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Pastry Arts


Pastry Arts

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$23,630 to $76,2801
Tuition and fees:
Program length:
33 weeks

You Could Become a Pastry Chef

Prepare for a pastry arts career in as little as 36 weeks.

Imagine a career where you spend your days creating beautiful desserts for people to enjoy. If this sounds like a sweet dream, our Pastry Arts program could be the perfect fit for you.

Learn the baking and dessert preparation skills you need to become a pastry chef in as little as 36 weeks.

Whether you’ve recently discovered a passion for pastries or have always enjoyed baking, with the proper guidance and pastry arts training you can take your skills to the next level.

No previous experience is required to enroll in our Pastry Arts program. You only need to have an interest in creating delectable desserts and a desire to learn.

A Pastry Arts Program Taught in The Kitchen from Day One

From the very first day of class, you’ll benefit from hands-on training and gain real-world experience working in the kitchen with actual ingredients and commercial grade equipment. You’ll learn the art and science of pastry making and baking techniques. 

We limit our class sizes, which allows our experienced pastry chef instructors to work closely with students and provide more personalized attention.

If you're looking for a bakery arts and pastry chef school that can help you develop the skills for success, the Virginia College Pastry Arts program offers practical training and is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEC). 

Pastry and baking classes are designed to get you career ready.

Our highly trained instructors have worked around the country and world, specializing in every aspect of the pastry profession. Instructors share insider industry experience and mentor students with one-on-one feedback.

A key ingredient of a successful pastry chef is creativity. Our baking and pastry courses invite imaginative expression while equipping students with the technical knowledge they need to be successful in the bakery and restaurant industry.

In these pastry and baking courses, students learn contemporary and traditional pastry techniques, plated dessert and wedding cake fundamentals and more.

Our baking labs simulate actual job environments so you are prepared to successfully enter the pastry arts field as soon as you earn your diploma or certificate.

Practicing the Art of Pastry-Making

Experience what it’s actually like to work in the pastry arts field.

As a career-focused pastry school, we go beyond supporting you in the cooking labs. We help you secure an externship, which is a real job at a bake shop, restaurant, resort or other food service business. Externships are a great way to make connections and find jobs in the pastry arts industry.

Many of our graduates have gone on to achieve successful baking careers in catering firms, hotels, banquet facilities, resorts and restaurants.

Where do Virginia College Pastry Arts graduates work?

We have pastry arts and baking career externship partnerships with:

  • Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
  • Beau Rivage
  • Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
  • Red Mountain Resort
  • Southeast Retail Baker's Association

Volunteering at community events is another culinary experience we recommend for students. It’s a way for aspiring pastry chefs to work alongside chef instructors in a real world setting.

At the end of the diploma/certificate program, you'll have an opportunity to showcase what you’ve learned in pastry school by creating a “grand dessert buffet” and invite friends and family to enjoy.

Inside a Baker’s Job

With a variety of positions and places to work, there are many opportunities for pastry chefs to move up in the culinary industry.

What do pastry chefs do?

Pastry chefs specialize in all types of baked goods. They often work in restaurants, bakeries, hotels, cupcake shops, dessert eateries or open their own places of business.

Working in pastry arts requires special expertise. You need to be skilled in using commercial kitchen equipment, know pastry techniques, have a foundation of menu planning, and understand pastry kitchen operations.

Pastry and baking schools are generally the most effective way to acquire these skills and become a trained professional in the pastry arts.

What are some of a pastry chef's job descriptions and duties?

  • Craft pastries and desserts
  • Work with vendors to order supplies
  • Procure and prepare ingredients
  • Manage the kitchen
  • Oversee and train pastry staff
  • Enforce food safety standards
  • Create and test new recipes
  • Collaborate with the executive chef
  • Increase profit and reduce food waste

Is a pastry arts career right for you? Learn more about what it's like to work as a pastry chef.

Baking and Pastry Arts Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the national annual wage range for chefs and head cooks is between $23,630 and $76,280 per year. 1 Individual salaries will vary based on experience, location of employment, and the specific job title and duties being performed.

Pastry Arts classes are forming now.

Success is sweet! Take the first step toward an exciting new career. Space is limited. Contact us today to find out more about becoming a pastry chef.

Available at the following locations:


This program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation.

Programmatic Disclosure Information

1 The median annual wage for chefs and head cooks was $43,180 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $23,630, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,280. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Chefs and Head Cooks, on the Internet at (visited October 19, 2017). National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary.

The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed. Virginia College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

Campus-Specific Consumer Information