Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Arizona
If you have a passion for baking delicious desserts and other baked goods, consider becoming a baking and pastry chef. In this career, you’ll prepare and bake a wide variety of items such as cakes, cookies, pies, breads and donuts, and you’ll use creative skills to make them visually appealing.
When you work as a baking and pastry chef, your job duties will go beyond those of a baker. You’ll use advanced techniques to prepare a variety of desserts or other baked goods, but you’ll also organize and order supplies, supervise staff, develop new recipes and monitor food sanitation and safety standards.
Requirements for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Arizona
You may be able to learn some of the important skills of a baking and pastry chef through on-the-job training or under the mentorship of an experienced chef. Postsecondary education isn’t usually required, but specialized training programs in community colleges, four-year colleges, vocational schools and culinary arts schools can provide important and valuable skills that can help you to be more competitive in the job market.
These programs usually require that you have a high school diploma or equivalent in order to enroll.
Personal qualities that may be helpful in this field include good customer service skills, mathematical ability, organizational skills, leadership ability and management skills.
Formal Baking and Pastry Chef Training in Arizona
Completing formal baking and pastry chef or culinary training introduces basic food preparation skills and expands on these skills to include more advanced techniques, and your training will also include advanced administrative and business skills. Training programs in this field in Arizona include:
- Arizona Culinary Institute. Located in Scottsdale, AZ, this school offers nine-week certificate programs in Baking and Pastry as well as an eight-month diploma program. These programs are offered both days and nights. The diploma program teaches basic culinary skills followed by advanced baking and pastry skills, food and beverage management and restaurant operations.
- Central Arizona College. At this community college in Coolidge, AZ, students can obtain a baking and pastry certificate in less than a year. Core courses provide a solid foundation in basic baking skills, and students can learn specialized skills such as wedding cake production and bread baking. Students may wish to pursue an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts and can specialize in Baking and Pastry.
Licensing and Certification of Baking and Pastry Chefs in Arizona
Certification isn’t a requirement to become a baking and pastry chef in Arizona. However, obtaining optional certification is a way to demonstrate competence and may help you to stand out among other candidates when pursuing competitive job opportunities. The American Culinary Federation offers several certifications based on education and work experience. Both written and practical exams must be passed to obtain certification.
Baking and Pastry Chef Job Outlook and Salary Expectations in Arizona
As of May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual pay for head chefs, a category that includes baking and pastry chefs, was $48,460, or $23.30 per hour. In Arizona, the average yearly wage for pastry chefs was $53,175 as of October 2019, according to Salary.com.
Job growth in this field looks very positive in the state of Arizona. Career OneStop projects growth of approximately 26 percent in this state between 2016 and 2026, which is more than the projected growth of 11 percent across the United States for this field.
Working as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Arizona
Opportunities for baking and pastry chefs are available in restaurants, stores, hospitals, hotels, cafes and many other settings. You may also want to consider becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own bakery or café.
The hours you work may not always be predictable. Depending on the setting in which you work, you may have to be ready to prepare pastries or other baked items early in the morning. There’s a good chance you’ll work weekends rather than just weekdays, and that you’ll be working in a fast-paced environment. There are many different settings that emply baking and pastry chefs in Arizona, particularly in large cities such as Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa.