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Pastry Supervisor: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for pastry supervisors. Get the facts about job duties, education and certification requirements and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Is a Pastry Supervisor?

A pastry supervisor, also known as an executive pastry chef, plays a management role at dining establishments that serve pastries, such as restaurants, bakeries and cafes. These professionals oversee the work of lower-level pastry bakers and chefs to make sure that they are preparing high-quality products and complying with all safety and sanitation protocols. In addition, pastry chefs monitor ingredient inventory and make sure that all equipment is working properly. They also develop the establishment's pastry menu and test recipes for new types of cakes, pies, cookies and other pastries.

The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a pastry supervisor.

Degree Required Associate's degree, bachelor's degree required by some employers
Education Field of Study Culinary arts, baking
Key Responsibilities Oversee pastry cooks and interns, prepare daily production lists, cultivate strong teamwork atmosphere, utilize pastry chef baking skills
Certification Certification recommended
Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% (for all chefs and head cooks)*
Median Salary (2019) $66,987**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

What Does a Pastry Supervisor Do?

As a pastry chef, you'd be a culinary professional skilled at making a variety of baked goods, including desserts, breads and pastries. Pastry supervisors most often begin their careers as pastry chefs and then work their way up to supervisory roles. Supervisors must cultivate a strong teamwork atmosphere, since they're responsible for overseeing pastry cooks and interns and for preparing daily production lists, according to February 2011 job postings on Monster.com. Additionally, you may test and develop new recipes and monitor customer satisfaction. According to February 2011 job postings on CareerBuilder.com, you may also need the ability to lift more than 50 pounds and work irregular hours, including weekends and holidays.

What Education Do I Need?

Many employers require pastry supervisors to have associate's degrees in culinary arts or baking, at minimum. Associate's degree programs may focus on food safety, culinary skills, nutrition and customer satisfaction. In addition to classroom-based courses, you may be able to obtain a specialized internship at a bakery or restaurant where you may put your knowledge to use. Online study may be available for didactic courses on managing a culinary business, but the craft of pastry making is hands-on, so actual pastry making courses aren't available online.

Some employers ask that their applicants have bachelor's degrees in culinary arts or a related field along with several years of experience, according to Salary.com. Bachelor's degree programs may provide leadership experience in the kitchen and offer courses that concentrate on international cuisines, marketing and interpersonal communication. As with an associate's degree program, you may be able to obtain a 1-3 month externship in a culinary environment.

What About Certification?

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers several certifications if you're interested in becoming a pastry supervisor (www.acfchefs.org). To earn the ACF's Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) credential, you'll need at least three years' experience as a pastry chef, and you must have supervised at least three people in the preparation of food. You must also pass a written and practical exam and submit a final application. The Certified Master Pastry Chef (CMPC) has the highest level of professional expertise and cooking techniques. To earn CMPC status, you must be either a CEPC or Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) and pass an 8-day examination, which involves hands-on preparation, baking, dessert creation and pastry presentation. CMPC recertification is required every five years, where you must obtain at least 90 hours of continuing education.

What Salary Could I Expect?

Pastry supervisor salary may vary depending upon the location, level of experience and employer. Many pastry supervisors end up working for restaurants, hotels or other food-service businesses. According to November 2019 information provided by Salary.com, the median annual salary for executive pastry chefs was $66,987.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of becoming a pastry chef, you might consider a position as food service manager. The work of these professionals focuses primarily on the business aspects of running a dining establishment, such as staff hiring, employee scheduling, budget allocation and customer service. Food service managers need to have at least a high school diploma. Alternatively, if you are passionate about pastry making, you might want to get a job as a baker. Although no formal training is required, you can improve your skills by completing a postsecondary training program in baking or pastry arts.