Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Maryland
The job of a baking and pastry chef involves not only making a wide variety of baked goods, but it also involves managing every aspect of running a kitchen. Besides baking and designing delicious and attractive desserts and other baked goods, you’ll also create recipes, maintain inventory, order supplies, supervise staff and develop a budget. If this sounds interesting to you, consider becoming a pastry and baking chef.
Requirements to Become a Pastry Chef in Maryland
Postsecondary education isn’t a requirement for becoming a baking and pastry chef in Maryland, but you should earn your high school diploma or equivalent. This is required by many employers and is also usually a requirement for enrolling in specialized training in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. You may be able to learn a lot of the skills you need on the job under the mentorship of an experienced pastry chef.
Formal Training of Maryland Baking and Pastry Chefs
Formal training programs at locations such as community colleges or vocational schools in Maryland provide a foundation for learning to create and decorate pastries and breads at a professional level. Training programs usually also include business skills and advanced pastry preparations skills. Some places that offer training in this field in Maryland include:
- Anne Arundel Community College. Located in Arnold, MD, this community college offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. The school is accredited by the American Culinary Federation, and students can learn to make a variety of pastries, cakes and breads, and can also train in advanced specialty items such as pralines, candies and marzipans. The school also offers a certificate program which consists of 21 credit hours.
- L’Academie de Cuisine. This professional pastry arts program can be completed in 50 weeks divided into three phases. Phase I consists of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on learning of key foundational pastry skills. Advanced kitchen training is the focus of Phase II, while Phase III consists of a 26-week paid apprenticeship. The location of this school is Gaithersburg, MD.
Do You Need a License or Certification to Become a Maryland Pastry Chef?
Obtaining a formal license or certification isn’t a requirement to become a pastry chef in Maryland. Optional certification is available through the American Culinary Federation. When you pass their written and practical exams, you demonstrate your expertise and dedication to the field to potential employers.
Job Outlook and Expected Salary for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Maryland
The median annual pay in 2018 for head chefs, a category that includes pastry chefs, was $48,460 across the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some settings offer top pay, such as upscale restaurants and hotels. In Maryland, the yearly salary of pastry chefs ranges from $47,987 to $78,958, according to Salary.com, with the average Maryland pastry chef earning $55,414 as of November 2019.
Job growth for pastry chefs in Maryland is projected to be around 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. While slightly less than the national predicted job growth rate of 11 percent between 2018 and 2028, it’s faster than average for all occupations.
Working as a Pastry Chef in Maryland
Maryland has many locations that can use the skills of a baking and pastry chef, especially in large cities such as Baltimore, Columbia and Germantown. There are many restaurants all over the state that employ pastry chefs, and you may also find opportunities in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, cafes and bakeries.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may have to work long hours, and in many locations your day will start very early in the morning. You may also have to work evenings and weekends. You can expect a fast-paced environment in just about every setting. It’s a fulfilling career that allows creative expression and provides an interesting variety of things to do, and your skills will be in demand throughout the state.