“Being a great baker and pastry chef requires the upmost open mind. I try every dessert that comes my way!”
Christina Tosi, Chef
Pros and Cons of Working as a Pastry Chef
You think about becoming a pastry chef? Great! Then this article is exactly for you. In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of being a pastry chef in the following chapters.
After checking out all the arguments, you can make a profound decision regarding whether you still want to become a pastry chef or go for an alternative career instead.
Pastry Chef Job Profile
|Short Job Description||Pastry chefs make delicious pastries, cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods to please their customers.|
|Salary||$55,000 per year on average, most pastry chefs make between $42,000 – $85,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Decent job security.|
|Job Satisfaction||Good if you love baking and making pastries.|
|Work-Life Balance||Poor work-life balance since you have to get up early and sleep during the day.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Good since pastry chefs will always be needed and many people don’t want to do the job.|
|Requirements||No special educational requirements.|
Advantages of Being a Pastry Chef
- Pastry chefs can make people happy
- You can be creative
- Pastry chefs can reinvent themselves on a regular basis
- Hands-on work instead of staring at a computer screen
- You will see the true results of your work
- You may be able to start your own pastry business
- Pastry chefs can start a side hustle
- Decent job prospects
- Pastry chefs can work indoors
- You can surprise your family and friends
- Pastry chefs can share their ideas via social media
- You can join forums or take part in competitions
- Pastry chefs don’t need a college degree
- Machines can make your life as a pastry chef much easier
Pastry chefs can make people happy
One advantage of being a pastry chef is that you can make people happy. We all know that life can be difficult sometimes, yet there is always hope for a better future. As a pastry chef, you can just make the life of your customers a little bit better since they can consume your delicious pastries or cakes and can unplug from their problems for a short period of time.
Even though this may not seem like much, it can still give people the opportunity to reload their batteries and to see the world from a different perspective. In fact, minor things can have a huge influence on how we feel and how good or bad we perceive our lives.
Hence, becoming a pastry chef can be great for you if you love to make people happy and also want to help people overcome difficult periods of their lives.
You can be creative
Another benefit of working as a pastry chef is that you can be pretty creative. In fact, opportunities regarding what pastries, cupcakes and other things you can make are almost endless and you can really rely on your intuition in this regard.
The best pastry chefs always try new things to surprise their customers and many customers come back many times since they are curious to see your new inventions.
Thus, a career as a pastry chef can also make quite a lot of sense if you are the kind of creative person who loves to try new things and is not afraid to make mistakes along the way.
Pastry chefs can reinvent themselves on a regular basis
The most successful pastry chefs of the world also always reinvent themselves. They are often driven by excellence and want to become better every day. This also means figuring out minor issues and optimizing them. It also means attention to detail.
While average pastry chefs don’t care about excellence that much, the best people in the world train their minds to improve their skills all day long and this is in fact the reason why they often become that good.
Consequently, working as a pastry chef is not just for the average person. It can also be a good career if you are willing to work hard to become a well-known expert in your industry.
Hands-on work instead of staring at a computer screen
Another upside to becoming a pastry chef is that you don’t have to work in a classical office job. In fact, many people who work in offices just stare at their computer screen all day long and work on rather useless presentations or other things that don’t have a true impact on the success of their company anyway.
Many of those people are also just in their jobs for the money and secretly just hope that their workday will be over pretty soon. You as a pastry chef can avoid those issues since you will be able to do many different tasks every day and your work will likely never get boring.
In fact, many pastry chefs are not only working for their money, but also since they really like what they are doing and have a real passion for baking delicious cakes and pastries.
Therefore, becoming a pastry chef can be really great if you love baking things and can’t even imagine working in a normal office job.
You will see the true results of your work
While many people out there have to work on pretty abstract problems and have to do work they often don’t even fully understand, you will see the true results of your labor every day. In fact, you will finish delicious baked goods and pastries on a regular basis and many people will admire the fancy cakes you make for them.
This can give you a really good feeling and can also make you proud. Looking in the eyes of happy customers is always nice and gives you an inner feeling of appreciation and purpose since you know what you are working for.
You may be able to start your own pastry business
Becoming a pastry chef can also make quite a lot of sense if you want to start your own business sooner or later. Many pastry chefs work for a few years as employees and gather plenty of experience and knowledge. After this period of time, they just quit and open their own confectioneries.
Thus, you don’t have to work as an employee forever. If you have the courage and also the ambition to start your own business, it is rather easy to do so as a pastry chef.
