Find a Program
Become an Apprentice

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Become an Apprentice?

Find a program and contact the program coordinator of the apprenticeship program you are interested in joining. For more information, email apprenticeship@acfchefs.net or call (904) 484-0217.

Why Should I Become an Apprentice?

When you start an apprenticeship, you are learning a skilled trade from a qualified expert while getting paid. Upon completion, you will have the skills and job experience needed to earn higher wages and have better job opportunities. As an ACFEF apprentice, you will be eligible for ACF Certified Culinarian®, Certified Pastry Culinarian®, Certified Sous Chef® or Certified Working Pastry Chef® credential. You will also enjoy the many benefits of an ACF membership, including access to ACF’s online Career Center, networking opportunities with top industry professionals and a free e-subscription to The National Culinary Review.

What Will I Learn as an Apprentice?

You will learn and master cooking and baking skills through coursework and on-the-job training under the direction of a chef. You will understand the requirements for proper food handling, sanitation and hygiene. You will gain an understanding of management and supervisory knowledge in preparation for a career in the culinary industry. You will acquire a professional work ethic necessary for success in the hospitality industry. You will be prepared for ACF professional CC®, CPC®, CSC®, or CWPC® certification testing.

Where Will I Work as an Apprentice?

You will work under a supervising chef in an establishment known as a “sponsoring house.” This may be a restaurant, hospital, adult living community or other foodservice facility. Your program coordinator should provide you with a list of approved local sponsoring houses, but you will be responsible for securing employment. You will receive wage increases during the course of your apprenticeship, based on your increased skill.

Do I Go to School as Part of the Apprenticeship Program?

It depends on the apprenticeship program. The required related instruction can be taught in various ways, including classroom, qualified in-house instruction and online courses. Each program develops its own approach to offering related instruction in the apprenticeship stations. Educational institutions will often enroll apprentices in the institution’s certificate or degree program.

Do I Need Experience to Be an Apprentice?

No, you don’t need any kitchen experience to become an apprentice; however, you need to be at least 17 years old and a high school graduate or equivalent.

What Does a Typical Week as an Apprentice Look Like?

As an apprentice, you will be employed by a sponsoring house and will work their required hours. Depending on how the program operates, you will take classes at a postsecondary school on certain days or be responsible for completing online classes on your own time. Apprenticeship is a full-time commitment, at work and at home.

What Does it Cost to Be an Apprentice?

Again, it depends on the apprenticeship program. There is a national ACFEF apprenticeship registration fee of $125 and an ACF apprenticeship membership fee of $50 for each year of the program. There may be additional costs to consider, such as uniform, knives, and related instruction, as well as testing fees for certification. These costs may be included in the apprenticeship program cost or they may be your responsibility. Apprentice Fees

How Long is the Apprenticeship Program?

ACFEF apprenticeship programs take from two to three years to complete.