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Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Baking and Pastry Degree Overview

An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) program in baking and pastry arts can offer aspiring culinary professionals a foundation in pastry preparation, food safety, food presentation and hospitality. Learn more about the programs as well as job options here.

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Essential Information

Coursework within the baking and pastry arts curriculum is typically hands-on and involves the design and creation of desserts and baked goods. Students will also learn about the business components of the culinary industry, including cost management, labor efficiency and food purchasing. Internship opportunities may be available for students to gain real-world experience in a working restaurant or bakery. Program applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for this 2-year program.


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Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

Along with courses in contemporary pastry design and dessert presentation, most schools require that students take general courses in liberal arts in addition to their concentration courses. Possible topics could include math, science, English and history. Course topics may include:

  • Wedding and specialty cake design
  • Culinary desserts and bread making
  • Food safety and sanitation
  • Business entrepreneurship
  • Techniques in food production
  • Chocolates and sugars

Popular Career Options

Graduates of an AAS in Baking and Pastry program can seek entry-level employment in restaurants, bakeries, patisseries or hotels. They could also become business entrepreneurs or work for large-volume food production companies. Some job titles might include:

  • Assistant pastry chef
  • Pastry cook
  • Assistant chocolatier
  • Cake designer
  • Bread baker

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of bakers will increase by 7% from 2014 to 2024. According to BLS data from 2015, these culinary professionals earned a median yearly salary of $24,170.

Continuing Education

Graduates can expand their career opportunities by pursuing a bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts. Interested individuals can also broaden their knowledge base with a bachelor's degree program in the culinary arts. Baking and pastry professionals can also pursue certification in their field through such organizations as the American Culinary Federation.

Individuals interested in entry-level baking and pastry jobs in restaurants, bakeries, patisseries or hotels can enroll in an associate's degree program to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary for entering the field. Graduates can also pursue voluntary certification or a bachelor's degree, both of which may increase job prospects.

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