How to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Rhode Island

If you’re someone who loves to create delicious and appealing desserts or other baked goods, think about becoming a baking and pastry chef. When you work in this career, you’ll prepare a wide variety of baked goods such as pies, cakes, breads and pastries. You’ll also be responsible for many tasks related to running a kitchen or a business such as creating a budget, taking inventory, ordering supplies and delegating tasks to others.

Requirements for Becoming a Rhode Island Pastry Chef

If you don’t already have a high school diploma or the equivalent, you’ll need to obtain it. The vast majority of potential employers will expect this as a bare minimum. Many formal training programs also require this as a prerequisite. Culinary training is sometimes available in high school.

You may be able to learn many skills through on-the-job training and by working closely with an experienced chef. Postsecondary education isn’t required, but you can learn a lot of important skills by attending a formal training program.

Rhode Island Training Programs for Baking and Pastry Chefs

Community colleges and vocational schools are examples of places that offer formal training in baking and pastry arts. When you go through a training program, you’ll learn beginner to advanced baking and decorating skills, and you’ll also learn business and administrative skills that are needed to be a pastry chef. Some training programs in this field in Rhode Island include:

  • Johnson and Wales University. This university in Providence offers both an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Students can earn an A.S. degree in two years and will learn to implement cost controls, develop dessert menus and work with professional tools in pastry and bread labs. Those who wish to continue their training and pursue a B.S. in the field can learn more advanced techniques in lab settings and can learn from internationally renowned chefs.
  • Warwick Area Career and Technical Center. Students have the opportunity to begin culinary and pastry arts training while in high school at this Warwick school. The program teaches students a wide variety of culinary skills including volume production of pastries and breads, sanitation, menu planning, purchasing and catering. Internships are available across Rhode Island.

Do You Need Certification to Become a Pastry Chefs in Rhode Island?

In the state of Rhode Island, you’re not required to obtain a license or certification to work as a pastry and baking chef. It’s possible to obtain optional certification by passing both practical and written exams through the American Culinary Federation. There are several possible levels of certification through this organization based on your education and work experience.

Salary Potential and Job Growth for Rhode Island Baking and Pastry Chefs

The median wage for head chefs as of May 2018 was $48,460 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and pastry chefs fall in this category. In Rhode Island as of November 2019, pastry chefs made between $49,055 and $80,715 per year. The average annual salary in this state as of that date was $56,647, according to Salary.com.

Head chefs should experience steady job growth in the state of Rhode Island over the next decade. According to CareerOneStop, growth is projected to be 11 percent in this state between 2016 and 2026.

Your Career as a Pastry Chef in Rhode Island

You can expect a fast-paced job in most settings where you might work as a pastry chef. There’s a good chance your day will start early in the morning, and you may also work nights and weekends. Opportunities are available all over the state of Rhode Island for skilled pastry chefs, especially in larger cities such as Providence and Warwick.

Some of the places where you might find employment as a baking and pastry chef in Rhode Island include fine dining establishments, catering organizations, bakeries, cafes, hospitals and stores. The decision to become a pastry and baking chef in Rhode Island can create many options for you. With experience you may even choose to become an entrepreneur and eventually start your own baking-related business.

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