Career Definition for a Pastry Baker
Pastry bakers work in professional kitchens and are skilled in creating pastries, breads, desserts and other baked goods. Pastry bakers are also responsible for ordering supplies, planning menus and pricing their baked goods. Bakers are continuously developing new recipes and testing them. Pastry bakers can find employment in hotels, bistros, bakeries and restaurants across the country. Pastry chefs work long hours (often early in the morning) and spend many of those hours on their feet, and it takes stamina and strength to work as a pastry chef.
|Required Education||On-the-job training or culinary arts certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree|
|Necessary Skills||Ability to measure and blend ingredients, artistic ability, business skills, management skills, interpersonal skills|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$24,170 (for all bakers)|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||7% increase (for all bakers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Prospective pastry bakers are required to go through several years of extensive training before becoming a professional in their field. While some pastry bakers are trained on-the-job, others are educated through vocational schools and community colleges. A culinary arts certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree program can last anywhere from two to four years.
To become a pastry baker, individuals must know how to measure ingredients correctly and be able to mix and blend them together. It's very important for bakers to make pastries and baked goods look appealing for customers. Many of the top pastry bakers own their own businesses, and acquiring business, management and people skills can be beneficial as their careers advance.
Economic and Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job opportunities for all bakers will increase by about 7% in the decade spanning 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary for all bakers was $24,170 per year.
Alternate Career Options
Some skills necessary to become a pastry baker will help prepare you for jobs in other areas, such as:
Although some cooks attend culinary programs or take part in apprenticeships, most learn their skills for preparing and cooking a wide variety of foods while on the job. The BLS projected a slower-than-average employment growth of 4% for cooks from 2014-2024. The median annual income for restaurant cooks in 2015 was $23,100, according to the BLS.
Chef or Head Cook
A faster-than-average increase in positions for chefs and head cooks, at 9% growth, was projected by the BLS from 2014-2024. The work of chefs and head cooks involves supervising daily food preparation in restaurants, directing the kitchen staff and taking care of any issues related to foods. In 2015, the BLS reported an annual median salary of $41,500 for these professionals.