Info on Careers in Baking and Pastry Arts
What type of work does someone working in the field of Baking and Pastry Arts do?
Those working in the Baking and Pastry Arts field may complete a variety of duties. Some of these may include (but are not limited to):
- Check products for quality and identify damaged or expired goods and to ensure proper specifications are met.
- Measure and/or weigh flour or other ingredients to prepare batters, doughs, fillings, or icings, using scales or graduated containers.
- Check equipment to ensure that it meets health and safety regulations and perform maintenance or cleaning, as necessary.
- Operate kitchen equipment to prepare products.
- Roll, knead, cut, or shape dough to form sweet rolls, pie crusts, tarts, cookies, or other products.
- Decorate baked goods, such as cakes or pastries.
- Apply glazes, icings, or other toppings to baked goods, using spatulas or brushes.
- Other duties as assigned and necessary to fulfill the requirements of their job.
Where do those trained in Baking and Pastry Arts work?
Those trained in Baking and Pastry Arts may work in any public or private establishment that prepares desserts, baked goods, and/or pastries. For example, these types of places may include bakeries, restaurants and other dining establishments, grocery stores, other general merchandise stores, and specialty food stores. In short, any establishment where desserts, baked goods, and/or pastries are prepared may have a need for baking and pastry professionals on their staff.
Will I be able to find a job?
It is important to note that no school can guarantee employment. Here at Dorsey College, we offer career services assistance to all completers of the Baking and Pastry Arts program, however, job placement is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain in the field of Baking and Pastry Arts?
Baking and Pastry Arts graduates may work under other job titles such as Baker, Pastry Cook, Cake Decorator, Dough Mixer, Mixer, and Machine Operator. When looking at any position, it is important to evaluate the duties of the position along with the required skills and knowledge to determine if a candidate may meet the requirements set forth by the employer.
Are there other career opportunities for those trained in the Baking and Pastry Arts?
Some may choose to use a career in Baking and Pastry Arts as an entryway into the culinary field. It would not be uncommon for someone trained in baking and pastry to work in the field to gain experience and later go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials. Experience is valued in the larger culinary industry so there are opportunities for individuals to advance over time.
Pursuing a Career in Baking and Pastry Arts
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing any career, it is important that someone look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can I see myself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and am I going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do I have the skills/traits/characteristics that one may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook for positions in this field?
I have no formal experience or training in baking or pastry – can I really do this?
You can! Many of our students here at Dorsey College have little to no formal experience prior to beginning their training. That is why it is very important for someone interested in pursuing a career in Baking and Pastry Arts to evaluate their options when it comes to baking and pastry schools.
What type of training is needed to work in the Baking and Pastry Arts?
There is no formal educational or training guidelines in place for those who wish to work in Baking and Pastry, so baking and pastry schools and programs can vary in terms of duration and content. In addition, some may choose to enter the field without formal training and learn while on the job. Given the nature of roles in the baking and pastry industry, for those who choose a training program, it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has a strong hands-on component so they can “learn by doing.”
How long are programs at baking and pastry schools?
There is no established amount of time for programs at baking and pastry schools. Many baking and pastry schools will offer programs range from 1-2 years, but depending upon the program and the curriculum, some may be longer or shorter. In choosing a program, it is important for someone to evaluate the training that is included so they can ensure they are receiving the training they need (and want) prior to entering the Baking and Pastry field. Here at Dorsey College, our Baking and Pastry Arts program is designed to be completed in just one year!
What types of things should I look at in evaluating various baking and pastry schools or programs?
There are a few things you can consider when looking at various schools and programs. This includes baking and pastry schools or programs:
- Does the school structure the program in a way where I can have the opportunity to learn skills that will be valuable to me after graduation?
- What type of accreditation has the school earned?
- How does the school help its students and graduates both during their time as a student as well as after they have graduated?
- Does the program offer the opportunity to learn in a hands-on setting and provide opportunities to reinforce knowledge and skills learned in the classroom?
What are important characteristics for those working in the field of Baking and Pastry Arts to have?
While this is not a full list of important characteristics, individuals working in Baking and Pastry Arts should be detail-oriented, have good math skills, possess physical strength, and possess physical stamina. If you are lacking in one or more of these areas, it does not necessarily mean you would not be a good fit for this field, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is certification or licensure required to obtain employment in the Baking and Pastry Arts field?
Certification is not typically required in order for a graduate to obtain employment in the Baking and Pastry Arts field; however, certifications can help strengthen a candidate’s opportunities for employment. In addition, some employers and positions may have requirements for various certifications (such as ANAB accredited Food Protection Manager training) so it is important for job candidates to review positions carefully to ensure they meet the qualifications set forth by the employer.
My goal is to become a Pastry Chef / Executive Pastry Chef. Can your program help me or should I look at other baking and pastry schools or programs?
Our goal at Dorsey College is to help students interested in the Baking and Pastry Arts field launch their professional career. The Baking and Pastry Arts field (as well as the larger Culinary field as a whole) places great value on experience, and generally speaking, it would be rare for any recent graduate of a Baking and Pastry Arts program to obtain a position as an Executive Pastry Chef or a Pastry Chef straight out of school. Our goal, however, is to provide our students with a solid foundation that will prepare them for entry-level opportunities in the field.