Pastry chefs can start a side hustle
If you are really ambitious and love what you are doing, you can also start a side hustle as a pastry chef. Thanks to our technologized state of the world, you could start a blog or a YouTube channel and share your recipes and ideas with the world.
Some bloggers earn really good money with those types of things and some of them even make more money from their side hustle than from their normal job.
Apart from the money, it can also be pretty nice to connect to experts in your industry and to share your latest ideas and to see the response of people who are even better than you.
By talking to those people, you can become even better over time and if you work hard on yourself, you may become one of the best pastry chefs in the world after many years of work.
At this stage, you may even be able to earn money publishing books. As you can see, opportunities are almost endless and if you are willing to put in the work, chances are that you will succeed sooner or later, not only in your main job but also with your side hustle which may turn into your main business after a while.
Decent job prospects
Pastry chefs also enjoy quite good job prospects. While barriers to entry are rather low and many people can do the job, most people actually don’t want to become a pastry chef since working conditions can be pretty poor and there are many other issues related to this profession which I show you later on in this article.
This means that you will not have to worry that much about job security since there will be significant demand for pastry chefs in the future but the supply side will be rather limited.
Pastry chefs can work indoors
You also don’t have to work under harsh outdoor weather conditions as a pastry chef. Instead, you can work indoors and are protected from heavy rain, wind or snow. Many people out there don’t have this luxury and you should also not take this for granted.
Even though many people in our current state of the world work indoors, some of them still have to work outdoors under extreme conditions and you can avoid those unpleasant working environments by becoming a pastry chef.
You can surprise your family and friends
Working as a pastry chef can not only benefit you in your professional life. It can also really give you additional opportunities in your private life. Thanks to the skills you will learn as a pastry chef, you will be able to create many delicious cakes for birthdays of your family members and friends who will often be really impressed by your work.
Pastry chefs can share their ideas via social media
It has also never been easier to gain free attention than today. By using social media channels, you can share your latest pastry ideas and this can really move your business forward and bring it to the next level.
Instead of spending large amounts of money on paid advertising, you can create free awareness via social media platforms and this free awareness can lead to additional revenue since more people will come to your shop, at least if you know what you are doing and invest some time to understand these social media channels.
You can join forums or take part in competitions
While some pastry chefs just do their work, go home and spend their leisure on other things they like more, others just really love what they are doing and want to work even more. If you are the type of person who is really passionate about making impressive cakes and other baked goods, you can also join forums where you can share your recipes.
If you are really good at what you are doing, you can even join competitions and win certain awards. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for people who are really ambitious in this field and chances are that you will never get bored.
Pastry chefs don’t need a college degree
Another advantage of working as a pastry chef is that you just don’t need any fancy education. In most states, it will be enough to finish high school and you will be good to go. You don’t have to go to college and get a degree like for many other jobs. This means that you can save plenty of money on tuition and other costs related to college. You can also avoid going into student loan debt.
You can even earn money right after school as a pastry chef and can become independent of your parents pretty soon while many of your friends will financially struggle to afford college education.
Machines can make your life as a pastry chef much easier
In former times, working as a pastry chef has also been pretty demanding since there had been not that many machines that could have helped you out. However, thanks to our modern technologies, there will be many machines out there that could do most of the manual work for you.
In turn, this means that your life as a pastry chef will be much easier compared to just a few decades ago since you can outsource most of the physical work to machines who will do the job fast and reliable while you can take a short break.
Disadvantages of Being a Pastry Chef
- Pastry chefs have to get up pretty early
- You often have to work on weekends or even holidays
- You will sleep while others go out
- Exhausting working conditions
- Pastry chefs don’t earn that much money
- Rather low social status
- Difficulties in the dating market
- Hard to maintain relationships
- Your mistakes can cost significant financial issues
- You have to do multiple things at the same time
- Sleeping problems are quite common among pastry chefs
- Rather confined promotion opportunities
- Hard to switch fields
Pastry chefs have to get up pretty early
While there are many advantages to working as a pastry chef, working in this field also has some serious downsides. For instance, one problem with working as a pastry chef is that you have to get up pretty early in the morning.
In fact, many pastry chefs start working between 2 and 3 a.m. in the morning since they have to prepare everything for their customers who will start to come to their shops to buy their products at around 6 a.m.
As you can see, you need kind of an early bird mentality to get happy as a pastry chef in the long run and if you are rather an owl, chances are that you should go for an alternative career path instead.
