Pastry Baker: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Educational Requirements

Explore the career requirements for pastry bakers. Get the facts about training requirements, salary and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Baking & Pastry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Pastry Baker?

The job duties of a pastry baker include preparing desserts like pies, cakes, candies, cookies and other pastries. On-the-job training in the field is common, though college programs in baking and pastry arts can be helpful for aspiring bakers. Pastry bakers will check the quality of their ingredients and make sure their equipment is working properly. They will measure, mix and combine various ingredients to create dough that is then rolled, shaped and baked into the desired product. Then they will finish the product with glaze or decorative icing. Pastry bakers can work as commercial bakers in manufacturing facilities, or as retail bakers in stores, shops and bakeries. The table below can provide more information about the job and employment outlook.

Training Required On-the-job training; postsecondary education is optional
Key Skills Hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, physical stamina, culinary math
Job Growth (2014-2024) *7% (for all bakers)
Median Salary (2015)* $24,170 (for all bakers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Might My Pastry Baker Job Duties Be?

Pastry bakers have many duties, including preparing ingredients early in the morning for baking throughout the day. Additionally, bakers are responsible for purchasing or ordering the necessary ingredients. As a pastry baker, you might also make sure your workspace is clean and meets state hygiene standards.

According to various CareerBuilder.com job postings, creativity and originality are often assets to an employer since bakers experiment with different flavors and textures when perfecting a recipe for the consumer. As you gain more experience in your pastry-baking career, you may acquire additional responsibilities and duties, depending on your interests and your employer's needs.

What Is the Career Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that bakers in general would have an average growth of 7% from 2014 to 2024 due to the use of automated baking machines. Skilled pastry chefs should have good employment opportunities since many employers want more unique and creative food products for customers.

What Education or Training Would I Need?

You have several options to gain the skills and education necessary to work in baking. Skills for pastry bakers are most easily acquired on the job and through apprenticeships. You might also consider associate degrees and certificate programs for pastry arts; however, these degrees are not necessarily required for employment.

An internship in pastry baking could be a school-sponsored program where you learn the baking basics while taking classes toward a more traditional degree program in culinary arts. Students may also take high school or college classes in food preparation to bypass the lower-level 'training' jobs. Finally, restaurants and other private business sometimes offer on-the-job training for pastry bakers with no formal experience. These types of company internships require applicants to work extra hours to fully learn the baking techniques used in the business.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Food preparation worker is an alternative career that requires no formal educational credential. They work under cooks or food service managers to perform routine tasks around a kitchen to prepare food and drink. Chefs and head cooks require a high school diploma or equivalent. They direct staff and oversee the food preparation at places like restaurants.

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