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Pastry Chef

Why Become A Pastry Chef?

Pastries and desserts are big business. Don't let anyone tell you differently. In fact, this billion dollar a year business has recently caught the attention of W Street with Bimbo Corporation's nearly $1 billion acquisition of Sara Lee's North American Baking operations. Pastry chefs in North America must have a taste not just for sweets, but for business as well, since pastry arts has become one of the culinary careers over the past decade! Now is a fantastic time to earn your degree in pastry arts and begin a career in the production of desserts and pastries. Whether you choose to work in a restaurant, bakery or food company such as Sara Lee or Bimbo, the future is quite promising. However, as with any growing industry, the competition for the jobs will also be high. A degree in Pastry Arts from a culinary arts institute may ly increase your chances for success and a promising career.

Pastry Chef Job Description: What is a Pastry Chef?

A Pastry Chef is what's commonly known in restaurant or commercial kitchen as a station chef or 'line cook'. Also known as a Patissier or Patisserie Chef, the position is quite important to any food service organization. Dessert, as mentioned earlier, is big business. Pastry chefs are in charge of providing the organization and production of a restaurant's dessert menu each day. Additiony, pastry chefs may have the responsibility of developing and providing the baked goods used by that restaurant as well, regardless of its use. Many head pastry chefs are ultimately responsible for developing the dessert menu for the restaurant in close coordination with that restaurant's executive chef, owners and general managers.

Baking Pastry Arts

Pastry chef duties range widely on a daily basis, depending on menu, type of restaurant, region and establishment's organization. However, many of traditional pastry chef duties include:

pastry chef
  • Creation of dessert menu to match menu of executive chef
  • Development and baking of baked goods and pastries
  • Managing entire pastry and bakery staff, as well as any other staff under this department
  • Baking & Dessert research to acquire and develop new menu items
  • pastry inventory and costs
  • Work closely with executive chef, sous chef, restaurant manager and others

Pastry Careers

A pastry chef's career can take him or her to a wide variety of locations and work settings. The environment is up to you, and many pastry arts degrees will ow students a good deal of information to help them make this type of career . For many pastry chefs, however, the is simple. They work with the types of foods they like to eat most.

Careers in pastry arts can be in restaurants, including large or sm establishments, fine dining or casual, bistros, dessert bars and even catering companies. Many pastry chefs prefer to work in restaurants located in larger establishments in hotels, resorts and spas, convention centers, cruises, casinos and more. Salaries can vary depending on your career type, place of work and region of the country. Many pastry chefs will tell you that they work in this industry because they love to cook. However, there is good money in this field as well, if you know where to look. Desserts and pastry arts have become big business, and the world's love of sweets and desserts means that this career can take you to just about any part of the globe in which you wish to travel.

Pastry Chef Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salaries for pastry chefs cover a wide range. Many factors to consider when planning a career in pastry arts are the region for which you are living and the types of restaurant and food service establishments in this area. For instance, areas such as New York City, Los Angeles or Miami may offer many more opportunities with higher paying positions than other areas including Montana, Idaho or Nebraska. On a regional level, however, larger cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Orlando, Washington DC and Boston were shown to have the highest salaries and most career opportunities for new entrants. Lower density states such as Nebraska, Montana, Indiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi showed the fewest opportunities with the lowest corresponding average salaries. Find out about the region in which you are expecting to work to see what your specific opportunities may be.

Experience is also a major factor. Pastry chefs with a degree of experience can often command the highest salaries. Skills such as menu creation, team building and organization, managing personnel, understanding of restaurant operations and cost and supply analyzing skills are important qualities that employers, including restaurant and hotel owners, executive chefs and restaurant and hospitality managers are looking for. A good reputation can also go a long way. And a way to build both your skills and your reputation is to attend and complete a well regarded, culinary school with a degree in pastry arts or patisserie and baking.

While an entry-level pastry chef can expect to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 annuy, salaries can go up much higher. If pastry arts is the career you are looking for, then get started now with a degree from a school and get moving on your way to a rewarding career in pastry arts.

Culinary Degree Schools

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3 Program(s) Found
  • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
  • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
  • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
  • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
  • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
4 Program(s) Found
  • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
  • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
  • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
  • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
  • Has student housing available.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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5 Program(s) Found
  • Stands as Portland's only locally owned and operated culinary institute.
  • Has an efficient, well-rounded, curriculum aimed at preparing students for their careers.
  • Provides an education experience focused on providing as much time in the kitchen as possible.
  • Features a public restaurant, where lunch and dinner are prepared and served by students.
  • Offers career services, as well as professional guidance for off-site externships.
  • Located within walking distance of Downtown Portland.
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2 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year from 2010-2014
  • Day and evening classes are available for flexible scheduling.
  • Offers bachelor’s, associate, and diploma programs in business, culinary arts, criminal justice, cosmetology, and more.
  • Takes a unique “Focused Learning” approach, where students typically take only one class per month to concentrate on one subject with one faculty member at a time.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
4 Program(s) Found
L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
  • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
  • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
  • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
  • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
  • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
  • On-the-job training available through externships, internships, and clinical placements.
  • Graduates in good standing can take refresher sessions in courses at no additional cost.
  • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
Salter College , West Boylston
  • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
  • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
  • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • A private post-secondary institution of higher education serving south-central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland since 1967.
  • Offers associate degrees in specialized business and specialized technology, as well as programs leading to professional certifications and diplomas.
  • Gives each student their own career services specialist who helps keep them focused on their goals.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
  • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
  • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
  • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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4 Program(s) Found
  • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
  • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
  • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
Penn Foster , Online
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921.
  • Provides interactive course materials and unique approaches to curriculum that  support multiple learning styles.
  • Offers a 10% scholarship to eligible active duty, active and drilling members of the Reserve and National Guard. 
  • Its accelerated online courses allow students to learn new course material every 5 ½ weeks.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits