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Become A Pastry Cook

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Working As A Pastry Cook

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $26,088

    Average Salary

What Does A Pastry Cook Do

The Pastry Cook's responsibilities include preparing quality pastry items such as breakfast items, desserts, breads, ice creams, creams, simple syrups, amenities, and others. They are also responsible for minimizing waste and maintaining control to attain forecasted food cost.

How To Become A Pastry Cook

Most cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training and work-related experience. Although no formal education is required, some restaurant cooks and private household cooks attend culinary schools. Others attend vocational or apprenticeship programs.


Vocational cooking schools, professional culinary institutes, and some colleges offer culinary programs for aspiring cooks. These programs generally last from a few months to 2 years and may offer courses in advanced cooking techniques, international cuisines, and various cooking styles. To enter these programs, candidates may be required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Depending on the type and length of the program, graduates generally qualify for entry-level positions as a restaurant cook.


Most cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Trainees generally first learn kitchen basics and workplace safety and then learn how to handle and cook food.

Some cooks learn through an apprenticeship program. Professional culinary institutes, industry associations, and trade unions may sponsor such programs for cooks. Typical apprenticeships last 1 year and combine technical training and work experience. Apprentices complete courses in food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. They also learn practical cooking skills under the supervision of an experienced chef.

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

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Pass substance abuse screening

Some hotels, a number of restaurants, and the Armed Forces have their own training programs.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many cooks learn their skills through work-related experience. They typically start as a kitchen helper or food preparation worker, learning basic cooking skills before they advance to assistant cook or line cook positions. Some learn by working under the guidance of a more experienced cook.


The American Culinary Federation certifies chefs, personal chefs, pastry chefs, and culinary administrators, among others. For cooks seeking advancement to higher level chef positions, certification can show accomplishment and lead to higher paying positions.

Advancement opportunities for cooks often depend on training, work experience, and the ability to prepare more complex dishes. Those who learn new cooking skills and who handle greater responsibility, such as supervising kitchen staff in the absence of a chef, often advance. Some cooks may train or supervise kitchen staff, and some may become head cooks, chefs, or food service managers.

Important Qualities

Comprehension. Cooks need to understand orders and follow recipes to prepare dishes correctly.

Customer-service skills. Restaurant and short-order cooks must be able to interact effectively with customers and handle special requests.

Dexterity. Cooks should have excellent hand–eye coordination. For example, they need to use proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Physical stamina. Cooks spend a lot of time standing in one place, cooking food over hot stoves, and cleaning work areas.

Sense of taste and smell. Cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell to prepare meals that customers enjoy.

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Pastry Cook jobs

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Real Pastry Cook Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Italian Specialty Pastry Cook Eataly Ny LLC New York, NY Nov 21, 2016 $65,000
Italian Specialty Pastry Cook Eataly Ny LLC New York, NY Apr 21, 2016 $65,000
Pastry Cook ATO Restaurant Associates/D/B/A Alfredo 100 New York, NY Oct 25, 2016 $54,912
Pastry Cook Herve Poussot New York, NY Apr 06, 2012 $45,115
Pastry Cook Herve Poussot New York, NY Aug 03, 2012 $45,115
Master Pastry-Cook, Confectioner Glendale French Bakery, Inc., Papillon Fr. Bakery Glendale, CA Mar 16, 2010 $37,149 -
Cook/Pastry Cook Natural New York Corp. Hunter, NY Sep 10, 2010 $30,000 -
Cook, Pastry Carlas Bakery Moorpark, CA Jan 15, 2010 $29,656
Pastry-Cook Glendale French Bakery, Inc., Papillon Fr. Bakery Glendale, CA Apr 03, 2009 $27,924 -
Pastry Cook Sun Shine Bakery Inc. Vallejo, CA May 19, 2016 $26,088
Pastry Cook-Chinese Food W & K New World Corporation Hunter, NY Feb 04, 2009 $26,088 -
Pastry Cook Avenue Food Mart Chicago, IL Jan 17, 2008 $26,088
Pastry Cook Clean Cuisine, Inc. D.B.A. Laurence Craig Distinctive Catering & Event Management Maplewood, NJ Jun 10, 2015 $25,917
Chinese Pastry Cook New Nam King Restaurant Memphis, TN Apr 01, 2009 $25,774

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Top Skills for A Pastry Cook


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Top Pastry Cook Skills

  1. Wedding Cakes
  2. Banquet Event Orders
  3. Pastry Kitchen
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Produced 50+ wedding cakes as well as various custom celebration cakes for the 2014 season.
  • Create production lists according to banquet event orders.
  • Assist in keeping pastry kitchen organized, help in any other area that is needed.
  • Supervised and directed Chinese food preparation activities.
  • Specialized in sourdough, brioche, english muffins, scones, ice cream bases and other pastries.

Top Pastry Cook Employers