Finding Some of the Best Baking & Pastry Schools
If you've dreamed of opening your own bakery, becoming a professional pastry chef, or are working in the baking and pastry industry, you're probably looking for a good school with a top-rated baking and pastry program.
There are many ways to learn how to become a professional baker or pastry chef. Some suggest you go work at restaurant starting at the bottom and working your way up.
Other suggest you go to school, get a diploma, certificate or degree and then go out to the market. Whichever method works for you, here are some statistics from the US Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics that can help you better understand what to expect.
What You Can Expect As A Baker / Pastry Chef*
|2012 Medium Annual Pay||$23,140|
|2012 Medium Pay Per Hour||$11.13|
|Entry Level Education||Less than high school|
|Number of Jobs in 2012||167,600|
|Job Outlook, 2012-2022||6% (Less than Average|
*Information from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Do Bakers Do
There are two types of professional bakers and pastry chefs, commercial and retail. Both types produce breads, cakes, pastries and assorted baked goods but commercial bakers typically work in large manufacturing facilities using large volume equipment while retail bakers more often work in smaller specialty stores or grocery markets.
Think of a big bread producer like Wonder Bread owned by Weston Bakeries compared to your local bake shop.
Of the 167,600 bakers in 2012, only about 6% were self -employed. Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 bakers worked part time in 2012?
The hours are long and if you work in a commercial plant, you may be expected to work nights and weekends. And because of the nature of the work and time-sensitive nature of baked goods, the work may be stressful.
Education to Become a Baker
Although you don't need a formal education to become a baker and many bakers gain most of their experience on the job, having technical or culinary school training may help you when starting out and looking for a job.
These baking programs can last 1 to 2 to 4 years where you end up with a certificate, diploma or even an associate or bachelors degree.
The Retail Bakers of America
Founded in 1918, this non for profit organization works to create standardized industry-specific training programs and promote the success of the retail baking industry. They "create industry standards through professional certification, industry research and school programs."