What is catering?

Catering is the business of providing food and other contracted items related to food to a private or specified public location.

What should I look for in an online catering school?

The best online catering schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online catering schools based on:

  • The school's name and status
  • The school's history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network

In choosing the best online catering school for you, you should consider the following factors:

  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online catering programs are available?

The following levels of catering degree online programs are available:

  • Online Catering Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Catering
  • Online Bachelor in Catering

How long does it take to get an online catering degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online catering degree depends on the level of catering degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Catering Certification Programs - 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Catering Associates Degree - 2 years
  • Online Catering Bachelor Degree - 4 years

What are some examples of online catering courses?

Courses from top online catering degree programs concentrate on food preparation, health and nutrition, and communications. Various courses are offered based on the area of specialization, including:

  • Commercial Food Preparation

    This advanced course covers food preparation for public consumption, including developing culinary and management skills, mass production for large events, and discussion of planning and preparation of each course.

  • Menu Design and Marketing

    In this course students learn the basics of creating affordable menus based on customer specifications and budgetary constraints that still provide a profit. Marketing strategies are also explored.

  • Management of Food and Beverage Purchasing

    This course focuses on helping students develop expertise in purchasing beverages and food items in bulk quantities. Students learn purchasing techniques and how to calculate the proper amount of food for the number of people being served.

  • Food Safety and Sanitation

    Food safety and sanitation are two of the most important aspects of food preparation and this introductory course starts students off on the right foot. Students learn about sanitation techniques and potential consequences of poor sanitary practices. This course helps prepare students for the national sanitation exam.

  • Baking and Pastry

    This introductory baking course increases students' skills in baking common pastries and other baked goods. Students learn proper terminology, use of baking tools, and measurement techniques.

What areas of catering specialization are available?

Specializations in catering revolve around food, food preparation, and management of food businesses, and could include the following:

  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Sous
  • Expediter
  • Line Cook
  • Event Planning

What can I do with a catering degree?

A catering degree from the best online catering school can provide students with multiple career options in the food industry. Some of the options available may include the following:

  • Caterer
  • Sous Chef
  • Line Cook
  • Pastry Chef
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Head Cook

What is a caterer?

A caterer is specially trained to prepare food and food-related articles for consumption in specialized settings.

What does a caterer do?

A caterer is responsible for preparing a wide variety of foods, including appetizers, salads, main courses, desserts, pastries, beverages, and other articles related to a special event or holiday. Caterers or often hired privately to work for individuals in weddings, parties, receptions, reunions, and other gatherings. Caterers can also work with larger corporations to put together meals or snacks for meetings and conventions.

How much does a caterer earn?

A caterer earns an average salary of around $40,890 per year, with an expected growth of about 6% through the year 2018. This projected increase is due to population growth and the increased need for fast or prepared meals to go along with busy lifestyles.

How do I become a caterer?

Individuals who are interested in learning how to become a caterer can begin by researching an accredited online catering degree program for one that suits their needs and interests. Caterers can get by with a certificate or two-year degree, but there is a trend toward four-year degrees with more specialized training. Some larger hotels and restaurants also require their own training programs and experience working in the food industry. There is also a move toward certification for certain specializations, including pastry professionals, personal chefs, and culinary educators, along with a preference in other areas for those with certification.

