Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Massachusetts
Creating baked goods can be fun and fascinating, and if baking is something that you find stimulating and enjoyable, consider a career as a baking and pastry chef. You’ll be able to create many different items, from breads and donuts to cupcakes, pies and cookies. You’ll strive to make desserts or other baked items that are both delicious and attractive.
Your duties as a baking and pastry chef in Massachusetts will be more complex than those of a baker.
Baking and pastry chefs are a type of head chef, and although baking will be a big part of your job, you’ll also be involved in other tasks, such as creating or tweaking recipes, ordering supplies and making a budget. You may also supervise staff.
What’s Required to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Massachusetts?
Earning a high school diploma or the equivalent is usually the first requirement for becoming a pastry chef in Massachusetts. Training programs are offered at vocational schools, community colleges and culinary arts schools. You may also be able to learn many of the skills needed for this career through on-the-job training or by being mentored by an experienced pastry chef.
Training of Pastry Chefs in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, you can find training programs that will teach you the basics of creating, baking and decorating professional breads and pastries, and build on this knowledge to include advanced techniques and business skills. Examples of this type of training in Massachusetts include:
- Bristol Community College. This community college located in Fall River, MA, offers an Associate of Science degree in Culinary Arts, and students can choose a Baking and Pastry Arts concentration. This concentration focuses on the creation of cakes, bread products and showpieces. Students learn practical and theoretical skills needed for entry-level and advanced careers in this field.
- Newbury College. Located in Brookline, MA, this college offers an Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts. Hands-on kitchen and bakery classes combined with an industrial internship prepare students to be successful in many settings, such as bakeries, cafes and hotels as well as culinary entrepreneurship.
Certification of Pastry and Baking Chefs in Massachusetts
You don’t need to obtain a license or certification to work as a head chef that specializes in creating pastries and other baked goods in Massachusetts. However, to give yourself an advantage over other candidates for competitive opportunities, you may want to obtain optional certification. Several certifications are offered through the American Culinary Federation and consist of both written and practical exams.
Salary Potential and Job Outlook for Pastry Chefs in Massachusetts
The potential salary you can make in this field is similar to other types of head chefs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the median annual pay for head chefs was $48,460. Approximately half of all head chefs made more than this amount and half made less. Your actual pay may vary based on where you live and what type of employer you have. Upscale restaurants and hotels often pay top wages. The salary range for pastry chefs in Massachusetts as of November 2019 was between $50,637 and $83,319, according to Salary.com.
Growth in this field in Massachusetts is projected to be approximately 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to CareerOneStop. This is just slightly less than the predicted national growth rate in this field of 11 percent between 2018 and 2028.
A Career as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Massachusetts
Your skills as a baking and pastry chef in Massachusetts will be valuable in a variety of settings. You may work in restaurants, cafes, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and more. You might even want to start your own business using your skills someday.
Wherever you work, your environment will probably be fast-paced. You may have to work very early in the morning, and you may also have to work nights and weekends. Pastry chefs are in very high demand all over Massachusetts, especially in the Boston area and in other cities such as Worcester and Springfield.