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Culinary Careers You Can Have with a Baking and Pastry Degree

Culinary Careers You Can Have with a Baking and Pastry Degree

Culinary arts students may choose to pursue a baking and pastry degree over a cooking degree for a variety of reasons. Some prefer the precision and science of baking over the more interpretative nature of cooking. Some become fascinated by the artistic and decorative aspects of baking. Still others get drawn into the field by a sweet tooth. Whatever the reason for their initial interest, students who earn a degree in baking and pastries have a range of career options. Here are some of the most popular choices.

Pastry Chef

When customers eat at a fancy restaurant at home or on vacation, a decadent dessert is part of the overall feeling of luxury they expect to get from the experience. Pastry chefs must be well-versed in classics like apple pie and cheesecake as well as able to create signature pastries to complement the restaurant’s menu. They should also be able to create sugar-free desserts for people with dietary restrictions. Restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, and cruise ships all employ pastry chefs.

Bakery Owner

While earning a baking and pastry degree, students learn how to budget supplies, make purchase orders, and create menus. These business skills are invaluable for students who wish to become bakery owners. Not only do bakery owners know how to make everything their shop sells, but they are also savvy entrepreneurs who can keep the books and teach employees their recipes.

Wedding Cake Designer

A wedding cake is often the showpiece of the reception banquet, and brides take wedding cake shopping as seriously as planning the menu or choosing bridesmaids’ dresses. A good wedding cake designer will know how to create the perfect colors, tiers, and decorations to match the wedding couple’s vision. A great wedding cake designer will also make sure that his beautiful creation tastes as good as it looks.


A confectioner is a chef or culinary artist who specializes in candy making. Believe it or not, many confectioners get their start in baking and pastry degree programs, which usually offer beginning confectionary classes. Confectioners may work or own upscale candy stores or boutiques, or they may be employed by large candy companies as researchers or product developers. Some work out of their homes making custom order treats for clients.


The job of a chocolatier is almost exactly like that of a confectioner, except a chocolatier specializes in making chocolate.

Large-Scale Baker

Grocery stores chains and food companies employ bakers to turn out breads, pastries, cakes, and cookies for distribution. These bakers must be highly consistent and work quickly. Some graduates of baking and pastry programs end up in management positions in these large-scale bakeries and lead teams of people. Others may even get to create new recipes that are sold on a national or regional level.