Pastry Chef Salaries, Demand and Job Opportunities

January 11, 2011 9 Comments

Pastry Chef Salaries, Demand and Job Opportunities

Becoming A Pastry Chef

As a follow up to yesterdays post on How to Become a Pastry Chef, I thought I would give you a broad idea of the pastry chef career in the United States. Here is some information I researched on the Internet about salaries, demand and job opportunities. This data was found on several web sites including the ones listed at the bottom of the post.

Although projected employment growth is slightly slower than average, job opportunities are predicted to be good. There is a high turnover rate with this profession, with the majority of these job openings coming from the need to replace workers who have left the field, although new positions will also become available.

There will be stiffer competition at high-end restaurants and well-known establishments. Being well rounded and having business skills in this industry will help out enormously.

Chefs and head cooks held nearly 127,500 jobs in 2015. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,170. *

According to one survey, employment of bakers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Pastry chefs make the most money at private or country clubs, the salary being $61,167; $50,450 at Hotel Restaurants/Catering/Banquets; and $47,491 at Stand Alone Restaurants.

About 3 in 10 bakers worked part time in 2014.

Where To Work

In May 2015, the median annual wages for bakers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing $24,270
Grocery stores $24,030
Restaurants and other eating places $23,250


If you’re interested in location, pastry chefs apparently have the highest salaries in Florida, making $55,000 as opposed to $52,643 in Massachusetts, $52,059 in New York and $49,125 in California.**

2015 Culinary Industry Median Salaries

Degree or No Degree?

You hear people saying that the average salaries for college graduates are much higher than their non-degree holding counterparts, and this is true. So is it the same for pastry chefs and executive pastry chefs?

One study found that between degree-holders and non-degree holders there was a $300 difference in salary.

What About Externships?

What truly made a difference in salary was whether someone has worked outside of the U.S. and unpaid externships. If a pastry chef had experience in unpaid externships, they had a $2,000 average salary increase. It seems as though the culinary industry rewards applicants with experience over education.**

Women pastry chefs have been found to make 22% less than their male counterparts, the males earning an average $58,900 and women earning $46,200. The majority of women in the culinary industry are executive pastry chefs and pastry chefs, around 14% and average a 56 hour work week.**


Obviously with more experience come more benefits. While this is just one factor for the determination of a salary, here are the numbers of what to expect based on years of experience for Pastry Chefs.

  • 1-4 years of experience earns a salary range from $28,287-$40,187
  • 5-9 years, $32,968-$46,341
  • 10-19 years, $38,798-$56,491; 20+years, $41,638-$69,603.***

While you can make your own decisions about your education and career paths, these are just averages and estimates from a few surveys found on the Internet. These are intended for research purposes and I hope this answers some of your questions about the Pastry Chef/Baker career field.

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (
**According to a 2009 Salary Survey
***According to 2010


Last modified on Fri 27 October 2017 3:18 pm

Filed in: Baking-Pastry

Comments (9)

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  1. Susan says:

    Oh to be able to make such creations and taste sensations. There must truly be something in ones genes to be able to have that sort of patience and creativity. Leave me to gobble up the fruits of their labors!

    Susan, I agree totally. – RG

  2. Darrin says:

    The fact that experience outside the U.S. made a BIGGER difference than a degree was quite amazing – “What truly made a difference in salary was whether someone has worked outside of the U.S. and unpaid externships.” The reason I am on this sight is to offer such an externship and to learn more about how to attract talent to an amazing job offer. This site is great!

  3. N.G.K.Harischandra says:

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    I am Pastry Chef. I have experience of 25 years in the International Hotel Industry. I am looking for the job.I feel I would be an excellent candidate for your company vacancy as it closely matches my skills and experience. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely, Harischandra

  4. Linda says:

    We live in the Buffalo area and my adult daughter is interested in being a Pastry Cheif. what positions would be available to her where she would make enough dough to support herself and her son? I can tell you now she does’nt want to work nights, weekends or holidays for obvious reasons.

  5. Jody Hodge says:

    I have been a pastry chef for 25 years plus.I currently live on cape cod.I have been looking for a new job for 6 months! I still have found nothing that utilizes my skills for creativity and allows me to use my passion and love for the art! Does anyone know of anyone in the needs for my talents.I am willing to relocate if I need to….I look forward in your comments.Thank you!

  6. Narasimman says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam : I am writing to apply for the. Junior Sous Chef Pastry or Chef De Partie Pastry. My goal is to a career in hospitality management with in the Hospitality Industry while in college earning my BSc(THM),Certi Food and Nutrition, Diploma in Bakery & confectionery International Studies. I gained experience in Hospitality Management .Please consider the following. I place customer satisfaction, and quality service, and positive coworkers relations as top priority, I have good considerable experience working with colleagues personal strengths include enthusiasm, organizational skills, and above all patience and understanding with Pastry chef at all times .I consider this an exciting opportunity and would welcome the chance to meet with you personally to discuss my qualifications. Thank you for your consideration. Thanking You Yours Faithfully

  7. Kelby Pastor says:

    As a 19 year old qualified pastry chef currently studying a business degree this article surprised me. Although I am not from the U.S. I found that these statistics were frightening. I currently only have 3 months unpaid experience in a pastry kitchen but I feel this won’t be enough. I feel that some people forget that that this is a 12 hour job that is often times seven days a week and want the reward for a 9-5 job that is only 5 days a weeks. I currently make cakes and cupcakes or pastries on order but in order for my chosen profession to support me I feel I might have to work the night shift in a hotels pastry kitchen to build up more practical experience. Please could someone advise me on what I could do to better my future possibilities in this field.

  8. Maurreyonna Hibbler says:

    HI ! I am 16 and I am thinking about going to college to become a pastry chief. I do have many things I want to do but I want to become a pastry chief first. I have always had a passion for baking. I want to open my own bakery and hope to be a hit on all my french pastries and all the sweets I will provide. I hope that I will do well and maybe I will work with one of you one day . I hope everyone best with there career and where they want to go in there future career

  9. Daniel Thompson says:

    What about job employment rates what are the percentage rates of one getting employed in this field. I’ve doing a bit of research but none of the sites I look at give me actual numbers, which is what I’m looking for. If you could help me by finding the numbers I would be most grateful.

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