Catering Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
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Valencia Community College
190 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://valenciacc.edu
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Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
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Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
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City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
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Tidewater Community College
121 College Place
Norfolk, VA, 23510
http://www.tcc.edu
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Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
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Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
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Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
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Florida State College at Jacksonville
501 W State St
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
http://www.fscj.edu
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Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
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College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
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San Jacinto Community College
8060 Spencer Hwy
Pasadena, TX, 77501
http://www.sjcd.edu
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Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
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Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
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Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
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Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
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Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
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Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/
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Suffolk County Community College
533 College Rd
Selden, NY, 11784
http://www3.sunysuffolk.edu
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Saddleback College
28000 Marguerite Pky
Mission Viejo, CA, 92692
http://www.saddleback.edu
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San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA, 92111
http://www.sdmesa.edu/
X X
Nassau Community College
One Education Dr
Garden City, NY, 11530
http://www.ncc.edu/
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Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
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Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523
http://www.dvc.edu
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Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
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Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
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College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
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Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ, 85281
http://www.rio.maricopa.edu
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Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X X
Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon, CA, 92020
http://www.grossmont.edu/
X X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
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Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
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Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA, 93109
http://www.sbcc.edu
X X
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
http://www.ccp.edu
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Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X X
Bakersfield College
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA, 93305
http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/
X X
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Blvd
New York, NY, 11235
http://www.kbcc.cuny.edu
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Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406
http://www.kirkwood.edu
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Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X X
Henry Ford Community College
5101 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI, 48128
http://www.hfcc.edu
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Daytona State College
1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL, 32114
http://www.DaytonaState.edu
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Metropolitan Community College Area
30 & Fort Street
Omaha, NE, 68111
http://www.mccneb.edu
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Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
http://www.grcc.edu
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Glendale Community College
1500 N Verdugo Rd
Glendale, CA, 91208
http://www.glendale.edu
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Delgado Community College
615 City Park Ave
New Orleans, LA, 70119
http://WWW.DCC.EDU
X X
Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pky
Arnold, MD, 21012
http://www.aacc.edu
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Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson St
Madison, WI, 53704
http://matcmadison.edu
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Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA, 95003
http://www.cabrillo.edu
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Los Angeles Trade Technical College
400 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90015
http://www.lattc.edu
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Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway
Sacramento, CA, 95823
http://www.crc.losrios.edu/
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Cypress College
9200 Valley View
Cypress, CA, 90630
http://www.cypresscollege.edu
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Joliet Junior College
1215 Houbolt Rd
Joliet, IL, 60431
http://www.jjc.edu
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Greenville Technical College
620 S Pleasantburg Dr
Greenville, SC, 29607
http://www.gvltec.edu
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The University of Montana
Missoula Montana
Missoula, MT, 59812
http://www.umt.edu
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San Bernardino Valley College
701 South Mount Vernon Avenue
San Bernardino, CA, 92410
http://www.valleycollege.edu
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Erie Community College
121 Ellicott St
Buffalo, NY, 14203
http://www.ecc.edu
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Southwestern Illinois College
2500 Carlyle Ave
Belleville, IL, 62221
http://www.swic.edu
X X
Vincennes University
1002 N First St
Vincennes, IN, 47591
http://www.vinu.edu
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Ferris State University
1201 S State St
Big Rapids, MI, 49307
http://www.ferris.edu/
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Laney College
900 Fallon St
Oakland, CA, 94607
http://laney.peralta.edu
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Pikes Peak Community College
5675 S Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO, 80906
http://www.ppcc.edu
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MiraCosta College
One Barnard Drive
Oceanside, CA, 92056
http://www.miracosta.edu
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Victor Valley College
18422 Bear Valley Rd
Victorville, CA, 92395
http://www.vvc.edu
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College of the Sequoias
915 S Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA, 93277
http://cos.edu
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Universidad Del Este
Carr. # 190 Esq. Calle 220 Bo. Sabana Abajo
Ludlow, PR, 985
http://www.suagm.edu
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Schoolcraft College
18600 Haggerty Road
Livonia, MI, 48152
http://www.schoolcraft.edu
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Truckee Meadows Community College
7000 Dandini Blvd
Reno, NV, 89512
http://www.tmcc.edu
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Ozarks Technical Community College
1001 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO, 65802
http://www.otc.edu
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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division
1400 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222
http://www.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh
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J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
1651 E Parham Road
Richmond, VA, 23228
http://www.reynolds.edu
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Lane Community College
4000 E 30th Ave
Eugene, OR, 97405
http://www.Lanecc.edu
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San Jose City College
2100 Moorpark Ave
San Jose, CA, 95128
http://www.sjcc.edu
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Phoenix College
1202 W Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ, 85013
http://www.pc.maricopa.edu
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Del Mar College
101 Baldwin Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX, 78404
http://www.delmar.edu
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Onondaga Community College
4585 West Seneca Turnpike
Syracuse, NY, 13215
http://www.sunyocc.edu
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Cuesta College
Highway 1
San Luis Obispo, CA, 93403
http://WWW.CUESTA.EDU
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Hinds Community College
505 East Main Street
Raymond, MS, 39154
http://www.hindscc.edu
X X
Elgin Community College
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, IL, 60123
http://www.elgin.edu
X X
Pensacola Junior College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL, 32504
http://www.pjc.edu
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Southeast Community College Area
301south 68th Street Place
Lincoln, NE, 68510
http://www.southeast.edu
X X
Chattahoochee Technical College
980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE
Marietta, GA, 30060
http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu
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Allan Hancock College
800 S College Dr
Santa Maria, CA, 93454
http://www.hancockcollege.edu/
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Bucks County Community College
275 Swamp Rd
Newtown, PA, 18940
http://www.bucks.edu
X X
St Philips College
1801 Martin Luther King Dr
San Antonio, TX, 78203
http://www.alamo.edu/spc/
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Mission College
3000 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA, 95054
http://www.missioncollege.org/
X X
Los Angeles Mission College
13356 Eldridge Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 91342
http://www.lamission.edu
X X
Johnson & Wales University
8 Abbott Park Place
Providence, RI, 2903
http://www.jwu.edu
X
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
1501 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN, 55403
http://www.minneapolis.edu
X
Shasta College
11555 Old Oregon Trail
Redding, CA, 96003
http://www.shastacollege.edu
X X
Merced College
3600 M St
Merced, CA, 95348
http://www.mccd.edu
X X
Fox Valley Technical College
1825 N Bluemound Dr
Appleton, WI, 54912
http://www.fvtc.edu
X X
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Ave
Palm Desert, CA, 92260
http://www.collegeofthedesert.edu
X X
Los Angeles Harbor College
1111 Figueroa Place
Los Angeles, CA, 90744
http://www.lahc.edu
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Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
3520 Central Parkway
Cincinnati, OH, 45223
http://www.cincinnatistate.edu
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Mercer County Community College
1200 Old Trenton Rd
West Windsor Township, NJ, 8550
http://www.mccc.edu
X

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