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Before you start culinary school, consider your options. There are one-year culinary school diploma courses that will enable you to work in many restaurants. With a two year associate degree you can go into restaurant, hotel management or become a baker or pastry chef. A four-year degree will allow you many more options. The higher your qualifications the more likely you are to get a position with better pay. Another option is to take a one or two-year course and find out by working in the industry what it is you want to do. Some restaurants have apprentice programs.