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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

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

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 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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Average Length of Employment
Executive Chef 5.5 years
Chef/Owner 5.3 years
Chef/Catering 3.1 years
Pastry Chef 3.0 years
Head Chef 3.0 years
Sous Chef 2.9 years
Chef De Cuisine 2.8 years
Banquet Chef 2.6 years
Chef 2.5 years
Chef De Partie 2.5 years
Assistant Chef 1.9 years
Pastry Cook 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Pastry Cook 13.7%
Baker 12.5%
Internship 9.3%
Sous Chef 8.0%
Line Cook 7.7%
Chef 5.7%
Cook 4.9%
Server 3.2%
Prep Cook 2.9%
Manager 2.4%
Cashier 2.4%
Owner 1.8%
Top Employers After
Baker 10.2%
Sous Chef 10.0%
Chef 9.2%
Line Cook 5.7%
Cook 4.7%
Manager 3.9%
Owner 3.8%
Chef/Owner 2.6%
Server 2.4%

Pastry Chef Demographics

Gender

Female

65.0%

Male

33.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

78.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.5%

French

24.9%

Italian

6.2%

Portuguese

2.9%

German

2.9%

Danish

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Russian

1.9%

Swedish

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Cantonese

1.4%

Indonesian

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Cayuga

0.5%

Norwegian

0.5%

Thai

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%

Dakota

0.5%
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Pastry Chef Education

Schools

Johnson & Wales University

29.6%

Culinary Institute of America

25.2%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

9.4%

French Culinary Institute

4.4%

Sullivan University

3.9%

New England Culinary Institute

3.8%

University of Phoenix

2.7%

The French Pastry School

2.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

1.9%

The Institute of Culinary Education School

1.8%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Pasadena

1.8%

Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago

1.6%

Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

1.4%

Grand Rapids Community College

1.4%

Delgado Community College

1.4%

Johnson County Community College

1.4%

Arizona Culinary Institute

1.4%

Kendall College

1.4%

Le Condon Bleu College of Culinary Arts - Pittsburgh

1.4%

Art Institute of Atlanta

1.3%
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Majors

Culinary Arts

55.3%

Business

8.7%

Hospitality Management

6.7%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Management

2.7%

Food And Nutrition

2.6%

Psychology

2.2%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

English

1.7%

Education

1.7%

General Studies

1.6%

Graphic Design

1.6%

Biology

1.4%

Communication

1.4%

Accounting

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.2%

Nursing

1.2%

Medical Assisting Services

1.0%

Entertainment Business

1.0%
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Degrees

Associate

29.3%

Other

28.7%

Bachelors

25.1%

Certificate

9.5%

Masters

4.0%

Diploma

3.0%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 -
$90,000
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
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. Harrington, DE Aug 10, 2015 $55,723
Pastry Chef Rudy's Family Resturant Inc. NY Nov 16, 2014 $55,723
Executive Pastry Chef The Dinex Group, LLC New York, NY Oct 31, 2011 $55,000 -
$100,000
Assistant Pastry Chef MGM Grand Hotel, LLC Las Vegas, NV May 01, 2013 $55,000 -
$65,000
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
Executive Pastry Chef A MODO Mio Inc. Washington, DC Oct 01, 2012 $45,000 -
$55,000
Assistant Pastry Chef Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas, NV Sep 11, 2013 $45,000 -
$55,000
Executive Pastry Chef Chocopologie, LLC Norwalk, CT Jul 01, 2013 $45,000
Pastry Chef, Middle Eastern Specialty Venice Classic Pastry, Inc. La Crescenta-Montrose, CA May 07, 2015 $44,450
Pastry Chef Breeze Bakery CAFE, Inc. Annandale, VA Jul 20, 2015 $44,200

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Top Skills for A Pastry Chef

WeddingCakesPastryKitchenBanquetDessertsBakeryItemsFoodPreparationChocolateIceCreamCustomerServiceSpecialEventsFoodCostPastryDepartmentNewRecipesDailyProductionMenuDevelopmentPastryProductionBreakfastPastriesHighVolumeDessertMenuItemsCAFPastryItems

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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)

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