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What is Baking and Pastry?
Baking and pastry chefs are responsible for the production of breads and pastries for the purposes of consumption. Individuals in this field will master the use of an oven to produce various baked goods as well as to decorate and create pastries. Many individuals will work through a bakery, though pastry shops are also an option, as are restaurants that create custom pastries as part of their menu.
An education in the field is not strictly required but can be beneficial for the purposes of employment as it demonstrates a previously established set of skills necessary for work. Individuals may pursue an associate or bachelor's degree, with bachelor degrees providing greater depth in the production process. Individuals will participate in a variety of classes directly or indirectly related to the creation of baked goods.
A curriculum in baking and pastry may include:
- Wedding cakes and pastries
- Sanitation and safety
- Sugar and chocolate preparation
Individuals seeking employment as bakers and pastry chefs may find employment with large bakeries, small pastry shops, local bakeries, restaurants, hotels, or any other business that needs the production of baked goods. Employers will look for qualified, clean and professional individuals who are capable of creating cakes, pastries or breads as needed by the particular employer. Experienced individuals may seek entrepreneurship, particularly if they have a strong skills in a given specialization of the field, such as chocolate, wedding cakes, pastries and the like.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Culinary fields in general have seen growth over the last few years and are expected to continue to grow over the next decade. As baking and pastry chefs are in a sub-field of culinary arts, growth is expected, though not quite as highly as other fields. Part of this is due to increased concerns over national health standards and a movement toward eating healthier. The average salary for a baker is approximately $27,000 per year, and $39,000 for pastry chefs.Specialized pastry chefs and entrepreneurs will have varying salaries based on a variety of factors, such as experience, success and demand.
Individuals interested in baking and pastry may also wish to consider a career in culinary arts, culinary science or food preparation and professional cooking.