Are you searching for an occupation in the culinary arts field that is challenging, rewarding and constantly evolving? Starting a career in the Pastry Arts can add all of these aspects and more to your professional career path. Compared to other industries and other vocational options, food service has experienced extensive growth over the past 10 years – and continues to expand. Because of this, the average pastry chef salary continues to increase and new opportunities in high end restaurants and other similar establishments are on the rise.
Pastry Chef Salaries
According to indeed.com the average pastry chef salary (All Jobs) as of Oct 30,2012 is $35,000.
Average Pastry Chef Salary (All Jobs) – $35,000
Average Pastry Chef Salary Jobs
- Executive Pastry Chef – $61,000
- Assistant Pastry Chef – $23,000
- Pastry Chef – $38,000
- Pastry Cook – $23,000
- Executive Chef Sous Chef – $53,000
Factors that Influence Daily Wages and Annual Earnings
When you become an entry level pastry chef, there are a number of decisions that you can take that will impact your professional path and career opportunities. Each choice will ultimately impact your income over the short and long term.
The aspect with the greatest influence over the salary of a pastry chef is location of hire. Some of the best opportunities are found at high end restaurants, hotels, resorts, cruise ships and as a personal chef. Also, you may want to consider career options in specialty shops such as a patisserie, chocolate shop, cake decorating. However, having the dreams, goals and motivation to enter this field simply isn’t enough. Even if you land a pastry chef job at one of these “hot spots,” there is another element that must be considered.
Having and natural ability and passion for creating desserts, chocolates and confectionery delights simply isn’t enough to be successful in this industry. Pursuing a high end career in this field requires a complete pastry chef education, which means earning a Certificate, Associate or Bachelor degree. Combined with experience, a formal education can increase an individual’s chance for hire, influence earnings, and increase the opportunity to earn bonuses related to job performance and sales.
Which Job Opportunities Offer the Highest Salaries?
The salary of a pastry chef can vary because of location, education and level of hire. But there are some opportunities that are more lucrative than others. Professional and Executive Pastry Chef jobs are highest in large cities such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angles, Boston and Orlando. However, these increased wages are accompanied with a higher level of competition and higher cost of living. So before you base your career path on location and salary alone – other aspects should also be evaluated, such as level of competition and cost of living.
Smaller Cities, Fewer Competitors, Increased Opportunity
If you reside in a smaller city or residential area, and don’t want to move to a metropolitan area, you may feel your career choices are limited. But that is simply not the case! Because of the decreased level of job applicants, you may reach your career goal of becoming an executive pastry chef faster than average – if you are willing to commit to the long hours, be fully dedicated and express your passion at work. Also, you may be able to find a mentor to teach new skills and techniques in niche markets such as chocolate making and wedding cake decoration.
Another opportunity you may have in a smaller metropolitan area is to open your own pastry shop, dessert niche store or patisserie. But keep in mind, this choice can dramatically impact a pastry chef’s salary. Most small businesses break even, are in the red or earn an extremely small profit in the first few years of operation. While this may mean your average yearly salary will be lower, (at least initially) eventually your wages could reach those of executive chefs in major cities. Also, there may even be the opportunity to open multiple establishments and receive recognition from major publications and top pastry chef awards.
Job Growth and Outlook
According to the United States Department of Labor, the average median salary for pastry chefs and head cooks in 2008 was $38,770. However, the middle range for wages of 50% of these individuals fell between $29,050 and $51,540. But there are exceptions to every rule, and highs and lows that apply to these salary ranges. In smaller cities, isolated areas and regions with average or lower than average job growth pastry chef salaries can start at $22,120 per year or less. Some of the top pastry chefs and highest earners can top wages of $61,000 or more – but this includes only 10% of individuals working in this niche of the food service industry.
Competitive Regions and Salary Potential
For individuals who dream of becoming a pastry chef, they may imagine themselves working in an upscale four star restaurant. However, earning upper level jobs and wages requires commitment, dedication, a higher level education, advanced training and passion. Individuals who are able to secure a Pastry Arts job in Los Angles, Las Vegas or New York City can earn $100,000 or more – often earning the awards and recognition associated with the top pastry chefs of the nation and world.
But compared to other regions, Las Vegas has an increased demand to compensate for the high level of competition. This area has a lot to offer applicants, ranging from pastry chef jobs to opportunities as a chocolatier or wedding cake designer. However, like any other opportunity, you will have to work your way through this career path – but with time and dedication, you will be sure to earn the title and salary of Executive Pastry Chef, Manager or Chocolate designer in a high end or 5 star establishment.
Individuals who choose this profession often want to learn about the pastry chef salary, influencing factors and opportunities before they begin. But while these choices can vary, one aspect remains the same. Starting a successful route along this path mean you should attend a pastry chef school to earn a Certificate, Diploma or Degree. Combined with your natural talent, desire for success and passion for this niche of the culinary arts, your career is sure to progress as far as you heart desires.