What to expect from a career as a Baker or Pastry Artist
Many of us think of baking as a hobby, but with the help of baking and pastry arts programs at Ontario colleges, that hobby can become a career. These programs expose students to a variety of techniques and influences that can help them broaden their baking horizons and start a successful career in the food service industry.
If you’ve got a knack for whipping up gourmet baked goods and want to start making money from your skill with a career as a baker or pastry chef, here’s what you need to know.
Baking and Pastry Arts Courses
Baking and pastry arts programs combine hands-on training with the business skills necessary to work in a bakery or restaurant. Accounting, communication, menu and shop management and entrepreneurship courses prepare students for running their own businesses or working with an established business. Classes in pastry arts skills, food-related courses such as nutrition, wine and cheese discovery, and baking and ingredient theory give students a better understanding of their craft and their industry.
In terms of practical training, students learn skills such as cake decorating, pastry production, bread and dessert making and other industry techniques. They also learn about the types of equipment in restaurants, hotels, bakeries and pastry shops and will have plenty of opportunities to try them out. A work placement is also a part of the curriculum in some baking and pastry arts programs.
General Baking and Pastry Arts Program Requirements
Ontario college baking and pastry arts programs typically require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit and a senior math credit.
Baking and Pastry Arts Jobs and Salaries
Baking and pastry arts grads can hold positions in a number of different areas, including restaurants, hotels, resorts, bakeries, pastry shops, catering companies and much more. Graduates may also choose to start their own businesses or catering services.
Wages will vary, and often depend on the position, employer and level of technique and expertise. Average starting salaries are typically low, at around $23,000 per year, but may increase to $35,000 or more with experience. For those who choose to work independently, yearly income may also start low (until a client base is built), but could skyrocket with positive press and word of mouth.
Ontario Colleges Offering Bakery and Pastry Arts Programs
Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of baking and pastry arts programs at Ontario colleges.