You often have to work on weekends or even holidays
Another downside of being a pastry chef is that you will often not have free weekends or holidays. In fact, confectionaries are often open on weekends and holidays and your customers want to buy your delicious pastries every day of the week. Of course, you will never work 7 days a week, at least if you work for a company and don’t have your own confectionary.
It just means that you will work 5 days a week and those days will sometimes even include Saturdays or Sundays. This can be really annoying, especially if you have a family and want to make weekend trips and can’t do so due to your job as a pastry chef.
You will sleep while others go out
Since you will have to get up pretty early as a pastry chef, you will also often sleep while other people enjoy their lives. In fact, you will be pretty tired after your shift and will often just fall into your bed and sleep many hours in the afternoon.
However, this also means that you will not be able to play with your kids that much and also your spouse may get pretty annoyed in the long run.
You will also wake up your family members when you go to work early in the morning and this can lead to additional family conflicts.
Exhausting working conditions
Even though you are able to work indoors as a pastry chef, it doesn’t mean that your working conditions will be that great. In fact, it can be pretty hot when you bake your cakes and pastries and many pastry chefs really struggle to work under those conditions.
Pastry chefs don’t earn that much money
Another disadvantage of working as a pastry chef is that you will simply not make that much money from your job. Sure, you can make a decent income. Yet, many other jobs pay much more and if money and a luxurious lifestyle are really important to you, you will not become happy as a pastry chef at all but you rather want to go for a career in the medical field instead.
Rather low social status
You will also have a rather low social status in society if you work as a pastry chef. Sure, people will be happy to buy your products and really enjoy them in case they are extraordinarily good. Yet, you will still not get the same appreciation from people like doctors who can save lives of people.
Thus, make sure that you are fine with having this rather low social standing while other people will be celebrated and appreciated much more before becoming a pastry chef.
Difficulties in the dating market
Due to your rather low social status and a rather low salary, pastry chefs also have a rather difficult time when it comes to finding a partner. While doctors or lawyers will have a pretty easy time in this regard, you will often struggle as a pastry chef in this regard and will have to work much harder to succeed.
Hard to maintain relationships
Even if you find a suitable significant other, you will still have a hard time maintaining this relationship. Since you will have to get up pretty early in the morning and will sleep at daytime, you will just not have much time to spend with your partner. This makes it more likely that your relationship will fail sooner or later.
Your mistakes can cost significant financial issues
As a pastry chef, you will also have significant responsibility for the financial success of your company. Mistakes on your side may destroy whole batches of pastries and this can lead to a significant financial loss.
Due to that, you may also get fired by your boss if this happens too often. Hence, there will also be a certain pressure during your work since your mistakes can lead to negative outcomes, both for you and also for the company you work for.
You have to do multiple things at the same time
You also need to learn multitasking as a pastry chef. In fact, you will do many things at the same time and if you are not able to process all this information in a proper and efficient manner, chances are that your pastries will just stay in the often for too long or too short and will therefore not taste that good.
You will also not be productive enough as a pastry chef if you don’t learn to organize and to coordinate yourself. Hence, make sure that you are also willing to work on yourself in this regard before deciding to become a pastry chef.
Sleeping problems are quite common among pastry chefs
Due to their rather exotic working schedule, many pastry chefs also suffer from serious sleeping problems. Our bodies and our brains are just not made for getting up that early in the morning since we have just not evolved like that.
Rather confined promotion opportunities
Also promotion opportunities will be rather limited as a pastry chef. Sure, you may be able to lead a few employees. However, you will still do similar work even decades after the day you initially started your career as a pastry chef.
Hard to switch fields
You will also have a hard time with changing careers as a pastry chef. Since you have not learned any other skills, you will often have to work as pastry chef or baker forever unless you get extensive additional education.
Top 10 Being a Pastry Chef Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Pastry Chef Pros||Being a Pastry Chef Cons|
|Pastry chefs can be creative||Being a pastry chef can be stressful|
|You can make people happy||You have to get up early|
|You can always reinvent yourself||Sleeping problems are quite common|
|Being a pastry chef never gets boring||Pastry chefs don’t make much money|
|You can start your own business||Hard to find a partner|
|Pastry chefs can start side hustles||Difficult to maintain relationships|
|You can help out your friends||Rather low social standing|
|Decent job security||Exhausting working environment|
|Pastry chefs can work indoors||Hard to switch fields|
|You can share your ideas on social media||Rather limited promotion opportunities|
Should You Become A Pastry Chef?
As you can see, there are many important advantages and disadvantages of being a pastry chef. It is on you to make a final decision regarding whether you still want to become a pastry chef or rather want to go for different career options instead.
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About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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