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Become A Pastry Chef Assistant

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Working As A Pastry Chef Assistant

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $48,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Pastry Chef Assistant Do

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

Duties

Chefs and head cooks typically do the following:

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present dishes
  • Plan menus and ensure the quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain an inventory of food and supplies
  • Monitor sanitation practices and follow kitchen safety standards

Chefs and head cooks use a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders. They also have access to large quantities of meats, spices, and produce. Some chefs use scheduling and purchasing software to help them in their administrative tasks.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

The following are examples of types of chefs and head cooks:

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are responsible primarily for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train cooks and other food preparation workers. Some executive chefs primarily handle administrative tasks and may spend less time in the kitchen.

Sous chefs are a kitchen’s second-in-command. They supervise the restaurant’s cooks, prepare meals, and report results to the head chefs. In the absence of the head chef, sous chefs run the kitchen.

Private household chefs typically work full time for one client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or diplomat, who regularly entertains as part of his or her official duties.

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How To Become A Pastry Chef Assistant

Most chefs and head cooks learn their skills through work experience. Others receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. A small number learn through apprenticeship programs or in the Armed Forces.

Education

Although postsecondary education is not required for chefs and head cooks, many attend programs at community colleges, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 4-year colleges. Candidates are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enter these programs.

Students in culinary programs spend most of their time in kitchens, practicing their cooking skills. Programs cover all aspects of kitchen work, including menu planning, food sanitation procedures, and purchasing and inventory methods. Most training programs also require students to gain experience in a commercial kitchen through an internship or apprenticeship program.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most chefs and head cooks start working in other positions, such as line cooks, learning cooking skills from the chefs they work for. Many spend years working in kitchens before gaining enough experience to be promoted to chef or head cook positions.

Training

Some chefs and head cooks train on the job, where they learn the same skills as in a formal education program. Some train in mentorship programs, where they work under the direction of an experienced chef. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sous chefs who work in upscale restaurants often have many years of training and experience.

Some chefs and head cooks learn through apprenticeship programs sponsored by professional culinary institutes, industry associations, or trade unions in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeship programs generally last 2 years and combine instructions and on-the-job training. Apprentices must complete at least 1,000 hours of both instructions and paid on-the-job training. Courses typically cover food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. Apprentices spend the rest of their training learning practical skills in a commercial kitchen under a chef's supervision.

The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 academic training programs at postsecondary schools and sponsors apprenticeships around the country. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Passing grade in substance abuse screening

Some chefs and head cooks receive formal training in the Armed Forces or from individual hotel or restaurant chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can show competence and lead to advancement and higher pay. The American Culinary Federation certifies personal chefs, in addition to various levels of chefs, such as certified sous chefs or certified executive chefs. Certification standards are based primarily on work-related experience and formal training. Minimum work experience for certification can range from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the level of certification.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers so that the restaurant is profitable.

Communication skills. Chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly.

Creativity. Chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. They should be able to use various ingredients to create appealing meals for their customers.

Dexterity. Chefs and head cooks need excellent manual dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Leadership skills. Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Physical stamina. Chefs and head cooks often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet, overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.

Sense of taste and smell. Chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food quality and to design meals that their customers enjoy.

Time-management skills. Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff. They ensure that meals are prepared correctly and that customers are served on time, especially during busy hours.

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Pastry Chef Assistant Career Paths

