Pastry Arts Teacher: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 20, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a pastry arts teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

A pastry arts teacher can work in a high school, vocational school, or postsecondary institution. For teachers training to instruct students at the secondary level, coursework is often focused on industry theories and basic culinary skills. At the postsecondary level, however, pastry arts teachers introduce students to more advanced topics in culinary arts, such as dessert plating, nutrition, and cake decorating.

Essential Information

A pastry arts teacher is a specialized culinary educator. These teachers can work in secondary, vocational or postsecondary schools. Becoming a pastry arts teacher has several requirements, including significant training and professional experience.

Career Title Secondary/Vocational Teacher College Teacher
Required Education Minimum high school diploma or associate's degree with significant experience; bachelor's degree may be required for public schools Minimum high school diploma or associate's degree with significant experience
Other Requirements State teaching licensure may be required for public schools, optional American Culinary Federation certification Optional American Culinary Federation certification
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -1% for all career and technical education teachers 11% for all postsecondary teachers
Median Salary (2018)* $60,250 for all career and technical education teachers $53,120 for all postsecondary vocational education teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description and Duties for Pastry Arts Teachers

A baking and pastry arts instructor is a specialized culinary educator. These professionals work in culinary or baking arts programs at postsecondary schools or secondary schools to provide niche career and technical education (CTE).

Salary levels for pastry arts teachers vary depending on the type of work environment, experience and education level. Career and technical education teachers working in secondary schools made a mean salary of $62,810 per year as of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also states that vocational education teachers at the postsecondary level made a median salary of $58,520 in 2018 (www.bls.org).

At the secondary school level, culinary arts teachers provide hands-on instruction in addition to teaching the theories used in the baking industry. Often, culinary CTE instructors introduce students to the industry and necessary skills for the first time. These teachers often act as professional mentors, inspiring confidence in students and giving long-term career advice.

Pastry arts instructors at postsecondary schools are more focused on teaching advanced skills, and the teaching environment may be more career-oriented. A postsecondary baking and pastry arts curriculum often includes:

  • Basic and advanced baking skills
  • Bread baking
  • Dessert plating
  • Cake decorating
  • Nutrition

Job Requirements

The requirements to become a baking and pastry educator vary greatly depending on where the would-be instructor is seeking work. Many postsecondary programs require the candidate to have at least an associate's degree in culinary arts. Often, significant professional experience (more than five years) and a high school diploma suffice. Professional certification or proof of competency given by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is also usually required.

To teach in a secondary school, prospective CTE teachers may need to have at least a bachelor's degree and be licensed by their state's Board of Education. However, some schools may hire culinary or pastry arts teachers who have experience in the field and at least a high school diploma or an associate's degree.

Some baking and pastry arts teachers may also choose to become certified by the ACF after they are employed. ACF offers two certification exams for culinary educators; one is for postsecondary instructors and one is for secondary or vocational instructors (www.acfchefs.org). Both require eligible test-takes to have significant teaching experience.

The education required to become a pastry arts teacher varies depending on the school or institution of employment. Generally, a pastry arts teacher needs to have a high school diploma and significant work experience in the industry or an associate's degree. Certain states require teachers to hold a license, particularly if they are teaching at a public school.

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