Culinary Arts & Tourism

Mercer County Technical Schools culinary arts students with their awards after winning a competition

The hospitality industry is big business in New Jersey, where tourists pump more than $37 billion into the state’s economy each year. The leisure, hospitality and retail trade sector of our state’s economy employs almost 25% of all private sector workers.

Culinary arts programs for high school students and adults are in high demand at NJ county vocational-technical schools. Many of the schools operate their own student-run restaurants, which are open to the public.

Thanks to our industry partners, many of the programs include real-world work experience at area restaurants. Many of our graduates go on to prestigious culinary colleges and other post-secondary training, or straight into the workforce in the state’s thriving restaurant and hotel industry.

Here are some of the career pathways in this industry:

  • Baker
  • Chef
  • Event planner
  • Pastry chef
  • Tour guide
    • Caterer
    • Convention services manager
    • Hotel/restaurant management
    • Restaurant owner
    • Travel agent
      Cumberland County Technical Education Center culinary arts students working in the school's kitchen
      Hudson County Schools of Technology culinary arts students preparing their entry at the New Jersey Association of Counties annual county vocational-technical schools cook-off in Atlantic City
      Camden County Technical Schools culinary arts students ready to serve a buffet lunch

      For students and parents:

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

      For adult students:

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

      For more information on careers in this industry:

      Check out videos on various career pathways in these fields under “Hospitality and Tourism” at NJCareerConnections.

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

      Many NJ county vocational-technical schools’ culinary arts programs are certified by Prostart, part of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This web site additional information about careers in the culinary industry.