Many degree programs in the baking and pastry arts incorporate an internship or senior project to gauge knowledge. Applicants typically have completed an associate's degree program in baking and pastry arts, and many of their completed courses transfer into a bachelor's degree program. Among other continuing education options, graduates can choose to become certified in baking and pastry arts. Some online courses may be available.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts
Coursework covers business principles and general kitchen operation skills. Students learn to prepare specific types of pastries and breads and decorate cakes and other delicacies. Participants may also gain strong interpersonal communication and management skills. Common topics of study include:
- Food science
- Menu development
- Baking principles
- Wine studies
- Cost control
Popular Career Options
Graduates of baking and pastry arts bachelor's degree programs may qualify for jobs at high-end restaurants, bakeries, pastry shops or other eating establishments. Applicants may start out as assistants or food preparation workers. Degree holders aren't limited to careers as pastry chefs; they could also work as:
- Executive chefs
- Restaurateurs or business owners
- Food writers
- Culinary educators
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chefs and head cooks are expected to see a faster than average employment growth of 9% from 2014-2024. Chefs and head cooks had a median salary of $41,500 as of May 2015. Another suitable career includes baking, which has a projected employment increase of 7% from 2014-2024. Bakers earned a median salary of $24,170 in May 2015, based on the BLS.
Certification is not mandatory; however, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, certification may give applicants an advantage over others when seeking employment. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) certifies baking and pastry professionals at varied levels.
Students who successfully pass the ACF's written exams and fulfill a specific number of years as pastry culinarians can become Certified Pastry Culinarians. With additional experience, applicants can strive for other ACF certifications, such as Certified Working Pastry Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Master Pastry Chef.
Through classroom work and hands-on practice, a bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts prepares aspiring bakers and pastry chefs for employment in bakeries, restaurants, and pastry shops or as food educators and writers. Voluntary certifications may help boost employment opportunities.