The Job Market Outlook for Pastry Chefs

The Job Market Outlook for Pastry Chefs

Nov 6, 2014 | 10:00 am

A pastry chef (also known as a “pâtissier”) is known for creating superb desserts for bakeries, restaurants, hotels, cafes, casinos and more. Even though pastry chefs are also known to bake breads and several batches of cookies, pastry chefs should not be confused with bakers. A baker typically makes muffins, breads, rolls, and simple cookies, while a pastry chef focuses on creating an entire dessert platter. Wherever top quality and delicious pastries are served, a pastry chef(s) can be found working really hard behind the scene.

Pastry chefs are in charge of the dessert section/station in a professional kitchen and typically report to the executive chef. However, in a smaller restaurant, a pastry chef performs dual roles as the baking and pastry chef – most times these roles are separate. A pastry chef basically works with sweetened dough, while a baker works with unsweetened dough.

Pastry Chef Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook, pastry chefs fall under the same category as Head Cooks and Chefs. According to the handbook, the anticipated creation of new positions for pastry chefs is essentially neutral through to the year 2020. However, this anticipated creation might adjust depending on changes in the nation’s economy and a rise in the number of eating establishments.

A high number of pastry chef jobs are mainly in the hospitality and food service related industries. The major employers of pastry chefs are:

•Catering companies
•Baking and pastry
•Hotel & hospitality management
•Food service

Pastry Chef Outlook and the Day-to-Day Life

A career as a pastry chef is often quite physically demanding. The job requires a chef to spend several hours on their feet. It is also important to note that the schedule can be quite intense. A lot of chefs work up to 55 hours weekly (or more). Depending on the type of food being served or the establishment, pastry chefs may need to start work very early in the morning, or stay late because of the intensive nature of food prep work required for certain types of breads and pastries.

Pastry Chef Earnings

According to the January 2013 report released by, the medial salary for pastry chefs is $34,000 per annum. The earning potential of a pastry chef is typically affected by the following four factors:

•Type of employer

Above all, having experience is known to be the highest contributing factor – pastry chefs with experience are often hired by reputable organizations. Region also affects the earning potential of pastry chefs, partly due to cost of living. For example, a pastry chef in New York City will earn more than an experienced pastry chef in Bakersfield.

You will probably start out as an assistant working under a more experienced pastry chef when you enter the labor market as a newbie pastry chef. Like any other job in the culinary field, you will need to put in a lot of hard work to be noticed.