How to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in North Dakota

If you enjoy making delicious and tempting baked goods, or you’ve always wanted to learn more about baking and decorating, then you may want to consider working as a baking and pastry chef. To work as a in this field, you will need the same skills as you would need to work as a baker; however, the necessary skills to be a baking and pastry chef are also more elaborate than those of a baker. Baking and pastry chefs fall under the category of head chefs, so you will be responsible for overseeing staff, ordering supplies and keeping up with inventory, maintaining a budget and coming up with new recipes.

Requirements for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in North Dakota

The first step you need to take toward becoming a pastry chef in North Dakota is to earn a high school diploma or the equivalent. Many employers will require this, and if you’re planning on enrolling in a post-secondary training program, these programs will require a high school diploma or GED as well.

Completing training through a post-secondary institution isn’t mandatory, though. You can receive training on the job, but completing a formal training program will cut out the need to be trained by your employer and this may make you a more desirable hire.

Formal Training in North Dakota

If you are interested in a structured training program for pastry chefs, these courses are usually offered at community colleges, universities and vocational schools, where you can learn the necessary skills needed for baking, creating and decorating desserts and pastries. Here are some examples of programs you will find in North Dakota:

  • North Dakota State College of Science. North Dakota State College of Science has campuses in Fargo and Wahpeton. The school has both an associate degree program and a diploma program in culinary arts. The diploma program consists of 68 credit hours, and the degree program consists of 74. Both programs can be completed in two years.
  • Penn Foster Career School. Penn Foster Career School gives students the option of completing a gourmet cooking certificate program entirely online. In addition to learning how to cook gourmet pastries and desserts, you will learn to cook complete gourmet meals. Penn Foster online programs can usually be completed in less than a year, and you can pay tuition in installments rather than the whole amount up front.

Certification or Licensing of Pastry Chefs in North Dakota

You don’t need certification or a license to work as a baking and pastry chef in North Dakota. However, this can be a competitive field, so if you want to put yourself at the top, certification would be a plus. The American Culinary Federation offers a variety of certifications for baking and pastry chefs. You can earn one or more of these certifications by passing both a written and a practical test.

Job and Salary Potential for Pastry Chefs in North Dakota

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, head chefs and cooks made an annual average salary of $48,460 in 2018. The average yearly salary for head chefs and cooks, including baking and pastry chefs, in North Dakota was $46,320 in 2018. While it is slightly below the national average, this is still a decent wage.

Job growth looks promising in the state as well. According to the Projections Managing Partnership, the career of baking and pastry chefs and other head chefs is anticipated to increase by 9.6 percent nationally between the years 2016 and 2026. In North Dakota, the predicted growth rate for this career is almost double the national rate, at 16.7 percent.

Working as a Baking and Pastry Chef in North Dakota

There are a number of settings in which you might work as a pastry chef in North Dakota. These include bakeries, cafes, hotels and restaurants, and more. You can also run your own business.

Working as a baking and pastry chef is a fast-paced career. You may have to work very early in the morning or nights and weekends. Holiday hours are also a possibility.

Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks have the most influential culinary presence in the state, but with the proper training and possible certification, your skills will be in demand throughout North Dakota.

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