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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.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email for more information.

Employment Information

73% BTC graduate placement rate
63% job placement rate in 2017-18 (for students graduating in 2016-17)
88% job placement rate in 2016-17 (for students graduating in 2015-16)
67% job placement rate in 2015-16 (for students graduating in 2014-15)

$26,166 starting annual wage
$30,763 average annual wage
$38,210 potential annual wage

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Graduation Information

62% graduation rate in 2018-19 (for students starting in 2015-16)
42% graduation rate in 2017-18 (for students starting in 2014-15)
53% graduation rate in 2016-17 (for students starting in 2013-14)

BTC Pastry Arts graduation rates: The graduation rate reflects the percentage of students starting in the Pastry Arts program who receive a Pastry Arts certificate within three years.

Certification Information

0% ACF certification rate for students graduating in 2018-19
0% ACF certification rate for students graduating in 2017-18

BTC ACF certification rates: The ACF certification rate reflects the percentage of students graduating with a Pastry Arts who receive ACF certification within one year of program completion.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

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

Photo of Brian McDonald
Brian McDonald

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

Photo of Maria deCorpo
Maria deCorpo

Maria is a 30+ - year veteran of the West Coast food and wine industry. After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in NY she settled in the heart of California Wine Country, Sonoma County, where she worked as a Chef, Sommelier, Culinary Educator and as the owner of a successful food truck business specializing in artisan frozen desserts. Wishing to return to academia Maria joined Bellingham Technical College in August, 2018. Chef deCorpo enjoys helping others reach their goals of working in the foodservice industry. In her free time, Maria loves to garden, build and restore furniture, sew and, believe it or not, cook! She is an avid reader and cinephile and loves to explore the connections between art, culture, history and food.