Pastry Chef Job Outlook

Pastry chef jobs are hardly half-baked. Read what your options are.

Starting a Pastry Chef Job

pastry chef job outlook and making cake

In a pastry chef job, you'll be among the artists of the culinary world, baking and dressing each petit four or browning each creme brulee with the utmost care and attention to detail.

These days, carrying on this long-standing culinary tradition may mean loading dough into the oven at 3:00 a.m. for the day's first fresh bread, adding dollops of whipped cream to 100 slices of devil's food cake for an evening gala, or adding the final flourish of frosting to a wedding cake before it's wheeled out to the happy couple.

Wherever high quality pastries are served, pastry chefs can be found working behind the scenes.

The majority of pastry chef jobs are concentrated in the food service and hospitality-related industries. According to a recent PayScale.com survey, the top employers for pastry chefs are as follows:

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Hotels
  • Food service
  • Baking and Pastry
  • Catering
  • Hotel and Hospitality Management

The Life of a Pastry Chef

Pastry chef careers are often very physically demanding, requiring chefs to spend hours on their feet. The schedule can also be intense. Many chefs work 55 hours a week or more. Depending on the establishment and type of food being served, a pastry chef may keep extremely early, late or long hours due to the intensive nature of prep work most pastries and breads take.

Pastry Chef Salaries

Here is what you can expect to earn as a pastry chef:

Career Median Annual Salary*
Assistant Pastry Chef $39,418
Pastry Chef $50,978
Executive Pastry Chef $60,480

Sources: Salary.com's January 2014 Survey; Assistant Pastry Chef; Pastry Chef-Casino; Executive Pastry Chef.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.