Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Tennessee

Making delicious and visually appealing baked goods and desserts can be a fun and rewarding job. If you enjoy baking, trying new recipes and feeding others, you should consider a career as a baking and pastry chef.

The career of a baking and pastry chef is like that of a baker. However, pastry chefs do so much more than baking. They also keep up with inventory, order supplies, monitor sanitation and supervise staff. With several tourist cities and a tremendous culinary presence, Tennessee is an excellent place to consider working as a baking and pastry chef.

Tennessee Requirements for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef

Specific skills are needed to work in this job field, and they can be obtained by taking culinary classes and completing formal training. You can also receive training through the mentorship of an experienced baking and pastry chef. The minimal education requirement you will need to work in this field and to complete formal training is a high school diploma or the equivalent. You will also need to be able to comply with the local and statewide foodservice industry regulations.

Training Programs in Baking and Pastry Arts in Tennessee

Culinary and pastry arts training programs teach basic and advanced food preparation, baking and decorating skills and techniques. There are several programs to choose from in the state. The American Culinary Federation accredits the following programs.

  • Nashville State Community College (NSCC). The NSCC Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts as well as a one-year Culinary Arts certificate. The certificate program prepares students for entry-level work in the culinary field and all classes can be applied towards the AAS degree.
  • Pellissippi Community College. Pellissippi Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree program in Culinary Arts. This program teaches basic and practical cooking techniques and principles. An internship is included in this program. Coursework includes general education classes, elective courses and degree-specific courses. This program can be completed in two years.

Do You Need to Get a License to Become a Pastry and Baking Chef in Tennessee?

If you want to work as a baking and pastry chef in Tennessee, you do not need a license or certification. However, certification could be useful in career advancement and helping you to earn a higher salary. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) provides certification for culinary artists and offers several certifications for baking and pastry chefs. These include Certified Fundamentals Pastry Cook and Certified Working Pastry Chef. You must pass a written and practical exam to become certified.

Salary and Job Outlook for Tennessee Baking and Pastry Chefs

Baking and pastry chefs fall under the category of chefs and head cooks, and in 2018 the average annual pay for this career was $48,460 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for this career that same year in the state of Tennessee was slightly below the national average, at $47,750. Baking and pastry chefs in the state make approximately $23.00 hourly.

The job outlook for pastry chefs in Tennessee also looks good. Job growth in this field in the state is projected to increase by 10.3 percent between 2016 and 2026. Almost 400 new baking and pastry chef jobs are predicted to become available in the state during this time.

A Career as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Tennessee

When employed as a pastry chef, you can count on working odd hours, including early mornings and late evenings. You might have to work some weekends and holidays as well. You will also be working in a fast-paced environment. You may find employment in places like restaurants, bakeries, cafes, hotels, and stores. Or you may choose to start your own business.

Tennessee has several tourist cities that would be ideal places to work as a baking and pastry chef since food and tourism usually go together. Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville are all good cities to consider. However, since this is a steadily growing career in the state, you shouldn’t have trouble finding somewhere to put your in-demand baking and pastry skills to work.

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