, where tourists pump more than $46 billion into the state’s economy each year (2019 data, NJ Division of Tourism and Travel). Bars and restaurants account for more than two-thirds of employment in the industry. The leisure and hospitality sector of our state’s economy employs over 11% of all private sector workers, and following a short-term decline, leisure and hospitality jobs across the nation are expected to rebound with above-average growth. (BLS projections 2020-2030).

NJ county vocational-technical schools prepare high school and adult students for culinary and hospitality careers. Students hone their skills in professionally-equipped kitchens, where they learn about all aspects of the industry, including food safety, global cuisines, nutrition, and management. Many of the schools operate their own student-run restaurants, which are open to the public.

Industry partners, including restaurants, hotels, food retailers, and caterers, enable students to gain work-based learning experiences to enhance their culinary training. Many graduates go on to prestigious culinary colleges and other post-secondary training, or straight into the workforce to contribute to the state’s thriving restaurant and hotel scene.

Why Culinary Arts and Hospitality?

  • New Jersey is a destination for tourists seeking out its beaches and business travelers staying over and dining out
  • Employs more than 14 million people nationwide
  • Contributes $635 billion to U.S. GDP
  • Expected to add more than 2.3 million new jobs by 2030
  • Hourly earnings in the restaurant sector rising at more than double the overall private sector
  • Leadership positions pay well above national median wage


Take a closer look at Culinary:

A Passaic County culinary student carefully prepares a food item.
Two BCIT culinary students prepare food for a cook-off with an island theme.

Career pathways in this area include:

Baker or pastry chef



Convention services manager

Event planner

Hotel/restaurant manager

Restaurant owner

Tour guide

Travel agent

For Students And Parents:

To see what culinary arts and hospitality programs your county vocational-technical school offers, find your school.

For Adult Students:

To find culinary arts and hospitality programs at county vocational-technical schools near you, use the “Find Adult Career Programs” tool.

For More Information About Careers In Culinary Arts and Hospitality:

O*Net OnLine has comprehensive information on all types of jobs, including surveys that help people find careers they might enjoy.

View videos on career pathways in the culinary arts and hospitality industry:

From US Department of Labor Career One-Stop:

Learn more about Prostart, part of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, which certifies many of the culinary arts programs at NJ county vocational-technical schools.

Culinary Arts and Hospitality News

Read more news about Culinary Arts and Hospitality

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