How to Become a Baking and Pastry Chef in Utah

Creating attractive desserts and baking delicious breads takes creativity and skill. If this is something that appeals to you, consider becoming a baking and pastry chef. When this is your career, you’ll have the expertise to make breads, cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes and more. You’ll also have other responsibilities such as creating new recipes, taking inventory, supervising staff and purchasing supplies.

What are the Requirements for Becoming a Pastry Chef in Utah?

Attaining a high school diploma or the equivalent is the first thing you should do if you want to become a Utah pastry and baking chef. This is a requirement for most jobs and is also a prerequisite of post-secondary training programs. While formal education after high school isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s a way to learn valuable skills so that you’ll be better prepared to handle all aspects of a role as a pastry chef.

Baking and Pastry Chef Training Programs in Utah

Schools specializing in culinary arts, community colleges and vocational schools are examples of places where you may be able to obtain formal pastry and baking training in Utah. When you pursue formal training, you’ll get a thorough foundation in creating, baking and decorating baked goods. You’ll gradually learn advanced techniques as well as business and management skills. Some training programs in Utah in this field include:

  • Ogden Weber Technical College. This college in Ogden offers a degree in Culinary Arts. After students learn foundational culinary skills during the initial part of the program, they can choose the advanced baking and pastry track where they can refine and master advanced skills in bread and pastry preparation.
  • Park City Culinary Institute. Located in Salt Lake City, this pastry chef and baking school gives students the opportunity to learn from real-world chefs. Students learn sophisticated techniques such as preparation of croissants and making a different types of dough for breads and a wide variety of pastries. Students also learn to make tasty fillings, and day students can also learn the art of cake decorating.

Pastry Chef Certification Requirements in Utah

Getting a license or certification isn’t a requirement to work as a Utah pastry chef. However, the American Culinary Federation offers several levels of certification for pastry chefs, which can be attained by passing both written and practical exams. This is completely optional, but obtaining this certification is proof of your dedication to the field and your skill level.

Job Outlook and Salary Range for Baking and Pastry Chefs in Utah

As a pastry chef, you’ll be considered a type of head chef. The median annual wage for head chefs as of May 2018 was $48,460, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that in the United States about half of all head chefs made more than this amount and half made less. In Utah, reports that the salary range for pastry chefs as of November 2019 was $44,095 to $72,554. The average pastry chef in this state made $50,919 that year.

This is a very rapidly growing field in the state of Utah. CareerOneStop estimates job growth of approximately 31 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Your Career as a Baking and Pastry Chef in Utah

Working as a baking and pastry chef is never dull. You’re likely to work in a fast-paced environment and every day will be a new and interesting experience. Unpredictable hours are likely, including evenings, weekends and early mornings.

All over Utah, there are a lot of possible settings where you might find employment as a baking and pastry chef, especially in large cities such as Salt Lake City, West Valley City and Provo. A few examples of places that might have opportunities include grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, healthcare facilities, bakeries and cafes. You might even be able to pursue opening your own business selling baked goods if you’re interested in being an entrepreneur.

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