The Dorsey College Baking and Pastry Arts program
What will be covered in the program?
The Dorsey College Baking and Pastry Arts program offers instruction in both a classroom setting as well as a hands-on environment by way of the kitchens at Dorsey College in addition to an externship that will take place during the final module of training. Students enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Arts program will be exposed to a variety of topics introducing them to the art and science of this specialized field including (but not limited to):
- Measurements, conversions, Knife Skills, Bakeshop Mise en Place, Dessert Plate Composition, and Cooking Techniques.
- Current Issues in Nutrition and Healthy Baking.
- Bread making from basic quick breads to yeast breads and advanced artisan specialties such as sourdough breads, laminated and pastry dough, Éclair Paste, phyllo dough, and crêpes.
- Baking techniques used to create restaurant quality cookies, pies, custards, meringue, ice cream and frozen desserts.
- Pastry work such as custards, creams and sauces, tortes, entremets, petits fours, plated desserts, cakes (and icings), specialty cakes, chocolate, confections, and sugar work.
- Recipe Selection, Cost Controls and Menu Planning.
- Principles of Professionalism.
- and more…!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! The Baking and Pastry Arts program is hands-on and students will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in both the kitchens on campus at Dorsey College as well as during their externship.
What is the externship and why is that important?
The externship will take place during the last module of training and will provide students with an opportunity to apply skills they have learned throughout their training in an actual occupational setting.
How long is the program?
The Dorsey College Baking and Pastry Arts program is designed to be completed in just one year!
Since your program is only one year, does that mean longer programs offered at other baking and pastry schools are better?
Absolutely not! The Baking and Pastry Arts program at Dorsey College has been designed to expose students to the knowledge and skills needed to be prepared for entry-level employment opportunities in this specialized field. In addition, Dorsey College has enhanced their program by incorporating opportunities for students to achieve certifications and take part in an externship during their training.
Who are the instructors for the baking and pastry classes?
Our instructors are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Our instructors meet or exceed State of Michigan and accreditation criteria, guidelines, and qualifications. It’s not uncommon for students of Dorsey College to see their instructors as their coach and mentor throughout their studies.
Why should I choose Dorsey College over other baking and pastry schools?
Students choose Dorsey College over other Career Training Schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
Which Dorsey campuses offer the Baking and Pastry Arts program?
The Baking and Pastry Arts program is offered at the following Dorsey College campus location:
- Roseville, MI (A branch campus of Madison Heights)
How do I enroll?
If you are interested in enrolling in the Baking and Pastry Arts program at Dorsey College, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. Request information online and a member of our team will be back in touch with you shortly. You can read more about our Admissions process on our Admissions information page.
Does your program include certification?
Upon successful completion of CA101 (taken as part of the curriculum in the Dorsey College Baking and Pastry Arts program), students will challenge the World Food Safety Organization’s (WFSO) Food Protection Manager certification test. In addition, upon successful completion of CA104 (also taken as part of the curriculum), students will challenge the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (“NRAEF”) Nutrition certification test. Dorsey College, however, makes no promise or guarantee of a graduate’s successful outcome of any certification exam or ability to gain certification recognition by any professional registry.
Is your school accredited?
Yes, you can read more about our school’s accreditation by visiting our Accreditation page.
In addition, the Baking and Pastry Arts program at Dorsey College is programmatically accredited by The Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
What is the tuition for the program?
The current tuition for the Dorsey College Baking and Pastry Arts program can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes books, an electronic device, chef coat, pants, and hat, an apron, a kitchen knife and tool kit.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey College offers Career Services assistance to all program completers, however, job placement is not guaranteed by Dorsey College. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
Can I work while I am in school?
Yes, you can, and it is encouraged to find a job in the culinary, baking, or pastry field during your training. The baking and pastry training schedule at Dorsey is Monday – Thursday leaving three busy days of a restaurant or bakeshop (Friday – Sunday) open for you to take a part-time job.
I don’t have any experience at the fast pace of a real restaurant or bakery, will I have this opportunity before I graduate?
Yes! Dorsey College operates a fully licensed catering service with a goal of educating the students with “live” events, to serve the public great food made from scratch, and to provide excellent service. Practical training may include providing culinary goods and services that may be sold to the public.
Will there be schoolwork assigned outside of the classroom and will it be graded?
Yes, Dorsey College instructors assign several types of homework that is used to calculate a student’s final class grade. Several of the most common assignments are on-line culinary specific learning modules through MyCulinaryLab, food research, course specific study guides, culinary workbook, and out-of-house cooking functions.
Are there opportunities for fieldtrips or guest speakers?
The chef instructors may coordinate various opportunities for their classes. It is important to introduce our students to a variety of food service organizations while in school.
If I am having trouble with a specific skill will there be someone that can help me?
Our culinary team is focused on your success. Communication is important. If you are having trouble in any area, reach out to one of your many campus resources, such as any chef instructor, the culinary director, and the student success specialist. The team will assess your area of trouble and guide as needed.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about the work performed by those in the Baking and Pastry Arts field, info pertaining to Jobs in the Baking and Pastry Arts field, the path people take to enter the Baking and Pastry field, etc.:
Michigan Occupational Wage Information: https://milmi.org/Home/PAGEID/67/SUBID/124
O*Net Online: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/51-3011.00