You’re the one they always ask to make the cake. They say, “You could do this for a living!” Yes, you could. Here’s how.
award-winning Madison College baking and decorative arts students
Student Satisfaction
99% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
100% of our recent graduates got a job in the industry.
Job Placement
92% job placement within six months of graduation.

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Baking & Decorative Arts
Program Number: 313141
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Culinary, Hospitality and Fitness
Delivery Method:
Some Online/Some In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
28 Credits | Finish diploma in 1 year
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  • Program Overview

    In the Baking & Decorative Arts technical diploma program at Madison College, you'll gain wide-ranging, hands-on experiences in baking and pastry arts. You will receive practical and theoretical training on producing bakery products from scratch (like pastries, tortes and hearth breads) cake decorating, sugar and chocolate work, and plated dessert presentations. You will also learn real-world merchandising and sales training by working in the bakery on campus.

    The Baking & Decorative Arts program at Madison College is approved by the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) and the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Upon completion of the program combined with 1,000 hours of work experience in the baking industry, students can take the RBA’s Certified Journey Baker written exam. This is the beginning level of certification leading up to a Master Baker qualification. The purpose of RBA certification is to raise the professional standards and verify the work, skill and knowledge professional bakers bring to the marketplace and improve job opportunities and income for certified bakers and decorators.

    Program Details

    Students in the Baking & Decorative Arts program attend full-time.

    Classes are offered Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Baking & Decorative Arts classes may be offered at the Madison College Truax campus.

    Baking and Decorative Arts Careers

    Earning your technical diploma in the Baking & Decorative Arts program at Madison College prepares you for valuable work as a bakery worker/assistant pastry chef in a variety of commercial environments such as:

    • Retail bakeries
    • Supermarket bakeries
    • Restaurants or hotels
    • Hospitals or nursing homes
    • Catering operations
    • Specialty shops

    With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

    • Bakery Manager
    • Commercial Cake Decorator
    • Bakery Owner
    baking student applying a cake piping technique
  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2024-2025 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

    Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:

    • Progress toward your specific requirements
    • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

    If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.

    Prior to Start of Program
    1 credit
    First Semester
    3 credits
    1 credit
    2 credits
    3 credits
    1 credit
    2 credits
    2 credits
    Second Semester
    1 credit
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
  • Admission

    To Apply

    Earning a degree is a great way to advance your career development opportunities, so apply today!

    International students who wish to apply for, maintain, or transfer their F-1 student visa status to Madison College are required to complete the International Admission Process.

    Application Dates

    Fall 2024

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is August 15, 2024

    Admission Requirements

    All materials must be submitted by the application deadline.

    1. Admission Application

    The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures fast, secure delivery to our office.

    2. Education Completion

    Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions you attended and indicate one of the following:

    • High school  transcript (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript)
    • GED/HSED transcript
    • College transcript(s) showing:
      • Completion of an associate degree or higher, or
      • At least 30 credits completed with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4-point scale
        • The credits must be completed at a single college and cannot be combined with other transcripts
        • Any transfer credit listed on a transcript does not count toward the 30-credit minimum

    All high school and/or college transcripts are recommended to be submitted for Credit for Prior Learning evaluation.

    Additional Notes

    • Class capacity is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Course prerequisites differ from admission requirements; admission into a program does not guarantee eligibility to enroll in courses or success in the program. Refer to program curriculum for details.

    After Acceptance

    Once you are admitted into your program, complete the Next Steps after Program Acceptance to prepare for your first day of classes at Madison College.


    Contact the Enrollment Center at or 608.246.6210.


    apply for admission

    Get Started!

    Apply to Madison College and take the first step towards your Baking & Decorative Arts career.

    It's Free to Apply

  • Career Outcomes

    Madison College Baking & Decorative Arts graduates are prepared to:

    • Read and follow written and oral directions in preparing bakery products.
    • Produce a variety of saleable scratch bakery items in a timely manner.
    • Work effectively with others to achieve production goals.
    • Calculate formulas to production size.
    • Practice proper state and federal safety and sanitation procedures.
    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      Number of Program Graduates14813
      Number of Surveys Sent14813
      Number of Surveys Returned779
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment468
      Percent Available for Employment57.10%85.70%88.90%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market42.90%14.30%11.10%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed368
      Percent of Graduates Employed75.00%100.00%100.00%
      Employed in Related Occupation248
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation66.70%66.70%100.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation120
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation33.30%33.30%0.00%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Seeking Employment100
      Percent Seeking Employment25.00%0.00%0.00%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)
      Number of Satisfaction Responses779
      Very Satisfied (4)545
      Percent Very Satisfied71.40%57.10%55.60%
      Satisfied (3)234
      Percent Satisfied28.60%42.90%44.40%
      Unsatisfied (2)000
      Percent Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)000
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses779
      Preparation for Getting a Job253
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job28.60%71.40%33.30%
      Career Change104
      Percent Career Change14.30%0.00%44.40%
      Improvement of Existing Skills101
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills14.30%0.00%11.10%
      Preparation for Further Education000
      Percent Preparation for Further Education0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Personal Interest321
      Percent Personal Interest42.90%28.60%11.10%
      Percent Other0.00%0.00%0.00%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses368
      Before Enrollment112
      Percent Before Enrollment33.30%16.70%25.00%
      While Attending the College103
      Percent While Attending the College33.30%0.00%37.50%
      After Training at the College153
      Percent After Training at the College33.30%83.30%37.50%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses268
      In College District248
      Percent In College District100.00%66.70%100.00%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District000
      Percent of In Wisconsin0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin020
      Percent Outside Wisconsin0.00%33.30%0.00%
      Employer Location Unknown000
      Percent Location Unknown0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202020212022
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count124
      Average Monthly Wage$1,806$2,537$3,216
      Average Hourly Wage$10.50$14.75$18.70
      Average Work Hours per Week4048.342
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count114
      Average Hourly Wage$12.75$11.00$16.25
      Average Work Hours per Week303014.3
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      Bloom Bake ShopDecorator
      Cookies by DesignDecorator & BakerMonona
      Cookies by DesignBakery ManagerMonona
      Elegant FoodsBaker
      Lazy Jane's Café and BakeryBakery Supervisor
      Madison Area Technical CollegeFood Service Associate
      Madison Area Technical CollegeBaker

      * - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

      ** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

      *** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at

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