Who doesn’t like sweets! Even those that strive to keep their body fat at a minimum or work out like a fiend are tempted to have a tasty treat now and then. The temptations are everywhere – the grocery store, the coffee shop, the office lunchroom and especially in the local bakery, whose aroma can make you crazy for a donut or pastry.
But what if you are the one who makes these delights? Certainly with pasties available at so many businesses, you probably wouldn’t be wanting for a job?
The next question on your mind is probably, “What is a pastry chef salary?”
Well, the truth is that you can make a nice living as a pastry chef, anywhere from $30,000 for trained beginners to six figures for those who work hard and develop their own business. A pastry chef salary will depend on you and how good you are at developing treats that people can’t seem to go without.
Hold on, though. Being a pastry chef takes more than just sitting around concocting yummy treats in your kitchen. It takes a certain level of training to take it to a professional level. And if you want to make the big bucks, you’re going to need some busy savvy, too.
Some Basic Learning
Your recipe for success as a pastry chef has to begin somewhere. Even if you a penchant for making cookies, brownies and cakes from scratch in your own kitchen, there are still some things you need to know to take it all to the next level so that you can eventually earn that fat pastry chef salary.
Marco Ropke is a renowned, fourth generation pastry chef with more than 25 years of experience on an international level and he offers an amazing course. Learn the ins and outs of being a pastry chef in the outside world beyond your own kitchen.
Once you get the basics down, it might be worthwhile to go another step further with Ropke and look into his mastery course on making pastries.
More Than Making Cookies
Being a successful pastry chef involves a lot of different duties if you are going to pursue it on a professional level. At the best restaurants, high-end bakeries and even chain grocery stores, the pastry chef’s duties go beyond mixing sugary things and popping them in and out of the oven. Professional pastry chefs earn their salaries by performing a number of duties that can actually be transferred to your own kitchen if you decide to go that route in your very near or distant future.
Pastry chefs are responsible for ordering the ingredients for their desserts and specialties, developing items that will appeal to customers, handling special orders for holidays, birthdays and other events, and making sure that their part of the kitchen or bakery is clean and up to standards. Having these skills can take your from a pastry chef salary of around $30,000 a year to more than $50,000 in the right setting.
Raising the Pastry Chef Salary
Working for a big company, such as a grocery chain, bakery or restaurant is one way of making a comfortable living as a pastry chef. But it has its limitations. If you really want to take that pastry chef salary into more than the market dictates, there is one way to accomplish that – by starting your own pastry business. You can work from home and sell your concoctions to neighbors, bakeries, etc., or you can open your own specialty catering service. It’s up to you. If you are a creative person and are adept at coming up with a new way to make cupcakes or you make the best darn blueberry tarts on the planet, it may be a good idea to open your own little shop of hors d oeuvres.
But that is going to take a knack for more than just baking… you will need some basic business sense. While selling your own goodies can certainly elevate your pastry chef salary, it will take some work, as you will need to market your goods, deal with orders, figure out how to deliver your pastries and of course handle the pricing, collections and bookkeeping. It might be a wise idea to hone up on your basic business skills.
The rewards, though, will be worth it, as you can probably work from home, set your own hours and spend your time developing things that make people smile, all while making a nice living.
Beating The Averages
According to the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the average pastry chef salary in 2011 was around $46,000. How much you make can vary be region. Indeed reports that in 2013, a pastry chef could earn about $47,000 in California, while only about $37,000 in the Midwest. Urban areas tend to have a higher cost of living, thus your pastry chef salary is likely to be a bit higher in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., rather than smaller areas.
The ACF says that in order to reach those higher levels, you probably have to put in about 50 hours of schooling and five years of experience. Those are the practical requirements. You also need to be creative, have a certain level of leadership skills and some business sense. The creativity part becomes especially crucial if you want to open your own pastry business.
How do you do that?
Think about the market and how our food tastes and needs are changing. For example, one of the latest trends is to eat gluten free. As a pastry chef, you could create items that cater to the gluten free pastry market. Once you have the basics down, you can expand that to provide people with these specialty products and even take them to bakeries, restaurants and grocers to sell.
To bring it all into perspective, if you love creating pastries and are comfortable with a salary in the $40,000 range, the jobs are out there. But if you really LOVE what you do and want to take it to a whole other level and bring in some dough, that’s definitely an option available for you to pursue.