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Become A Pastry Chef

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Working As A Pastry Chef

  • 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

  • $67,491

    Average Salary

What Does A Pastry Chef Do

Pastry Chefs are responsible for all baking aspects of kitchens and restaurants. They prepare and deliver cakes, cookies, pies, and other bread and meal-based components. Pastry Chefs also perform administrative tasks such as preparing budgets and ordering supplies for pastry making.

How To Become A Pastry Chef

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.


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.


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 jobs

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Pastry Chef Career Paths

Pastry Chef
Chef/Owner Head Chef Executive Chef
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
General Manager Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef De Cuisine Director Of Food And Beverage Assistant General Manager
Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Program Coordinator Event Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef De Cuisine Chef Manager Food Service Director
Certified Dietary Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Bakery Manager Office Manager Event Coordinator
Director Of Catering
7 Yearsyrs
Sous Chef Chef Executive Chef
Director Of Food And Beverage
9 Yearsyrs
Chef Manager Food Service Director
Director Of Food And Nutrition Services
10 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Chef Executive Chef
Food And Beverage Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Cook/Baker Kitchen Manager Sous Chef
Food Production Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sous Chef Executive Chef
Food Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Chef/Owner Chef Manager Executive Chef
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Director Of Food And Beverage
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director Service Director Assistant General Manager
Multi-Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Kitchen Manager Service Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Kitchen Manager Restaurant Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Trainer Kitchen Manager
Restaurant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Pastry Chef Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • German

  • Danish

  • Chinese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Swedish

  • Mandarin

  • Korean

  • Cantonese

  • Indonesian

  • Vietnamese

  • Cayuga

  • Norwegian

  • Thai

  • Filipino

  • Dakota

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Pastry Chef Education

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Real Pastry Chef Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Executive Pastry Chef CB5 Bongos, LLC D/B/A Bongos Cuban CAFE Hollywood, FL Feb 21, 2011 $110,000
Executive Pastry Chef CB5 Bongos, LLC D/B/A Bongos Cuban CAFE Hollywood, FL Feb 11, 2011 $110,000
Executive Pastry Chef CB5 Bongos, LLC D/B/A Bongos Cuban CAFE Hollywood, FL Feb 02, 2011 $110,000
Executive Pastry Chef CB5 Bongos, LLC D/B/A Bongos Cuban CAFE Hollywood, FL Feb 22, 2012 $110,000
Pastry Chef Ny Chefs Inc. New York, NY Aug 22, 2012 $97,178
Pastry Chef Do&Co NY Apr 26, 2012 $80,933
Pastry Chef Ankara Bakery, Inc. NJ Apr 15, 2013 $80,266
Pastry Chef City Bakery Brands, LLC New York, NY Feb 18, 2015 $80,000
Pastry Chef, Specialty La Bergamote Inc., D/B/A La Bergamote New York, NY Mar 06, 2015 $79,997
Pastry Chef Gateaux Bakery Corp Closter, NJ Aug 15, 2012 $79,830
Executive Pastry Chef Morimoto Ny Venture, LP New York, NY Nov 20, 2013 $79,352 -
Pastry Chef Boca West Country Club Boca Raton, FL May 07, 2016 $74,048
Assistant Pastry Chef Aria Resort & Casino, LLC Las Vegas, NV Sep 30, 2015 $72,000
Pastry Chef Aria Resort & Casino, LLC Las Vegas, NV Jun 03, 2015 $71,750
Master Baker/Pastry Chef Better Life Property LLC. Glendale, CA Aug 11, 2015 $57,429
Pastry Chef Superior Cakes, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 06, 2016 $57,283
Executive Pastry Chef G and D Restaurant Associates LLC New York, NY Sep 03, 2014 $57,000
Pastry Chef Merise Restaurant Group LLC DBA La Merise Restaurant Denver, CO Oct 28, 2015 $56,680
Head Pastry Chef Vince and Joe's Fruit Market-Shelby, Inc. Shelby, MI Sep 21, 2016 $56,306
Pastry Chef Rudy's Family Resturant Inc. Harrington, DE Nov 17, 2014 $55,723
Pastry Chef Rudy's Family Resturant Inc. NY Nov 16, 2014 $55,723
Pastry Chef Rudy's Family Resturant Inc. Harrington, DE Aug 10, 2015 $55,723
Pastry Chef/Supervisor Miramar Bistro Bar & Banquets, Ltd Highwood, IL Aug 24, 2015 $45,781
Pastry Chef Meditco, Inc. DBA Phoenicia Specialty Foods Houston, TX May 07, 2016 $45,781
Pastry Chef La Pinata Ltd Yonkers, NY Jan 20, 2011 $45,664
Executive Pastry Chef Cosmic, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $45,330
Mexican Pastry Chef La Hacienda 1 Nashville, TN Jun 02, 2015 $45,282
Assistant Pastry Chef Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas, NV Sep 11, 2013 $45,000 -
Executive Pastry Chef A MODO Mio Inc. Washington, DC Oct 01, 2012 $45,000 -
Executive Pastry Chef Chocopologie, LLC Norwalk, CT Jul 01, 2013 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Pastry Chef


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Top Pastry Chef Skills

  1. Wedding Cakes
  2. Pastry Kitchen
  3. Banquet Desserts
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted Pastry Chef with making and decorating wedding cakes.
  • Maintained a clean and organized pastry kitchen as well as the pastry line for the evening of service.
  • Managed the pastry program, made wedding cakes, and created banquet desserts Inventory and cost management
  • Created daily production list, insuring all customer orders, as well as all par levels of bakery items are met.
  • Recommend improvements in food preparation methods to obtain better products.

Top Pastry Chef Employers

Pastry Chef Videos

Pastry Chef, Career Video from drkit.org

Becoming a Top Chef : How Much Money Do Chefs Make?

Career Advice on becoming a Sous Chef by Craig B (Full Version)