These 1- or 2-year programs in baking and pastry arts offer students opportunities for practical experience. Some 2-year programs include general education courses, such as writing and math. Through hands-on training, students learn to create baked goods such as Danish pastries, scones, puff pastries, cheesecakes, croissants, cookies and éclairs. No prerequisites are required beyond a high school diploma or GED.
Diploma in Baking and Pastry Arts
In these courses, students learn basic culinary skills, cake decorating techniques, merchandising methods and sanitation practices. Common topics of study include:
- Tempering chocolate
- Wedding cakes
- Marzipan and royal icing techniques
- Piping skills
- Baking theory
- Dessert menu development
Popular Career Options
Diploma programs can prepare students for entry-level positions in baking and pastry. Graduates can begin their careers working in a bakery, gaining on-the-job training from experienced professionals. Some common career options include:
- Restaurant baker's assistant
- Bakery/patisserie owner
- Assistant pastry chef for a hotel, inn or cruise ship
- Supermarket bakery worker
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a 6% increase in jobs for bakers for the 2018-2028 reporting period. The median salary for these workers was $26,520 in 2018.
Continuing Education Options
The Retail Bakers of America offers certification for bakers and pastry decorators (www.retailbakersofamerica.org). Individuals can choose from several options, including Certified Journey Baker, which requires at least one year of work experience. Certified Baker and Certified Master Baker designations are also available for bakers with advanced experience and education.
Many continuing education options are available to hone international baking and pastry skills and prepare for certification. Advanced classes in cake decorating, French pastries and artisan breads, as well as classes in bakery management, can be used for continuing education credits.
In addition, those who want to pursue advanced education in this field can earn an associate degree or bachelor's degree. In these programs, students can learn about history and traditions surrounding the art of baking. Many programs offer opportunities to study abroad in countries with food-rich cultures, such as France, Italy or Spain. They also might provide internships where students work with experienced pastry chefs.
Diploma programs in baking and pastry arts provide aspiring chefs with the training they need to create international baked goods and pastries like croissants, eclairs and puff pastries. Upon graduation, additional degrees and certifications are available for pastry chefs who want to continue their education or enhance career prospects.