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Top School for Pastry Chef Career Training in Tampa, FL

Students interested in studying pastry arts in Tampa, FL, have only a few schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' programs, tuition, and ranking info to find the right one for you.

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School and Ranking Information

A student interested in baking and pastry arts has nine school options in the Tampa, FL, area. Based on program relevance and proximity, these are the top choices:

  • Winner: Manatee Technical Institute (MTI) is ranked first, in spite of being the furthest from Tampa, because it allows students to specialize in bakery and pastry arts and has a program accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • Runner Up #1: Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater (PTEC) offers advanced baking instruction in its ACF-accredited culinary arts program.
  • Runner Up #2: Marchman Technical Center (MTEC) offers culinary arts programs that incorporate baking skills. Commercial foods students at MTEC can specialize in bakery production.

School Comparison Chart

Category Manatee Technical Institute Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater Marchman Technical Education Center
Location Bradentown, FL (35.7 miles from downtown Tampa) Clearwater, FL (16.1 miles from downtown Tampa) New Port Richey, FL (24.8 miles from downtown Tampa)
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (no date given) $2,690 (estimated program cost for baking and pastry arts)** $5,760 (total cost for commercial foods and culinary arts program)*** $3,336 (tuition and fees for commercial food and culinary arts program; doesn't include additional expenses)*
Pastry Arts Award Levels Offered Certificate Certificate Certificate
Pastry Arts Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 23 (in culinary arts/chef training; pastry arts not reported)* 29 (in culinary arts/chef training, pastry arts not reported)* 1 (in culinary arts/chef training, pastry arts not reported)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2009 Entering Class 81%* 88%* 84%*
Noteworthy School has a 91% job-placement rate for graduates** Program's chef received a state grant to start an organic culinary garden Culinary arts instructor has more than 30 years of experience in the field

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), **Manatee Technical Institute, ***Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater, ****Marchman Technical Education Center.

Winner: Manatee Technical Institute

  • Baking and pastry arts program has 100% on-time completion and job placement rates, according to the school
  • Cutting-edge campus facilities
  • School boasts the greatest number of medals in the yearly professional skills-based 'SkillsUSA' competition since 2004
  • Programs available through night classes for part-time students

MTC's 6-month baking and pastry arts program explores cake decorating, breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, and chocolate. Students have the opportunity for hands-on experience in a commercial bakery setting, and many courses start in early morning to mirror the work hours of the industry. MTC also offers a year-long certificate program in culinary arts, which covers baking and pastry, formal dining room service, and the preparation of hot and cold cuisine. Nutrition, sanitation, and management are also taught. The culinary program operates two cafes and a catering business, in addition to The Whetstone fine dining restaurant. Each program at MTI works with its own advisory council of local industry and business leaders.

Runner-Up #1: Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater

  • Culinary students cater for prestigious guests, such as US Under Secretary of Commerce Frank Sanchez
  • Culinary students received medals in the 2013 regional 'SkillsUSA' competition
  • Distance education available

PTEC offers a 13.5-month certificate program in culinary arts, which is accredited by the ACF. The program includes introductory and advanced baking techniques and a look at career options in the baking industry. Students also learn preparation and purchasing of entrées, food science, math, and international cuisine. 'Servsafe' training completion is required. The program has articulation agreements with St. Petersburg College, which allow students to transfer into a number of certificate and associate degree programs in hospitality and management.

Runner-Up #2: Marchman Technical Education Center

  • Students participate in the catering, service, and sales of food products
  • Program graduates receive credit toward an associate degree in industrial management technology at Pasco Hernando Community College (PHCC)

MTEC's 1,200-hour commercial foods program is intended to qualify graduates for jobs as cooks, food preparation workers, and other positions in the commercial food industry. Subjects covered include the making of bakery products, along with meats, soups, vegetables, and garnishes. Students can choose to concentrate their program in a particular area, like baking and pastry production. Safety, cost control, and customer service are also taught.

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