Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Delaware

If you enjoy baking and trying out new recipes and are creative, then you might be interested in a career as a baking and pastry chef. Baking and pastry chefs fall under the category of head chef, so this means their tasks will involve more than just creating tasty and visually appealing desserts. They may have to create new recipes or adjust existing ones, order supplies, keep up with a budget and manage other employees. Pastry chefs are also required to follow specific safety and sanitation regulations.

What’s Required to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Delaware?

The first step to becoming a baking and pastry chef is to have a high school diploma or GED. Post-secondary training is not required to work as a chef in the state. However, certain skills need to be learned to work in this field, and many of them are taught in formalized training programs that are available at some community colleges, universities or culinary arts schools.

If you don’t want to complete a training program, you can learn the skills you need by working under the supervision of an experienced baking and pastry chef. But enrolling in a formal training program will mean that you won’t need to have on-the-job training, and it can give you an advantage over your competition.

Baking and Pastry Chef Training in Delaware

If you are interested in enrolling in a training program to learn the basics of baking and decorating pastries, your options within Delaware are limited. The best plan available is the one offered at Delaware Technical Community College. At Delaware Tech, you can earn either a certificate or diploma in baking and pastry skills. These programs are available at both the Dover and Stanton campuses. The certificate program lasts for two semesters and consists of 17 credit hours. The diploma program is made up of 37 credit hours taken over four semesters. Both programs include classes that prepare students for certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

Certification of Pastry and Baking Chefs

You don’t have to have a license or be certified to work as a baking and pastry chef in Delaware. However, obtaining certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) will not only show how qualified you are to work in this field, but it could also give you an edge over other candidates, and you could even earn a higher salary. The ACF offers several certifications that are specific to baking and pastry chefs and can be obtained by passing both a written and practical exam.

Salary Potential and Job Outlook in Delaware

Baking and pastry chefs make a pretty decent salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job field is classified under the category head chefs, and in 2018 the median annual pay for that career nationwide was $48,460. The state of Delaware ranks fourth for top-paying states in this career field. Chefs and head cooks in Delaware were making $59,330 annually and $28.52 hourly in 2018. Salary will depend on a number of factors, such as experience, where you work and if you have certification or not.

Job growth in this career field in the state is predicted to be about 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is good news for anyone wanting to work as a baking and pastry chef in Delaware.

A Career as a Pastry Chef in Delaware

There are several settings in which you may work as a baking and pastry chef. These include cafes, restaurants, hospitals, grocery stores and more. You may even consider the idea of starting your own business.

Working as a baking and pastry chef will require creativity, a good eye for detail, being able to think on your feet, and organization and leadership skills. You will also be working in a fast-paced environment in most settings. Hours will vary. You may have to get started very early in the morning, and you will probably work some holidays and weekends.

Job growth is excellent throughout the state, so you should be able to find work almost anywhere. Some cities in which to start your job search include Dover, Newark and Wilmington.

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