What is the Job Description of a Pastry Chef?

What is the Job Description of a Pastry Chef?

Mar 29, 2015 | 10:00 am

Working as a pastry chef is a career that is perfect for those with a knack for creativity and a passion for baking. The job description for pastry chefs all across the United States is similar, but that is where the similarities stop. Salaries, work environments, and other characteristics that make up a pastry chef vary depending on location and type of establishment where a pastry chef works.

Pastry Chef Daily Duties

The job description for pastry chef, sous chef, and executive chef is similar in a lot of ways. Every chef has the responsibility of prep work, sanitation and food safety, training, and putting together good flavor combinations. However, a pastry chef is required to do a few things a little differently. Some of the daily duties and responsibilities of a pastry chef include managing junior staff members, administrative duties, planning daily dessert and baked goods menu, managing ingredient inventory, displaying the dessert course, and creating dessert recipes that are cohesive with the savory elements of a menu.

Training and Educational Requirements

Pastry chefs are usually trained through collegiate programs or culinary arts schools where a pastry specialty is offered. Although a formal education isn’t required for entry-level chefs, it is definitely encouraged. With such stiff competition in the culinary arts world, gaining an edge by investing in a formal education is definitely a good idea. However, a culinary education is just the starting point for a pastry chef. In order to be taken seriously and be accepted as a top-end pastry chef, experience and training under a qualified pastry chef is vital.

Job Description for Pastry Chef & Salary Expectations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a chef is around $42,480. Pastry chefs can expect to earn slightly less while executive chefs will enjoy a higher salary, depending on location and type of work environment. The anticipated job growth for chefs is expected to be less than 1% through the year 2020. However, for a skilled pastry chef, finding a job in the culinary world should not be a challenge. The only real challenge for an experienced pastry chef is finding a job that pays as well as that of an executive or sous chef.

Skills Needed to Be a Pastry Chef

A pastry chef must be creative, disciplined, innovative, and precise. He or she must be willing to work long hours for little pay while learning the finer points of baking and even when experience has been gained, it still may be unrealistic to believe a large salary is in the works. Pastry chefs must be in the field for the love of baking not because they expect to get rich.


The career of a pastry chef is one filled with attention to detail, precise measurements, innovative flavor combinations, and time management demands. As far as culinary careers go, becoming a pastry chef is a great choice for those who love to work with structure mixed with creativity. Successful pastry chefs are expected to deliver a dessert worthy of the best dining experience and leave the diner with a feeling of overall contentment.