Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in North Carolina
Creating tasty and appealing desserts and baked goods is interesting, rewarding and fun. If this is something you enjoy, consider a career as a baking and pastry chef. This career is more complex than that of a baker. Your job duties will include not only preparing a wide variety of baked goods such as breads, cakes, pies and pastries, but you’ll also use other skills such as supervising staff, organizing and ordering supplies, monitoring sanitation and developing new recipes.
North Carolina Requirements for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef
In North Carolina, it’s possible to acquire some of the skills you need for this career under the mentorship of an experienced pastry chef. It’s not a requirement to complete postsecondary education, but specialized training programs in the field of pastry and baking arts can broaden your skills and improve your ability to be competitive in the job market. Most programs and employers require at least a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Training Programs in Baking and Pastry Arts in North Carolina
When you attend formal training in culinary arts or pastry arts, you’ll learn basic food preparations skills and build on these skills to learn more advanced techniques. To become a head chef in the field of baking and pastry requires business and administrative skills as well. Some formal training programs in this field in North Carolina include:
- Wake Technical Community College. Located in Raleigh, NC, this school offers an associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. The ratio of chef to students is 1:12. Classes are offered both days and evenings, and students looking for a shorter program have the opportunity to earn a certificate.
- Central Piedmont Community College. At this community college in Charlotte, NC, students can acquire the skills and knowledge to become a pastry chef by completing this baking and pastry arts program. Students use industry-specific tools and equipment and learn a variety of specialty skills such as high-volume pastry production, artisan bread, and chocolate and confections. Students also learn strategies for cost control and efficient business management.
Do You Need to Get a License to Become a Pastry and Baking Chef in North Carolina?
In order to become a baking and pastry chef in North Carolina, you’re not required to obtain a license or certification. National certification is optional and can be obtained through the American Culinary Federation by passing practical and written exams. Several certifications are available that are based on education and work experience.
Salary and Job Outlook for North Carolina Baking and Pastry Chefs
Head chefs, a category that includes baking and pastry chefs, received a median annual pay of $48,460 as of May 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the state of North Carolina, pastry chefs made between $44,401 and $73,057 as of November 2019 according to Salary.com, with the average North Carolina pastry chef earning $51,273 per year.
Job outlook for North Carolina baking and pastry chefs looks very promising. CareerOneStop projects growth of approximately 12 percent between 2016 and 2026.
A Career as a Baking and Pastry Chef in North Carolina
Wherever you work as a pastry chef in North Carolina, you can probably count on working in a fast-paced environment that requires evenings, weekends and early mornings. Some settings where you may find opportunities include upscale restaurants, hotels, stores, cafes, healthcare facilities and bakeries. You could even start your own business using your expert baking skills.
Large cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro are filled with multiple establishments that need skilled pastry chefs. Your skills and talents will be in high demand in these cities and throughout the entire state of North Carolina.