Explore Your Creative Side with a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate
Everyone has a different idea of what makes a “perfect weekend.” For some, it’s relaxing with a good book or movie. For others, it’s exploring a new trail or natural area. And for others, it’s getting creative in the kitchen.
If you love to spend your time creating delicious new recipes, putting together delectable-looking cakes and pastries, or experimenting with bread dough, you might consider a career in baking and pastry arts. Learn more about how you can explore your creative side by earning a career certificate in baking and pastry arts.
What Does a Career as a Baker or Pastry Artist Look Like?
One of the first things to do if you’re thinking about getting into foodservice, particularly baking, is to get an idea of what a day in the life of a baker or pastry artist is like.
Although many people have an image in their heads of a baker getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare donuts or bread, there is a bit more flexibility in the schedule, depending on the type of company a baker works for. Bakers who work in a retail setting might need to be early birds, or they might have shifts that start around 9 a.m. In some instances, a baker or pastry artist might work in the afternoons, evenings, or even late at night.
Along with having a variety of shift options, bakers perform a mix of tasks. If they work for a bakery that specializes in bread, they’ll likely spend a lot of time mixing and kneading dough, shaping loaves and baking the dough. Pastry artists who work in artisan bakeries might spend a considerable amount of time making their treats look great. They might decorate cakes, cut and shape cookies, or put the finishing touches on tarts and pies.
Baking jobs are usually either in commercial production facilities, which make bread and baked goods for wholesale customers, or in retail settings. When working in a retail setting, such as a neighborhood bakery or pastry shop, a baker might spend part of their interacting with customers.
What Skills Are Good to Have as a Pastry Artist or Baker?
Having a love of baked goods and in interest in food preparation are two important qualities to have if you’re going to pursue a career as a baker or pastry artist. But there’s more to being a successful baker than a love of pastry and cake.
Baking requires a fair amount of precision, particularly when it comes to measuring out ingredients. It’s important to have good math skills and the ability to convert weights and measures. Since there might be times when you need to halve, double or triple a recipe, being able to multiply or divide on the fly is essential.
Attention to detail is another critical skill for a baker or pastry artist to have. Recipes often have recommended baking times, but there is some room for error in those recommended times. As a baker, you should have a general awareness of when bread, cakes, and other foods are finished cooking. If you’re interested in showing some artistic flair by decorating cakes and pastries, attention to detail and the ability to create intricate designs is a must.
It’s also good to have communication skills when you’re working in a bakery. Customers might come in with complicated orders from time to time. Being a good communicator will help you understand what your customers want and how to give it to them.
What Do You Learn in a Pastry Arts Certificate Program?
If working as a baker or pastry artist seems intriguing to you, the next step might be to enroll in a career certificate program. A baking and pastry arts program will teach the basics of preparing cakes, breads, and the like. Training goes beyond teaching baking skills, though.
You’ll also learn the ins and outs of working in a commercial kitchen, such as how to communicate with your co-workers and managers, how to develop leadership or managerial skills, and how to find work in the industry. Since food safety is always a concern, you can expect to learn more about sanitation procedures and kitchen safety.
At the completion of the program, you can either move right into a career in a bakery, or you can decide to continue your training in an associate’s degree program in bakery or culinary management. You’ll also be ready to take the ServSafe exam to become a Certified Food Protection Manager.
Is Becoming a Baker a Good Career Move?
Becoming a baker or pastry artist might seem like a dream job for you. You love baking and everyone is always raving about the treats you make. But is a career in baking a practical option?
Despite low-carb diets that seem to come and go, demand for bakers and the foods they make is relatively constant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that opportunities for bakers will grow by about 6% by 2028, which is about average. Thanks to shows like the “Great British Bake-Off,” interest in and demand for specialty baked goods is expected to increase, creating more job opportunities for retail bakers in particular.
As of 2018, the median annual salary for bakers was $26,520. How much you can earn as a pastry artist or baker depends on where you work and the types of food you prepare. If you decide to open a bakery yourself, you can earn more compared to someone works for a commercial bakery.
How much you work as a baker also determines your salary. Many bakers work part-time, which drives the median salary down. If you’re looking for flexibility, pastry arts and baking might be particularly appealing because it will allow you to express yourself while working part-time or flexible hours.
Orange Technical College offers a baking and pastry arts certificate at our Orlando Campus. If you’re interested in learning more about your career options, the program requirements, or have other questions about pursuing a career in foodservice and hospitality, contact us today to learn more.
- “Bakers: Job Outlook,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept. 4, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-6
- “Bakers: Pay,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept. 4, 2019,