Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Indiana

If you like making cakes and pastries and are considering a career in the culinary arts field, then you might enjoy working as a baking and pastry chef. A pastry chef relies on culinary skills to make delicious baked treats, and then artistic and creative skills to decorate them. But being a baking and pastry chef consists of more than just decorating and baking; they are also responsible for ordering supplies, creating and testing new recipes, working with an executive chef to make sure the full menu is complementary, keeping up with a budget, meeting food service regulations and overseeing staff.

Regulations for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Indiana

The career of a pastry chef isn’t regulated in the state of Indiana, meaning that the state doesn’t set any specific guidelines for this job field. Instead, it is up left up to the employer to decide what, if any, requirements need to be met to be employed.

Since specific skills are necessary, though, to work as a baking and pastry chef, training is also a necessity. This can be done either through training on the job or through completing a formal training program at a college or vocational school. You will first need to have a high school diploma or GED to complete training. Furthermore, to work in this field you must be familiar with the local and state health regulations for the foodservice industry.

Baking and Pastry Chef Programs in Indiana

Several educational institutions offer baking and pastry chef training programs in Indiana. Here are examples of a couple of them:

  • Henry Ford College. Henry Ford College offers a certificate program in Baking and Pastry. This program consists of 30 credit hours and is designed to be completed over three semesters. Coursework includes Introduction to Baking and Cooking, Fundamentals of Baking, and Professional Cake Decorating.
  • Elgin Community College. At Elgin Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Pastry Arts. This program consists of 72 credit hours taken in four semesters, including a fifth-semester internship.

Certification as a Baking and Pastry Chef

This can be a competitive career field, so if you are interested in working as a pastry chef and want to put yourself ahead of the competition, you might want to earn certification. Certification isn’t mandatory, but it will demonstrate your skill and experience.

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers several certifications for baking and pastry chefs including Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC) and Certified Working Pastry Chef (CWPC). To receive these or any of the other certifications, you must pass a written test and a skills test.

Projections for Career Growth and Salaries in Indiana

Baking and pastry chefs in Indiana are paid well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chefs and head cooks (which include baking and pastry chefs) in the state were making a median annual salary of $49,450, or $23.78 hourly, in 2018.

Growth for this career in the state is positive as well. Between the years 2016 and 2026, this job field is expected to see a national increase of 9.6 percent. The state of Indiana is right at the national average, with a predicted growth rate of nine percent during 2016 and 2026. Close to 200 new jobs are expected to become available for pastry chefs in the state during this time.

Opportunities to Work as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Indiana

Some of the places you might find work as a pastry chef in Indiana include bakeries, cafes, country clubs, hotels and restaurants. You may also choose to run your own bakery, restaurant or catering business.

Because of the steady growth within the state, you should be able to find work pretty much anywhere in Indiana. However, some of the bigger, more populous cities in the state, like Bloomington, Evansville, and Indianapolis, may be more likely to have job opportunities.

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