How Can I Get a Cake Decorating Apprenticeship?

If you want to learn cake decorating while practicing your training as a baker or pastry chef, an apprenticeship in baking and pastry arts may interest you. Read on to learn more about this as well as internship and externship options. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Apprenticeships in Cake Decorating

The Registered Apprenticeship Program, run by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), registers programs in 23 U.S. states and is connected to apprenticeship programs in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (www.doleta.gov).

There are programs for over 1,000 different careers, including that of baker. These apprenticeships range from 1-6 years and provide an opportunity for you to learn a trade while earning money. Most confer some kind of certification upon the completion of the program. Some of the programs involve classroom training alongside work experience and may allow you to gain college credits through participating schools.

A baking apprenticeship, which requires 6,000 hours for completion, not only trains you as you work, but also includes classroom education. To apply, you must contact either the DOL's Office of Apprenticeship or your state's apprenticeship office. Some educational institutions may also allow you to apply through them for an apprenticeship program to earn college credit.

Important Facts About Cake Decorating

Common Courses Baking theory, cake decoration & design, pastries & plated desserts, and bakery techniques
Fields of Study Baking and Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts
Degree Levels Associate's, certificate, and bachelor's degree
Possible Careers Culinary consultant, commercial cake decorator, baker, product developer, and bakery/restaurant owner

Internships

As opposed to apprenticeships, which provide most of the training on the job, paid internships are usually offered through a degree program during the summer term or final semester after the completion of all other courses. Internships give you the opportunity to gain professional experience and earn a salary, while completing your education in baking and pastry arts. During an internship, you will work for a commercial establishment, gaining potential future employment connections and learning not only real-world applications, but also professionalism in the workplace - all before you actually graduate.

Externships

An externship typically lasts only a few days and involves shadowing, or observing, a professional baker during his or her daily work routine. Externships usually do not involve college credit or monetary compensation.

However, some externships differ only nominally from internships and involve working for an employer approved by your school. You may practice under the supervision of an experienced commercial baker, serving on different shifts and preparing the range of items ordered. Some schools require paid externships for the last full semester of a degree program. A few externships may even develop into permanent positions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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