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Professional Cake Decorating Schools and Training Programs

Colleges and culinary institutes across the U.S. offer stand-alone cake decorating classes. Training is also available through certificate and associate degree programs in baking and pastry arts.

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Individuals who aspire to work as cake decorators can find baking and pastry arts certificate and associate degree programs that cover cake decoration, in addition to individual courses on the topic. These programs are offered at community colleges, technical colleges and culinary institutes.

Schools with Cake Decorating Programs

The following 2-year and 4-year schools offer cake decorating programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Johnson & Wales University - Providence Providence, RI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Associate, Bachelor's $29,566
Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $2,768 (in-state) $8,912 (out-of-state)
Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park, NY 4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit Courses, Associate $29,250
Savannah Technical College Savannah, GA 2-year, Public Diploma, Associate $2,654 (in-state) $4,790 (out-of-state)
Valencia College Orlando, FL 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Certificate, Associate $2,474 (in-state) $9,383 (out-of-state)
Central Arizona College Coolidge, AZ 2-year, Public Courses, Certificate $2,460 (in-state) $10,740 (out-of-state)
Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Diploma $4,217 (in-state) $6,143 (out-of-state)
Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Associate $30,386
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate $3,360 (in-state) $3,756 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Students may wish to consider the following when selecting a cake decorating school:

  • Schools that teach basic knowledge of ingredients and the use of baking equipment can prepare students for an entry-level position after graduation.
  • When selecting an independent cake decorating class or a baking and pastry program, students should weigh time and monetary commitment with benefits of additional training.
  • Aspiring business owners can benefit from courses in food service management, sanitation, and cost control.
  • Some programs offer internships at restaurants, bakeries, catering companies, or hotels.

Cake Decorating Courses

Individual classes in cake decorating can be found at community and technical colleges, and typically last from one month to one semester. After completing a course, individuals may find work in bakeries as trainees or apprentices, learning more difficult techniques on the job. Advanced cake decorating courses are geared towards professionals or individuals with previous experience.

Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in pastry and baking can last from 6-12 months, and may be intended for professionals or those earning a degree in the culinary arts. Some schools incorporate food safety certification into the curricula, which might be required for those employed in the food service industry.

Associate Degree Programs in Baking and Pastry Arts

Associate degree programs may place an emphasis on business and hospitality services, preparing graduates for management positions in a bakery. Programs typically combine classroom lectures and presentations with hands-on learning in kitchen lab classes.

Certificate and associate degree programs, as well as individual courses, are available in cake decorating and banking and pastry arts for aspiring cake decorators. Programs are available at public and private institutions, and students may want to consider their future career path and budget when choosing a school to attend.

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