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Are Pastry Chefs Well Paid?
As with any career, the range of pastry chefs’ salaries is quite diverse. Of course a lot depends upon the role that you play within an institution. The level of responsibility and the number of others working under your supervision are strong determining factors in pay scale.
The most common starting job for pastry chefs is that of line chef. In this position responsibility is fairly low and the supervisory role is all but non-existent. As such the salaries to be expected in these positions are correspondingly low. On an average you can hope to earn in the range of $9.39/hr. Cooks working for individual households have considerable responsibility but generally work alone. These roles typically pay around $9.42/hour. Chefs and head cooks can expect a bit of a jump in pay as both responsibility and supervisory roles increase. The median wage for these types position ran at $14.73/hr in May 2004 according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Of course these are median figures and all roles can experience highs and lows depending upon the area and restaurant. For example, line cooks can reach wages in the $13.37/hr range while head cooks or chefs can be paid as little as $10.71/hr.
Advanced Opportunities for Pastry Chefs
Two things that seem universal are: 1) the more education you have the better you are likely to be paid and 2) job opportunities increase with the level of education you achieve. Since these two considerations are keys to job happiness it is definitely advisable to attain the highest level of education possible for you. In doing so you should also attain one of the higher pastry chef salaries.