Pastry Arts

Pastry Arts - Certificate

If you want a sweet career, then Bellingham Technical College's Pastry certificate might be for you. BTC's three-quarter Pastry Arts Certificate provides training for students seeking entry into or career advancement in the pastry arts job market. This program trains students to serve as professional bakers, pastry arts chefs, and pastry specialists in restaurants or other commercial baking establishments.

Students already working in the culinary arts field can select a study path that will expand their pastry skills and further their employment potential in the food service industry. The Pastry Arts certificate is designed to provide hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in pastry arts.

The Culinary Arts Program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Foundation.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

75% BTC graduate placement rate1

$28,621 starting annual wage2
$33,862 average annual wage2
$39,936 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2016-17 and 2018-19. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (Washington State wage) and reflect 2015-2018 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Registration for Fall 2021 has been suspended. Check back for updates on future start dates.The program typically starts in Fall Quarter on a space available basis.

A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater and a grade of C- will be the minimum passing grade for all Pastry certificate courses.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 44

  • Quarter 1

  • PST 100Basic Cuisine Foundation4 CR
  • PST 101Pastry & Baking Orientation3 CR
  • PST 110Sanitation & Safety3 CR
  • PST 130Introduction to Commercial Baking5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • PST 202Pastry Basic I3 CR
  • PST 204Introduction to Artisan Breads & Laminated Dough3 CR
  • PST 206Pastry Basics II3 CR
  • PST 220Advanced Artisan & Decorative Breads3 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • NUTR& 101Nutrition5 CR
  • OR
  • CUL 142Nutrition2 CR
  • PST 208Intro to Cakes, Desserts, Chocolate & Sugar Decorations4 CR
  • PST 222Chocolate/Sugar Confections & Intro to Basic Showpieces3 CR
  • PST 224Specialty Cakes I5 CR

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Conform and comply with health standards based on US Food & Drug Administration, Washington State, and local health department sanitation and hygiene codes and laws.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of baking and pastry industry- specific equipment.
  • Apply basic cuisine foundational skills.
  • Demonstrate basic measuring, conversion, food costing, and yield management practices.
  • Analyze the functions of ingredients used in producing baked goods and pastries.
  • Produce a variety of classical and contemporary breads, pastry items, and desserts, with the ability to correctly evaluate finished products for texture, color, palatability, shape and doneness.
  • Demonstrate advanced skills with sour dough breads and bread art, chocolate and sugar art, and specialty cakes.
  • Utilize fundamental techniques creatively to modify standard recipes and formulate new recipes.
  • Describe the fundamental nutrients in the human diet, identify a variety of contemporary dietary needs and demonstrate the ability to create and cook modified menus to meet those needs.

Employment Outlook

With the added skills students are able to work as professional bakers, pastry arts chefs, and pastry specialists in restaurants or other commercial baking establishments.

Students already working in the culinary arts field can select a study path that will expand their pastry skills and further their employment potential in the food service industry.

Faculty & Support

Brian has cooked professionally for over 35 years holding positions as a corporate restaurant chef, garde manger chef, banquet chef, catering chef, private chef, and butcher. He attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating number one in his class, being awarded the Francis Roth Most Outstanding Student award. He has worked at many fine restaurants and hotels including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Amelia Island (Florida), Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, David Burke’s Park Avenue Café (Chicago), and locally at Thirteen Coins and The Herb Farm Restaurant. He taught culinary arts for eight years in Asheville, North Carolina before joining Bellingham Technical College in 2003.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2003

    Certified Executive Chef, American Culinary Assoc. - 2003

    A.O.S., Culinary Institute of America - 2003

    Secusafe Certification, National Restaurant Assoc. - 2003

    Certified Culinary Educator, American Culinary Assoc. - 2003

Photo of Hilde Hettegger-Korsmo
Hilde Hettegger-Korsmo

Hilde Hettegger - Korsmo has been a Pastry Arts Instructor at Bellingham Technical College since 2005. She has over two decades of hands on experience in Culinary Arts/Pastry Arts/Restaurant Management and is currently certified under the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinarian Educator and Certified Working Pastry Chef. Over the past 20 years, Hilde has held culinary and pastry positions in Austria, Italy and the United States. In 2012, she won a bronze medal in her quest for the National Pastry Chef title and in 2011, she was awarded the Pastry Chef of the Year by the Washington State Chefs association. During the 2011-2012 year, she received the BTC Faculty Haskell Excellence Award; this allowed her to train at the Notter School of Pastry Arts, in Florida, thus enhancing her sugar arts techniques.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certified Culinary Educator, American Culinary Federation - 2006

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2006

    Certified Working Pastry Chef, American Culinary Federation - 2006

    Apprenticeship Degree, Chef de Cuisine & Chef de Rang, Salzburg School of Hotel and Restaurant Management - 2006