Baking and Pastry Chefs in Vermont

Are you a creative baker and want to take your skills and talents to the next level? Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment? If so, a career as a baking and pastry chef might be a good fit for you.

Pastry chefs use their knowledge of food and chemistry to create delicious and beautiful treats, but there is much more to career as a pastry chef than baking. Chefs must also be able to handle the day-to-day needs of keeping a business running, including hiring and interacting with staff, purchasing supplies, and ensuring customer service and regulation compliance. Pastry chefs often work long hours on their feet in a time-pressured environment. Weekends and holidays are standard shifts for the industry, as are early mornings and late evenings.

Vermont Guidelines for Baking and Pastry Chefs

There is no state board for pastry chefs in Vermont, nor is there a requirement for licensure, though anyone in the food service industry will need to be aware of and comply with local regulations.

Pastry chefs will need to undergo proper training, either on the job, through an apprenticeship or through a certified training course. Many chefs complete a combination of university training and specialized apprenticeships in order to learn unique skills and set themselves apart from the competition. Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent will be a prerequisite for training.

Pastry Chef Training in Vermont

Although, there are a number of different ways to receive baking and pastry chef training, many chefs choose university education as a part of it. In Vermont, there is one university with a culinary program:

  • New England Culinary Institute (NECI) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Baking and Pastry Arts. This 32-month program includes two 12-month residencies with both classroom training and hands-on experience in NECI’s kitchens. Additionally, the program requires internal practicums, lab courses and a final externship working at a professional establishment. Graduates will be fully prepared to seek additional training or immediately enter the workforce.

Certifications for Pastry Chefs

Working as a chef means working in a highly competitive field, and seeking additional certifications is one way to stand out as a professional in the industry. A popular organization through which chefs seek certification is the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Pastry chefs may qualify for various levels of certification based on the amount of and type of experience and their ability to pass an examination.

Career Growth Projections and Salaries in Vermont

For pastry chefs in Vermont there is a bit of good news, as the state is listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as having the highest concentration of jobs for the profession. The Southern Vermont nonmetropolitan area is also listed among the highest concentrated nonmetropolitan areas in the country.

In less favorable news, baking and pastry chef salaries in the state are somewhat lower than the national average with the median annual salary reported as $42,770 in 2018 (the national median was $48,460). Also below the national average is job growth prediction for this field, with a projected growth of 4.3 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. This is an underwhelming number compared to the nationwide projected growth rate of 9.6 percent for baking and pastry chefs in the same time period.

Career Prospects in Vermont

Baking and pastry chefs work in a variety of settings including restaurants, food services, hotels, eldercare facilities, private catering companies and in the travel industry. Those with a combination of both baking and pastry training and business management skills will enjoy the best job prospects within the industry.

In Vermont, some of the larger potential employers include Sodexo Inc., Mount Ascutney Hospital, Middlebury College, Vail Resorts, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, HEI Hotels and The University of Vermont Medical Center.

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