Professional Baker School: Degree Program Overviews

Aspiring professional bakers, chefs and caterers can learn how to bake breads, cakes and other pastries from a professional baking school by working towards an associate's or bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts.

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Essential Information

Both associate's and bachelor's programs combine classroom study with hands-on education in kitchens and commercial bakeries. Students will learn firsthand how to make breads, pastries, cakes and fillings. Associate's programs typically take about two years to complete and include fewer general education requirements than four-year bachelor's programs.

Prerequisites for both programs include a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Admission into associate's and bachelor's degree programs rarely requires students to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Applications to baking school typically have processing fees.

Associate's Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts

Students earning associate's degrees in baking usually have a few years of industry experience. After graduation, students are ready for careers in management at commercial bakeries, pastry shops and restaurants.

Students earning an associate's degree in baking usually take courses in the following:

  • Basics of the bakery profession
  • Specialty breads
  • Baking terminology
  • Lamination techniques
  • Puff pastries

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Bachelor's Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts

Bachelor's degrees in baking and pastry arts might include the following:

  • Commercial bread production
  • Cake design
  • German breads
  • Yeast-raised doughs
  • Fillings and icings

Popular Career Options

A bachelor's degree in baking can boost a student's career prospects in the following professions:

  • Commercial baker
  • Caterer
  • Pastry chef

Employment Outlook and Career Info

The overall employment outlook for individuals interested in baking is average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,, jobs for bakers are expected to increase 7% between 2014 and 2024. Research from the BLS indicates the median annual salary of bakers was $24,170 in May 2015.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs at professional baking schools provide students with the skills they need to become professional bakers and chefs. Both programs combine hands-on kitchen and bakery experience with classroom learning.

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