Pastry Chef Assistant
Executive Chef General Manager
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Kitchen Manager Manager
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Kitchen Manager Restaurant Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Line Cook Kitchen Manager Store Manager
Multi-Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Line Cook Chef/Kitchen Manager General Manager
Consultant General Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Line Cook Lead Cook General Manager
Operating Partner
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Cook Food Service Director
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Cook Manager Service Manager
Culinary Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Catering
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Owner/Operator Food Service Manager
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Owner/Manager Food Service Manager
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Senior Technician Specialist Food Service Director
Nutrition Director
7 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor Assistant General Manager Food And Beverage Manager
Clubhouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor Restaurant Manager Food Service Manager
Food Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor Store Manager Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
8 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Office Manager Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Manager Executive
5 Yearsyrs
Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Manager Dietary Manager
Nutrition Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Culinary Arts Instructor Chef/Kitchen Manager Dietary Manager
Certified Dietary Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Culinary Arts Instructor Chef/Kitchen Manager Bakery Manager
Cafeteria Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Shift Leader Owner Owner And Sales
Restaurant Owner
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Executive Chef 5.6 years
Head Chef 3.2 years
Chef/Catering 2.9 years
Cooking Chef 2.9 years
Sous Chef 2.9 years
Pastry Chef 2.9 years
Chef De Cuisine 2.8 years
Banquet Chef 2.7 years
Chef 2.6 years
Culinary Chef 2.6 years
Sushi Chef 2.5 years
Assistant Chef 2.3 years
Chef De Partie 2.3 years
Kitchen Chef 2.1 years
Line Chef 2.1 years
Pastry Cook 1.9 years
Prep Chef 1.7 years
Pantry Chef 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Pastry Chef Assistant
Cashier 10.1%
Line Cook 10.0%
Cook 8.0%
Internship 7.7%
Chef 6.1%
Sous Chef 5.7%
Baker 4.2%
Prep Cook 3.8%
Server 3.7%
Volunteer 3.4%
Assistant 3.4%
Manager 3.2%
Top Careers After Pastry Chef Assistant
Sous Chef 9.6%
Line Cook 8.4%
Cook 8.4%
Chef 8.1%
Cashier 5.5%
Internship 4.5%
Server 4.4%
Baker 4.2%
Prep Cook 4.1%
Manager 2.9%
Volunteer 2.5%
Assistant 2.3%

Do you work as a Pastry Chef Assistant?

Pastry Chef Assistant Demographics

Gender

Male

47.7%

Female

40.2%

Unknown

12.2%
Ethnicity

White

57.7%

Hispanic or Latino

19.4%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.9%

French

11.1%

Italian

4.5%

Chinese

4.5%

Portuguese

3.8%

German

3.8%

Japanese

3.1%

Mandarin

2.8%

Korean

2.4%

Cantonese

1.7%

Hmong

1.0%

Russian

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Swedish

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Arabic

0.7%

Turkish

0.3%

Somali

0.3%
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Pastry Chef Assistant Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

23.5%

Culinary Institute of America

16.0%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

15.3%

The Academy

5.0%

University of Phoenix

4.7%

The Institute of Culinary Education School

3.6%

French Culinary Institute

3.4%

Stratford University

2.8%

Kendall College

2.8%

Art Institute of California - Inland

2.3%

Iowa State University

2.3%

Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

2.2%

Monroe College

2.2%

University of Connecticut

2.2%

Sullivan University

2.0%

University of Central Florida

2.0%

Hudson County Community College

2.0%

Art Institute of Atlanta

1.9%

Michigan State University

1.9%

Miami Dade College

1.9%
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Majors

Culinary Arts

40.8%

Business

12.7%

Hospitality Management

6.1%

Health Care Administration

3.6%

Management

3.6%

Psychology

3.3%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

General Studies

2.8%

Food And Nutrition

2.7%

Communication

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

English

2.2%

Accounting

2.0%

Computer Science

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Nursing

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Political Science

1.6%

Medical Assisting Services

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

32.4%

Bachelors

30.1%

Associate

23.0%

Certificate

6.8%

Diploma

3.5%

Masters

3.4%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$48,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$28,000
Min 10%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$48,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Chanel
Highest Paying City
Boulder, CO
Highest Paying State
Colorado
Avg Experience Level
1.7 years
How much does a Pastry Chef Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Pastry Chef Assistant in the United States is $48,358 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $82,000.

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Top Skills for A Pastry Chef Assistant

  1. Food Safety
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Banquet Facility
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assigned tasks and oversaw the direction of employees to ensure compliance with food safety procedures and quality control guidelines.
  • Operated all kitchen equipment adeptly.
  • Consulted with kitchen associates regarding orders and banquet facility.
  • Worked in a fast-paced environment, high-end, high-volume bakery requiring efficient and professional customer service skills.
  • Designed elaborate flowers for wedding cakes and served/cleaned up at parties.

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