Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Missouri

Missouri is home to several possibly unconventional employment opportunities for baking and pastry chefs. The headquarters for Sara Lee Bakery Group, Worlds of Fun and Kansas City Royals are all located in the state. The team cafeteria for the Royals works with team members to learn any preferences or dietary restrictions they have, which could include desserts. Worlds of Fun Amusement Park offers several restaurants, which could provide employment. Additionally, the Sarah Lee Bakery Group has several subsidiaries that produce baked goods for consumers all over the country. Working as a baking and pastry chef at a corporate level could allow for interesting opportunities.

If you’ve chosen to become a baking and pastry chef, there are some things to keep in mind. While this job can be a lot of fun, it is also a demanding career, both mentally and physically. Baking and pastry chefs tend to be on their feet for several hours at a time. Problem solving skills and the ability to think quickly can be to your advantage in this field. As a baking and pastry chef, you would have the opportunity to showcase your creativity and artistic skills with pastries and desserts.

State Requirements for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef

In the state of Missouri, a license is not required to become a baking and pastry chef, nor are there specific state requirements in regard to education. While there is not a state requirement, however, some employers prefer their employees be certified by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). In order to be certified by the ACF, formal education is required. There are multiple schools that offer programs that teach students proper culinary techniques as well as the business skills and baking and pastry techniques, with certificate programs taking about a year to complete and associate degree programs taking about two years.

To become an established baking and pastry chef typically requires a commitment of 5+ years on average. It is possible to begin as a dishwasher in a restaurant and work up through the ranks to become a pastry chef, or you can begin the journey by taking culinary arts and pastry baking courses.

Training and Educational Opportunities for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Missouri

Within formal baking and pastry programs, students will typically learn the details of running a restaurant or bakery and what it takes to create delicious, visually appealing desserts. Some of the baking and pastry chef programs available in Missouri are:

  • St. Louis Community College. Located in St Louis, this school offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in Baking and Pastry Arts. Upon graduation, students have the opportunity to receive certification from the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Pastry Culinarian. Advanced artisan courses are also available.
  • Ozarks Tech Community College. Located in Springfield, Ozarks Tech offers an AAS program in Baking and Pastry. Students contribute to a student-operated restaurant on campus called Scallions. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation, which sponsors competitions, events and networking for students.

Certification for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Missouri

While there is no state license required to become a baking and pastry chef in Missouri certification from the American Culinary Federation can provide better opportunities. Within the ACF program, there are six levels of certification, each having its own required continuing education courses and exam. The ACF also allows students to verify the accreditation status of training programs as well as find open apprenticeships.

A pastry chef may want to join a professional networking association such as Pastry Chefs of America, which hosts events and allows baking and pastry chefs further opportunities to connect with others within their field.

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

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, within the United States, the field of head chef and cooks is expected to grow by a rate of approximately 11 percent, which is much faster than average growth across all careers. Specific information is not provided for baking and pastry chefs, as these positions are considered part of the category of head chefs. Within the state of Missouri, growth in the field is expected to be approximately 12.5 percent during the ten years between 2018 and 2028, a bit faster than the national average.

Within the U.S., the median annual salary paid to baking and pastry chefs as of May 2018 was $45,640. This means that half of all those working as a baking and pastry chef earned more than that amount, while half earned less. The hourly mean rate of pay during 2018 was $23.30. In Missouri, the median annual salary paid to a baking and pastry chef was $47,750, while the median hourly rate was $22.96.

Finding Work as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Missouri

As a pastry chef, it is essential to have strong communication skills, as there will be a wide variety of customers trying to translate their wants and ideas into culinary masterpieces. It will be your job to deliver their order in a visually appealing manner, tastefully and on budget, while following food safety guidelines. Project management skills are essential as well, with multiple clients and simultaneous orders to be filled.

Missouri has many options when it comes to finding employment as a pastry chef. Jobs can be found with hotels or spas, catering companies, at restaurants and even with the corporate offices for companies that produce packaged baked goods for nationwide consumers. Higher salaries for this profession may potentially be earned within the areas of Springdale, Springfield, St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri.

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