Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Mississippi

Baking and pastry chefs handle the task of making various baked goods and treats as well as decorating them. Additionally, baking and pastry chefs create new recipes, keep up with inventory, order supplies, create and maintain a budget and supervise staff. If you like to bake and this sounds like a career you would be interested in, you should consider becoming a baking and pastry chef in Mississippi.

Requirements to Become a Pastry Chef in Mississippi

Post-secondary education isn’t mandatory to work as a baking and pastry chef in Mississippi, but you will need to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many employers will require that you have one or the other, and if you do pursue formal training you will need to have them also.

Since this job does require specific skills, training is necessary before working on your own as a baking and pastry chef. You can complete this training either on the job under the supervision of an experienced chef, or you can complete training at a local vocational school, community college or university.

Educational Training for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Mississippi

If you are interested in formal educational training as a baking and pastry chef in Mississippi, several community colleges in the state offer programs. Here are a couple of your options:

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The Baking and Pastry Arts Technology program offered at MGCCC is accredited by the America Culinary Federation or ACF. So, if you complete this program and wish to become certified through the ACF, you will be equipped with the knowledge to do so. This program trains students in everything from breads to cakes to pastries. Students are also taught how to use baking and pastry equipment and tools and specialty ingredients. You have the option of earning a certificate or diploma in Baking and Pastry Arts. The certificate program consists of two semesters and the diploma program consists of three.
  • East Central Community College. East Central Community College offers a Culinary Arts Technology program that covers all aspects of culinary arts but does put particular focus on baking and pastry arts. Students are educated in the use of culinary equipment, techniques and tools. They also get hands-on lab experience in a commercial kitchen. Students may earn a career certificate or a technical certificate (diploma). Completion of the program takes two to three semesters depending on which certificate you choose.

License and Certification Information for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Mississippi

Licensing or certification is not a mandatory requirement to work in the state as a pastry chef. However, if you are interested in setting yourself apart from others in this field or are interested in owning your own bakery or restaurant someday, then you may want to think about earning certification through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The ACF has several certifications relevant to baking and pastry arts. To become certified, you must pass both a practical and a written exam for the certification you are trying to earn.

Job Outlook and Expected Salary for Baking and Pastry Chefs

Baking and pastry chefs do not have their own category when it comes to salary and job outlook data; rather, they are included in the group chefs and head cooks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the median annual pay for chefs and head cooks was $48,460 nationally. In the state of Mississippi, the yearly salary for this career is $48,330, which is right in line with the national average.

Job growth for this career is projected to be 9.6 percent nationally between 2016 and 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP). In the state of Mississippi, this career is predicted to see a growth rate of 12.5 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is a good bit above the national projection rate.

Working as a Pastry Chef in Mississippi

There are many outlets to work as a pastry chef in Mississippi. Jobs can be found in restaurants and bakeries throughout the state, but the cities with the most culinary presence in the state are Biloxi, Gulfport, Hattiesburg and Jackson. There are also several annual festivals throughout Mississippi in which you will have an opportunity to showcase your baking skills. Among these are the Natchez Food and Wine Festival, the Biloxi Seafood Festival and the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium.

Baking and pastry chefs do work long and odd hours, including early mornings, late nights and sometimes weekends and holidays. You will also be working in a fast-paced environment and will often be standing for many hours. However, if you enjoy creating new things and baking, this can be a fun and rewarding career.

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