A Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate program focuses primarily on teaching students the fundamentals of baking. Students often work in kitchen-laboratories, carrying out their lessons under the supervision of professional bakers and pastry chefs. Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in baking and pastry management spend time in school kitchens learning the artistry behind the creation of cakes, breads, chocolates and pastries. They also spend time in classroom lectures learning how to apply human management, sanitation management and cost control skills to the hospitality industry.
Graduates of these programs can pursue entry-level employment, professional certifications or further studies that might prepare them for more advanced positions in the culinary field.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for both programs. Certificate programs require applicants to be 18 years of age. Applicants to associate degree programs should have completed coursework in math, English and computer basics. Online courses are available.
Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate
Students in a certificate program learn the basics of baking ingredients and equipment, baking techniques and food sanitation and safety. They also learn how to work as a team and follow the procedures and protocols of the kitchen. Students who complete this program are prepared to enter the workforce directly upon graduation.
Certificate programs in baking and pastry arts, often taught in community colleges and technical schools, contain courses that strictly relate to the professional field of baking. Programs also offer courses related to management and food marketing. An example of common courses that might be found in such a certificate program include:
- Introduction to baking and specialty baking
- Retail bakery
- Sanitation and safety
- Cake decorating
- Hospitality management
- Bakery-deli operations
Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry Management
An associate's degree in baking and pastry management focuses on culinary and kitchen safety vocational skills as well as offering courses related to food service management, catering management and more. Baking and pastry management programs are specifically designed for individuals who are interested in achieving leadership positions within a kitchen or bakery.
The courses found within an associate's degree program in baking and pastry management are divided into two halves: specific training in the art of baking and theoretical lessons in management, business and cost control. Specific examples of each type of courses include:
- Baking ingredients and technology
- Pastry techniques
- Cakes and other desserts
- Sanitation management
- Personnel management, catering management and cost control management
- Psychology in business
Popular Career Options
Graduates of an associate's degree program in baking and pastry management have upper-level and leadership positions in the culinary arts field available to them. Some of these include:
- Lead baker
- Head pastry chef
- Bakery owner
- Assistant pastry chef
- Bakery manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
From 2018-2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 6% growth in the baking field. The average annual wages for bakers were $26,520 in May 2018.
Certification and Continuing Education
Bakery managers or pastry chefs who are interested in owning their own business might benefit from taking additional business courses or degree programs, such as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
The American Culinary Federation (www.acfchefs.org) offers a variety of certifications, such as the Certified Pastry Culinarian. Requirements consist of a combination of education and experience. Students must pass a written and practical exam in order to become certified.
Both a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate and an Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry Management degree provide students with the culinary training they need to enter the baking and pastry industry. Associate's degree graduates are then prepared to enter leadership and supervisory roles, while certificate graduates can earn voluntary certifications or further their scholastic studies.