Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Minnesota

The culinary industry is growing at a rapid pace across the U.S. There are many potential careers in the industry, including for baking and pastry chefs. These are trained culinary professionals who are skilled in making baked goods, desserts, candies and pastries.

Minnesota is seeing growth in careers for baking and pastry chefs. If you love working with your hands in a fast-paced environment and being creative with food, you may be interested in working toward a pastry position in a Minnesota restaurant, hotel or catering company. Training typically takes two years or less.

How to Begin a Career in Baking and Pastry in Minnesota

There are no specific training, education or licensing requirements in Minnesota for pastry chefs. You only need to have the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job. There are two main pathways you can take:

  • After high school or earning a GED, complete a post-secondary program in culinary arts with a focus on pastry and baking.
  • After high school or earning a GED, get a job with a chef willing to train you in culinary arts and in pastry and baking.

The latter option allows you to earn while you train, but expect to start at the bottom in the kitchen and to work hard to achieve a pastry position. School takes more time but will prepare you to begin working as a baking and pastry chef right after graduation.

Minnesota Culinary Schools for Baking and Pastry Chefs

Look for academic certificate and degree programs in culinary arts at community, career, and vocational colleges. There are a few options in Minnesota. In the heart of the Twin Cities, you can earn a certificate in pastry and baking at Saint Paul College. This will prepare you for entry-level work in the industry. Classes include a combination of online, in-person and lab work on campus. The program includes 17 credits and takes just two semesters to complete.

Other schools in Minnesota, such as Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park and St. Cloud Technical and Community College in St. Cloud, have general culinary arts degree programs. These include baking and pastry arts courses.

National Certification for Baking and Pastry Chefs

You don’t need to be certified to work in baking and pastry arts, but you may find that employers are more likely to hire those candidates who are certified or working toward it. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the best choice for certification, as it is recognized throughout the U.S. You can choose from pastry cook, pastry culinarian or working pastry chef certifications when just beginning in the industry. With more experience, you can become a certified executive or master pastry chef.

Minnesota Career Outlook and Salaries

The job growth in chef careers nationwide is strong at 11 percent. In Minnesota it is a little slower at just 5.4 percent. But this still allows for about 320 new jobs in the state each year through 2028.

Salaries in Minnesota for chefs are higher than the national average. Here, the median income is $51,190, while nationally it is just $48,460.

Working as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Minnesota

As a baking and pastry chef, you may end up working in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, for a catering company, in a retirement or assisted living community, in a hospital cafeteria or in a grocery store that sells in-house pastries and desserts.

You can expect to find it a little easier to land a job in and around Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth and Bloomington, the state’s biggest cities. Some recent job listings in the state for pastry chefs include at the Courtyard Marriot in Bloomington, D’Amico Catering in Minneapolis, and Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.

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