Patisserie chefs are responsible for creating the pastry selections at restaurants, bakeries and other eating establishments. Also known simply as pastry chefs, these culinary wizards often start their careers in culinary school, learning the science of temperature in relation to combination of ingredients. For this reason, pastry chefs can often earn a relatively high salary in the culinary and hospitality industries.
In 2012, the average chef brought home $46,570 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A survey by StarChefs, an online magazine for culinary professionals, found that patisserie chefs earned closer to $47,024 a year, as of 2010. This was nearly 38 percent less than executive chefs, who earned an average of $74,891 annually. The jobsite Indeed provides a slightly lower figure, setting salaries for patisserie chefs at $43,000, as of 2013. If, however, a patisserie chef is an owner of the eating establishment, salaries can average at $79,222, which is down from the previous year, when salaries averaged $85,685.
As with any career, starting salaries are rarely as high as the average wage. Pastry chefs just out of culinary school earned $17,000 a year, according to Hcareers, an online resource for the hospitality industry. Indeed provides a similar figure, estimating the average salary for an entry-level pastry chef at $20,000 a year, as of 2013.
Earnings by Employer
In addition to experience, earnings vary greatly by employer. Some of the highest wages for pastry chefs were at private clubs, at an average of $61,611 a year, as of 2010. Those working for hotels or catering companies ranked second, averaging $46,547 a year, while pastry chefs at restaurants or stand-alone establishments rounded out third, averaging $43,123 annually.
Information is rather limited for patisserie chefs around the nation, but StarChefs does break out earnings for a few of the larger markets. Of the states, some of the highest salaries for patisserie chef were in California, with an average salary of $58,000 a year. Those working in New York averaged $52,816, while pastry chefs in Florida averaged $48,929 annually. Some of the lowest reported wages were in New Jersey, where the average was $32,500.
The BLS expects employment opportunities for chefs as whole to be almost flat, with an average decline in jobs of 1 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is going in the opposite direction for all U.S. occupations, an estimated job growth rate of 14 percent. Expect the greatest competition for positions at upscale restaurants and hotels, as earnings are often higher than those at other hospitality establishments.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Chefs and Head Cooks
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: Chefs and Head Cooks
- StarChefs: 2010 StarChefs.com Chef Salary Report
- Hcareers: Pastry Chef Job Description
- Indeed: Pastry Chef Salary
- Indeed: Entry-Level Pastry Chef Salary
- Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images