Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in South Dakota

Do you enjoy inventing new recipes and baking tasty treats for friends and family? Would you be excited to test your culinary skills in a fast-paced environment while handling the ins and outs of running a business? If so, perhaps you should consider a career as a baking and pastry chef.

Baking and pastry chefs are known for their ability to use both culinary skills and artistry to create the great-tasting, eye-catching treats and breads most everyone loves to eat, but there is a lot more to the career than baking. Pastry chefs will also often be involved in the day-to-day business affairs required to keep a business up and running. This might include such tasks as hiring, managing and even firing staff, accounting, regulatory compliance and marketing. Baking and pastry chefs often work early mornings, late evenings and weekends and should expect long hours on their feet in a high-stress, competitive environment.

South Dakota Regulations for Baking and Pastry Chefs

South Dakota does not have specific licensing or oversight for baking and pastry chefs, but those wishing to find employment will need a high school diploma or equivalent along with the appropriate training. Training is possible through apprenticeships as well as targeted programs for the culinary arts. Many who wish to excel in the field will pursue both an educational program and additional opportunities for apprenticeship under trained master chefs. Those who find work as a head chef or wish to own and operate their own business will also need to be aware of local public health laws and maintain ongoing compliance.

Baking and Pastry Chef Training in South Dakota

South Dakota has two schools who offer training in the culinary arts.

Additional Certifications for Career Advancement

Due to the competitive nature of the culinary industry, baking and pastry chefs would do well to seek additional qualifications, which will distinguish them from their colleagues. Many seek certification from the American Culinary Federation (ACF), an organization that offers myriad certification programs based on experience and level of employment. There are six levels of certification for pastry chefs, from Certified Fundamentals Pastry Cook™, which requires foundational knowledge and no experience, to Certified Culinary Administrator™, which requires proficiency in culinary skills, human resources and business planning skills.

South Dakota Career Growth and Salary Projections

Career growth for baking and pastry chefs in South Dakota looks good, with a projected 11.1 percent growth between the years 2016 and 2026, which is somewhat higher than the national projected growth rate of 9.6 percent for this field.

Pastry chef salaries in the state, on the other hand, are somewhat lower than the national median of $48,460, with a statewide median of $43,800 according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, a lower median salary might be more indicative of a lower cost of living in South Dakota than it is of poor reimbursement.

Baking and Pastry Chef Opportunities in South Dakota

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry with the highest level of employment for baking and pastry chefs is restaurants and other eating places, followed by special food services and traveler accommodations. The highest paying industries are performing arts companies, sightseeing companies (like cruise ships) and the federal executive branch. A few possible employers in South Dakota include, Blue Rock Bar and Grill, Holiday Retirement, Elior North America, ARAMARK and Hy-Vee Food Stores

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