Pastry Arts Degrees

Learn about degree programs in the pastry arts, including curricula and opportunities for practical training. Continue reading for information on careers and salaries. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Options are Available in the Pastry Arts?

You can earn a 2-year Associate in Science, Associate of Applied Science or Associate in Occupational Studies in Baking and Pastry Arts. You can also choose to earn a Bachelor of Professional Studies or Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts. Some Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management programs allow you to select a baking and pastry specialization.

Some bachelor's programs are degree-completion programs; you'll need an associate's degree in baking and pastry arts or a related field in order to apply for enrollment. Due to the need for hands-on training, most pastry arts coursework is not available online; however, some culinary management courses are available in a distance learning format.

Degree LevelsAssociate's and bachelor's
Program StructureHands-on baking classes, work experience in a school facility and possible internship or study abroad
Course TopicsFood presentation, bakery cost analysis, food storage techniques, menu planning, artisan breads
Career OptionsBaker, pastry chef or restaurant manager (depending on degree)

How Do the Programs Work?

Through baking and pastry arts classes, you'll gain practical experience mixing ingredients, baking breads and icing desserts. Your baked goods are often graded on taste and presentation. Many schools have facilities, such as restaurants or bakeries, where you're required to work. In some cases, you might participate in a study abroad experience, taking food and cultural classes in China, Spain or Italy. Many schools require that you complete an internship at a restaurant, bakery or resort.

What Will I Learn?

In an associate's degree program, you'll study sanitary food preparation and food storage techniques. Other courses may develop your ability to make artisan breads, tarts, pies, chocolate confections, rolls and other desserts. Additional topics might include menu planning, food presentation and bakery cost analysis methods.

Bachelor's degree programs include many of the same topics as associate's programs. Additional courses could teach you how to make and present specialty desserts found in other cultures. You might learn how to pair certain foods with different types of wine. Programs in culinary management may include business-related topics like employment law and restaurant marketing.

What Career Opportunities are Available?

After earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in baking and pastry arts, you may find work as a pastry chef in a restaurant or bakery. Your associate's degree could also lead to a career as a baker. A bachelor's degree in culinary management might prepare you for work as a restaurant manager. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bakers made a median annual salary of $23,600 as of 2014; chefs and head cooks earned a median annual salary of $41,610 in the same year ( Food service managers made a median annual salary of $48,560 in 2014, as reported by the BLS.

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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