When I was in high school, I made a promise to myself. I swore that I would never continue at a job that I hated and that I would somehow find a job that I loved and had fun at every day. I didn’t think this was possible in the small town that I grew up in. I felt like I had two choices: an art teacher or graphic designer. Neither of which i was REALLY stoked about. I’m just an ok artist and I’m not really that computer savvy. I had a feeling I was destined for something greater. I’m thankful every day that I found my dream job and proud of how hard I worked my ass off to get it.
Today, as most days, I logged on to yahoo to check my e-mail. I was met by this story on their cover page. “Surprising Jobs with $100K Salaries — After Only a Two-Year Degree!” What is #1 you ask? Why, executive pastry chef of course!! Here is what they had to say about it:
Executive Pastry Chef (90th Percentile Pay: $102,000; Median Pay: $45,100)
Talk about the sweet life. Executive pastry chefs work at exotic resorts, on cruise ships and for luxury hotels. They’re also found in fine restaurants, specialty patisseries, and the homes of the famous and powerful (including the White House) — anyplace where there’s a need to create delicious, beautiful baked goods on a large scale.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), formal training for chefs can take place at a community college, technical school or culinary school, and two-year degrees are common. Pastry chefs with little formal education can still advance through the ranks to lead a staff. A growing number of chefs participate in training and/or certification programs sponsored by independent cooking schools and organizations; many large hotel and restaurant chains operate their own training programs as well.
Ok, let’s break this down.
Now, I make a very decent salary working for a high end hotel. My family is middle class. I DO NOT make anything close to $102,000 a year. I sure as hell wish I did! Someone point me in the direction of that job!!! What the article fails to mention are the YEARS of minimum or just above minimum wage, the time I spend working for FREE at a very famous restaurant in LA solely so I could have it’s name on my resume, the literal blood, sweat and tears I put into my job to get to where I am today.
What bothers me about this article is that it makes it seem like it is so easy. Hey! Go to community college for a minute and make $102,000 a year! Awesome. It’s not that easy. Five years my husband and I struggled, barely squeaking by before we made it. What you need to be a successful pastry chef is not simply a two year degree or less. It’s passion. You HAVE to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top. By the time you get there you are bloody, bruised and battered. And you kick ass.