Associate of International Baking and Pastry: Degree Overview

If you are passionate about international baking and pastry, an associate's degree can help you launch your career. Find out more about program specifics, job prospects, and future educational options.

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Essential Information

Associate's degree programs in international baking and pastry give students the necessary culinary and business expertise for success in the field. Standard training involves both classroom lectures and hands-on training. While it's rare to find associate's degree programs that focus solely on international baking techniques, associate's degree programs in baking and pastry often incorporate it into their curricula.

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Associate's Degree in International Baking and Pastry

In an associate's degree program in international baking and pastry, students learn to make quality baked goods such as cakes, pies, breads, and other confections. They also learn principles necessary for operating a business, with courses in food and beverage management, cost control and food safety, among others. In addition, many programs offer instruction in baking science and the aesthetic design principles required for the creation of successful showpieces. Common courses include:

  • Pastry design
  • Baking
  • Culinary arts
  • Specialty cakes
  • Nutrition

Popular Careers

Graduates of associate's degree programs are qualified for entry-level positions as bakers or cake decorators in a variety of environments, including bakeries, restaurants, hotels, pastry shops and cafeterias. Popular jobs include:

  • Assistant pastry chef
  • Cake decorator
  • Baker
  • Junior chocolatier

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for bakers and chefs/head cooks are expected to grow at a rate of 7% and 9% between 2014 and 2024, respectively. For bakers, that's as fast as the national average for all occupations, and for chef's it's even faster than the average employment growth rate. Mean salaries for bakers and chefs were $26,270 and $45,920, respectively, as of May 2015.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

An associate's degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions. However, there are bachelor's programs in pastry arts available for graduates who want to continue their studies. In addition to learning and practicing advanced techniques, bachelor's enrollees participate in internships where they work alongside experienced chefs and gain the necessary background to step into that role in the future.

Another option is to pursue a post-graduate certificate. The American Culinary Federation offers four voluntary certifications for baking and pastry arts professionals ( Each credential is awarded upon meeting certain education and professional requirements. For example, the Certified Master Pastry Chef credential is the highest level and requires passing an eight-day assessment.

In conclusion, students who finish associate's degrees in international baking and pastry graduate with a wide range of business and culinary skills, which they can use to enter the workforce, pursue a certificate, or enroll in a bachelor's degree program.

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