Baking and Pastry Chefs in Oklahoma
Are you interested in the culinary arts? Do you especially enjoy baking treats that are both beautiful and tasty? If so, perhaps you should consider a career as a baking and pastry chef.
Pastry chefs work in a fast-paced environment, using their special skills to create appetizing treats for everyone to enjoy. Working as a pastry chef, however, does not only include creating and baking. Chefs are often responsible for the business aspects of running a kitchen. A few possible tasks might include human resources management, marketing, accounting, inventory control and regulation compliance. Those considering this career should expect to spend long hours on their feet in an often fast-paced, high-stress environment and work off-hours like early mornings, late evenings and weekends on a regular basis.
Regulations for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma does not require a license to work as a baking and pastry chef, nor is there a regulatory body for culinary professionals. In order to find work, though, a candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent at minimum, with additional culinary training. Culinary training can be obtained through a reputable educational program or apprenticeship. Due to the competitive nature of the field, many aspiring pastry chefs choose to pursue as much training as possible, and it is not unusual for a culinary professional to pursue additional apprenticeships under specific masters.
Training for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has many training programs available for pastry chefs in different areas of the state. A few of these include:
- Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City offers two culinary programs at its Springlake Campus. The Culinary Arts Assistant program offers introductory level culinary and business skills for those wishing to pursue entry-level positions. The Culinarian course builds on the Culinary Arts Assistant program with a more in-depth approach to cooking and management.
- Platt College offers pastry chef training at its Moore campus. The program boasts training from industry experts in their commercial kitchens, small class sizes, convenient schedules and career services upon graduation.
- Northeast Tech offers a Culinary Arts program at its Afton campus. The course promises to teach every aspect of modern commercial food preparation, preparing students to provide food in various sized venues.
Potential for Additional Certifications
Attaining additional certifications is a great way to stand out in a competitive field. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) offers certificates for baking and pastry chefs who are interested in building their career potential. Six levels of certification are available based on experience and level of employment. The lowest level requires no experience and basic knowledge of fundamentals, whereas higher levels require experience in business management as well as more advanced culinary skills.
Career Growth and Salary Projections in Oklahoma
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), baking and pastry chefs in Oklahoma reported a median annual wage of $42,140 for 2018, with a reported high wage of $70,380, showing a great variability depending on job title and experience.
Career growth within the state also looks good with a projected growth rate of 14.9 percent from the years 2016 to 2026 for this field. This compares favorably to the national projected growth rate of 9.6 percent.
Oklahoma Opportunities for Baking and Pastry Chefs
Baking and pastry chefs find employment in a number of different industries. Those with the highest reported pay rates, according to the BLS, include performing arts companies, scenic transportation companies (water-based), the federal executive branch and office of administrative services, while the highest numbers are employed in restaurants and eating establishments. A few possible employers of pastry chefs within the state include the Chocktaw Nation of Oklahoma, CraftWorks, Learning Care Group and Levy.