Information on Food Service Manager Certification
Using their knowledge of food safety, food service managers oversee the practice of keeping food items safe for consumption and preventing foodborne illnesses from affecting customers. Compared to food handlers, they have more responsibilities in a restaurant or facility, such as ensuring that food quality satisfies state regulations and preparing food safety plans. Some occupations included under the food service manager classification are chefs, food business owners, and staff supervisors. Food service manager certification from accredited training providers is required in most states as a way to assure consumers that the food they are about to consume follows appropriate preparation protocol.
Training is available from providers that operate nationwide, like the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, StateFoodSafety.com, and ServSafe. There are no prerequisites for a training program and exam. Applicants earn this certification after completing the course and passing the test.
Food Service Manager Certification Requirements
Both the training and exam for food manager certification can be completed 100% online, although self-study and one-on-one training are also available. Regardless of the option, training contains the same relevant information needed to pass the exam.
Information and Requirements
Online courses are self-paced and five to ten hours long. These online courses are accessible on desktop and mobile platforms. Applicants can check the compatibility of their devices using a list of specifications available on training providers' websites.
The training and exam are usually sold as a package, though some providers sell test vouchers separately. Generally, a score of 72% or 75% is needed to pass the exam.
Food service manager certification is valid for five years, and certified food service managers must generally have their certification renewed by retaking the exam. They may take an online refresher course to prepare for the exam.
Online Food Service Manager Certification Training Courses
The courses for food service manager certification are based on the US FDA Food Code and may contain additional material from expert practitioners. While training providers have courses for all states, it is recommended that applicants thoroughly review their state requirements to make sure a course will result in the credentials needed for food manager employment. Common topics include food safety and foodborne pathogens, preventing food contamination, sanitation, health and hygiene, food procurement and storage, food preparation, and pest control.
Online courses are taught using video tutorials, text resources, and visual aids. Applicants have a certain period to access these materials after purchase, which can be as short as 90 days or as long as one year. Some training providers include practice exams in their study materials.
The exams are taken online through a proctor. After passing the exam, an applicant obtains a card or certificate that can be presented to an employer or health inspector. Some training providers allow employers to access the food manager certification details of their staff online.
Career Outlook after Food Service Manager Certification
A food service manager certification ensures that chefs, restaurant managers and owners, and supervisors operate their establishments according to state regulations on food safety practices. Depending on the establishment, individuals can enter these careers with or without a bachelor's degree, but one of the main requirements is work experience in the food service industry.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an annual median pay of $55,320 in May 2019 for food service managers. The occupation is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Online courses for food manager certification are self-paced and less than ten hours long. Passing the online proctored exam grants the applicant certification, which is valid for five years.