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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.

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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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway.
  • A team of about 4,000 faculty members are focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Academic programs available in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Program Coordinators work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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3 Program(s) Found
  • Their Fast Track Diploma/Certificate Programs can enable students to be job-ready in as little as eight months.
  • A Career Services Office helps match graduates with potential employers.
  • Founded in 1979 as the Star Technical Institute school group, offering career training in drafting and design. 
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges and approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Education, and licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
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1 Program(s) Found
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,000.
  • Ranked #14 in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News.
  • The student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • At the end of their freshman year, 84% of students return to continue their education.
  • Students attend only one class at a time for four weeks, ensuring easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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2 Program(s) Found
Virginia College , Greenville
  • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
  • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
  • Full tuition cost provided up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
  • Career services associates can help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
  • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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2 Program(s) Found
  • 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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5 Program(s) Found
  • Students spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Programs provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • The first Le Cordon Bleu school officially opened its doors as a culinary school in Paris in 1895.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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5 Program(s) Found
  • 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.
  • Campus located within walking distance of Downtown Portland.
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3 Program(s) Found
  • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
  • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
  • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (AFC) and Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • Offers programs in culinary arts, nursing, and healthcare.
  • 5 campuses in Lawton, North and Central Oklahoma City, Moore, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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2 Program(s) Found
  • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee Florida.
  • 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.
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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.
  • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
  • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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1 Program(s) Found
  • 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.
  • Instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
  • Students have the option to study cuisines from around the world, culinary management, or international baking.
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1 Program(s) Found
  • 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.
  • Has a 45-year history of providing career-focused education in the fields of allied health, business, and computer technology.
  • Offers career-focused programs in seven locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
  • Many campus locations have evening hours.
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3 Program(s) Found
Love to cook? Turn your passion into a career at the Culinary Instituteof Virginia. Earn your Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Science in less than 2 years.
1 Program(s) Found
Dorsey Schools , Roseville
  • Founded in 1934, it prepares individuals for career opportunities, technology training, and certifications for the medical, culinary arts, HVAC repair, legal, and cosmetology fields.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools.
  • Has locations in Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Lansing, Madison Heights, Roseville, Saginaw, Southgate, Waterford-Pontiac and Wayne-Westland.
  • Many lecture classes have a maximum of a 30:1 student to teacher ratio, most lab classes have a maximum of an 18:1 student to teacher ratio.
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1 Program(s) Found
Salter College , West Boylston
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
  • Originally founded in 1937 as a professional secretarial school for women.
  • Offers career placement services to students for every step of their job search.
  • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
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