Pastry Chef Position In My Area - Salary???

Decorating By KeltoKel Updated 11 Aug 2008 , 1:07am by KeltoKel

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KeltoKel Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 12:52pm
post #1 of 14


Please look at this posting on craigslist. I was disappointed to see this salary! Is this normal?

I am by no means a pastry chef but I like to look at the area job openings in bakeries. I made more than this babysitting in my area. Chester Springs is a rather wealthy area. The average household income is $89,000 there.

I think if I were a pastry chef, I would almost be offended. Even if you can "move up" like the ad says, would this even attract a pastry chef?

13 replies
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SugaredUp Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 1:16pm
post #2 of 14

My take on those types of ads is that they are calling it a pastry chef position, but really it's entry level. The ad says that some experience is preferred but not required.

The ones that really get me are the ones that have all these qualifications... Let me post a link for ya... and then they start at $12/hour! If I went to school and had two years experience, I would be SO disappointed to make $12/hour. I made that when I was 18 years old.... The economy sucks though, so I wasn't sure if that is what is going on or is that what pastry chefs typically make?? It can't be!


Reply to: [email protected]
Date: 2008-08-08, 7:50PM EDT

capable of preforming plated desserts, minis, banquets and party cakes.
25-35 hours per week. need to have two year degree in culinary arts plus two years on job experience.

* Compensation: $11-12.5 per hour

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PinkZiab Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:28pm
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I'm fresh out of Culinary school and I live in NYC metro area... around here, entry level pay for pastry graduates is $8-12 (you can usually pull around $10) as a pastry assistant/cook. Obviously the higher up you are in the brigade, the more you can make, but starting pay is usually quite low.

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leah_s Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:36pm
post #4 of 14

That's more of a Baker position, but yeah, starting at $9 is about normal for most areas. Around here an experienced decorator might - might - get $12, but not to start. And for $12 you'd need a heckofa portfolio and a culinary school degree.

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KeltoKel Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 6:50pm
post #5 of 14

Wow, well I learned something today. I believe that salary is too low, esp. if you go to school to become a pastry chef. It would take you years to pay off that student loan with that salary! You can make more in tips waitressing, or babysitting like me.

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leah_s Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:07pm
post #6 of 14

No one goes into food service to make big bucks. There are only a few chefs who will ever make it to Food TV or top notch salaries.

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Pookie59 Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:29pm
post #7 of 14

And that's why I'm keeping my day job.... My sister works at a bakery in the Dallas area and makes less than that.

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KeltoKel Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:40pm
post #8 of 14

Got a point leahs. I also said that I never went into teaching to become rich! You truly have to have a passion and love for these professions.

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KoryAK Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 7:49pm
post #9 of 14

Hahahahahah making MONEY in food?? not gonna happen. Owners maybe, but thats after a long time, with a lot of risk, and about 80 hours a week.

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Ruby2uesday Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 10:22pm
post #10 of 14

thank god for Unions!!! i bake on the military post for a contracted company. i bake in one of the dining facilities for the soldiers, make decent money and benefits. That's the key thing right there!!! on the outside i know there'd be no way i'd get that!

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playingwithsugar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 10:37pm
post #11 of 14

And what about the part where it says "good customer service skills." You'll be working the front counter, too.

That is definitely an entry-level position. Decorators near me (Allentown) get that, plus bennies.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

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pastrylady Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 11:20pm
post #12 of 14

I'm sure I know which bakery they are referring to in Chester's a nice place and do they good work there. As someone else said, they call the job a "pastry chef", but what they are really hiring is a "pastry cook" or "baker". I'd say $9/hr is typical if you are just out of school, but is a little low if you have some experience. (As a point of reference, my 16 yr old DD makes $10-$12/hr for babysitting, tax free!)

I can tell you as someone that's been a pastry chef in the Phila are for almost 20 years, you'll never make any money in the business until you are a pastry chef in a big hotel, or until you go into business for yourself. Of course, if you go into business for yourself and calculate how much you make per hour...well, on second thought don't do that, it's just depressing.

Luckily, I just happen to love the work and, even more luckily, we live off my husband's salary...

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MamaBerry Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 11:44pm
post #13 of 14

I'm applying for a cake decorator job out here and I asked for $13 understanding that I may/will be talked down. It's okay with me. I work with chocolate and that's the decorations they're thinking about adding to the pastries.

I've been wanting to work at this establishment for years because I believe in the company. It doesn't hurt that this job has benefits and allows you to work your way up if not at one location you can move to different locations and no one minds.

I've got my bench test tommorow and I'm nervous because it's been almost a year since I did cake designs but oh well. They are looking for the basics and I've got those skills.

I figure that until I get into management position in the food industry then I won't be making a lot.

I used to make $35 an hour as a yoga teacher and as a massage therapist but the work was few and far between with no benefits.

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KeltoKel Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 1:07am
post #14 of 14

MamaBerry, best of luck!

Pastrylady, I just saw you are in Paoli. You have an amazing web site. I hope to visit your bakery some day.

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