Pastry Chef

Mix sugar, eggs, frosting, and flour into mouthwatering treats.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pastry Chefs do?

Pastry Chefs are Chefs who specialize in desserts. Their job is to make sweets and baked goods for restaurants, bakeries, hotels, cafeterias, and catering companies, and their tools are the envy of just about everyone. While Builders work with wood, metal, and concrete; Seamstresses with needles, fabric, and thread; and Printers with paper and ink, Pastry Chefs work with chocolate, sugar, frosting, fruit, and dough.

When you’re a Pastry Chef, your main duties are measuring, weighing, sifting, whipping, and sometimes kneading ingredients in order to make breads, pies, cakes, cookies, and other confections, such as candy, doughnuts, tarts, petit fours, brownies, mousses, and more. Supervised by an Executive Chef, you make things that not only taste good but also look beautiful. Decoration and presentation are therefore important — and also fun, since desserts often are more whimsical than other meal parts, such as appetizers or entrees.

“Whimsical” doesn’t mean “trivial,” however. Make no mistake: You’re a serious Chef. Like savory dishes, your sweet preparations utilize serious ingredients — such as fresh seasonal produce, organic eggs, and fine imported chocolates — and serious culinary techniques, which require knowledge not only about cooking but also about science, since baking is all about chemical reactions, proportions, and temperatures.

As the head of the dessert station in a kitchen — or as the head of your own retail bakery — you’re also in charge of planning menus, ordering ingredients, and testing recipes.

Although you’re prone to cavities and sugar rushes, all in all, you’ll find your job super sweet.

Should I be a Pastry Chef?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Pastry Decorator, Patissier, Pie Chef

    How to become a Pastry Chef

    Most Pastry Chefs have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9daaaa&chl=no+college+%2867%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,67,67
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