Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Texas

If you are enthusiastic about creating desserts and other baked goods like bread and scones, and if you especially like to experiment with new recipes and decorating, then you might be cut out for a career as a baking and pastry chef.

As a baking and pastry chef, you will be responsible for baking and sometimes decorating bread, cakes, cookies, pies and more. But, a baking and pastry chef does a lot more than create tasty treats. You will oversee managing staff, ordering supplies, developing and testing out new recipes and keeping a financial budget. If you decide to operate your own bakery, you will have even more responsibilities.

The requirements to get started in this career are relatively simple and don’t vary much by state. Keep reading to find out how to become a baking and pastry chef in Texas.

Guidelines for Becoming a Baking and Pastry Chef in Texas

Other than having a high school diploma or the equivalent, Texas does not have any specific guidelines for those interested in working as a baking and pastry chef in the state. However, as this job does require distinct skills, some training is imperative to work in this career. This training can be achieved on the job, or you might be able to find an experienced baking and pastry chef who will mentor you as an apprentice. Postsecondary education in baking and pastry arts is also available at many community colleges, technical schools and universities. You will also need excellent leadership skills, customer service skills, organizational skills, creativity and the ability to pay attention to fine detail.

Formal Baking and Pastry Chef Training in Texas

If you decide to go with formal baking and pastry chef training as opposed to an apprenticeship or on-the-job training, there are quite a few programs in the state for you to choose from. Here are two examples of the programs that are available in the state.

  • Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin. This school offers both a diploma and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Pastry Arts. Coursework includes Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry and Artisanal and Specialty Baking. A 225 clock-hour externship is also included in this program. The AAS degree program lasts for 60 weeks and includes general education classes in addition to specialty baking classes. An externship is included in the degree program as well.
  • El Centro College. El Centro College gives students the choice of earning a Baking/Pastry Foundations certificate, a Baking/Pastry Specialist certificate or a Baking/Pastry AAS degree. The certificate programs can be completed in two semesters. The AAS degree program includes general education courses and can be completed in five semesters. The certificate programs prepare students for entry-level work as a baking and pastry chef, and the degree program equips students with the skills and knowledge to work their way up to a head baking and pastry chef position.

Baking and Pastry Chef Certification

If you wish to obtain certification as a baking and pastry chef in the state, it will show your competence as a chef and help you to stand out among the competition, as this is a very competitive job field. Your best option for achieving certification is through the American Culinary Federation (ACF), which is the most popular certification agency among chefs. The ACF has several certifications for baking and pastry chefs depending upon their experience.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations in Texas

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, in 2018, the median annual pay for chefs and head cooks in Texas was $53,170, or $25.56 per hour. The BLS includes baking and pastry chefs in the category of chefs and head cooks.

Job growth for baking and pastry chefs is stable in the state of Texas. Nationally, the projected growth rate for this job field is 9.6 percent. In the state of Texas, the predicted growth rate is 21.9 percent between 2016 and 2026. Texas also has the fourth-highest employment level in this job field in the United States.

Working as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Texas

Baking and pastry chefs can find work in stores that have bakeries or sell baked goods, hotels, cafes, hospitals, restaurants and more, or they may run their own bakery or dessert shop.

The work hours for a baking and pastry chef will vary. You will very likely get started early in the morning and may sometimes have to work late nights. You will probably have to work on weekends and some holidays too.

In Texas, some of the bigger cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston are where you’ll be most likely to find work. However, with the job fields growing like it is, work should be plentiful throughout the state.

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