How to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Kansas

Kansas is known for much more than the Wizard, Dorothy and her ruby slippers. Kansas is home to Exploration Place, which is a wonderful science museum for all ages, as well as the Evel Knieval Museum and the Museum of World Treasures. Several of these museums have cafes and restaurants, which allow baking and pastry chefs employed there to show off their creativity. Kansas is also home to Legend Senior Living, which operates within several states. A baking and pastry chef employed with them could lend their skills to brightening the days of seniors as well as staff members.

If you enjoy creating tasty and attractive treats for friends and family, choosing to become a baking and pastry chef may be a great opportunity to explore. Being a baking and pastry chef requires some patience, attention to detail and a bit of artistic talent too. Learning to plan a menu and manage costs are important skills as well.

Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Kansas

There are multiple ways to become a baking and pastry chef. It is possible to begin as a dishwasher in a restaurant and work up through the ranks to becoming a baking and pastry chef, or you can begin by taking culinary arts and pastry baking courses. Most people who begin with formal training typically have had a head start at home with baking and creating desserts but need to learn the industry standards and business acumen, as well as how to hone their skills.

There are some schools and colleges within Kansas that offer programs that teach students important basics like food safety procedures and customer service skills in addition to cost savings and menu planning. Programs can vary in length but tend to average about a year for certificate programs or roughly two years for an associate degree program.

Educational Opportunities for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Kansas

To be eligible for the best jobs available as a baking and pastry chef in Kansas, completing an educational program with hands-on training is a must. Students will learn the details of running a restaurant or bakery as well as what it takes to create delicious, visually appealing desserts. Some baking and pastry chef programs available in Kansas are:

  • Butler Community College. Located in El Dorado, BCC offers options to earn either a certificate or an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts.
  • Johnson County Community College. Located in Overland Park, this school has a two-semester certificate option in Pastry/Baking.
  • Culinary Center of Kansas City. The Culinary Center offers some more casual weekly courses, which could be good for those already working in the industry who want to brush up on specific skills.

Certification of Baking and Pastry Chefs in Kansas

The state of Kansas does not require a license to become a baking and pastry chef, but certification from the American Culinary Federation can lead the way to better opportunities. There are six levels of certification, each with its own requirements, including continuing education courses and an exam. Through the American Culinary Federation, students can also verify the accreditation status of programs available to them as well as find open apprenticeships. A baking and pastry chef may also join professional networking associations such as Pastry Chefs of America.

Job Opportunities and Salary Outlook for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Kansas

Within the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of head chef and cooks is expected to grow by a rate of approximately 11 percent, which is much faster than average job growth. Specific information is not provided for baking and pastry chefs, but they are considered comparable positions to head chefs. Within the state of Kansas, growth within this field is expected to be approximately 7.1 percent during the ten years between 2018 and 2028. This is a bit slower than the national average but still a positive growth trend.

The median annual salary paid to baking and pastry chefs in Kansas as of May 2018 was $35,920. This means that half of those who worked as a baking and pastry chef earned more than this amount and half of them earned less. The hourly mean rate of pay during 2018 was $17.27. Rates tend to be higher in more densely populated areas, including Wichita, Overland Park and Kansas City, Kansas.

Working as a Baking and Pastry chef in Kansas

Baking and pastry chefs need to be good problem solvers and project managers. A career as a pastry chef could be ideal for someone who enjoys being challenged and performing a variety of tasks. This is a physical job that requires repetitive movements and being on your feet much of the day. But seeing a client’s appreciation to your hard work could help make it all worthwhile.

Opportunities for work as a baking and pastry chef in Kansas can be found with a hotel, bakery, catering company, restaurant and even a hospital or museum cafe.

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