How To Become A Baker
Some people have a secret talent when it comes to baking. Many people enjoy creating luscious desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more. Others make breads, muffins, scones, pastries, and other types of treats. If you enjoy baking, and you have an exceptional talent for it, you may want to consider a career as a baker.
Bakers work in a bakery, creating all kinds of confections. This is an opportunity to put your creativity to great use. You will have the ability to make goods that are not only delicious, but also beautiful and intricately designed. Many bakers have a specialty; some, for example, specialize in designing wedding cakes. Customers will come to you with their ideas. As a baker, you get to use your talents to bring their vision to life, in food form.
While some work for a large company, many bakers are self-employed. Bakers work in a variety of settings, such as restaurants, factories, bakeries, grocery stores, retail shops, and more.
As a baker, you must have knowledge of all the tools in the kitchen. Experience and on-the-job training are very important in becoming a professional baker. Many people start baking casually for friends and family before deciding to pursue it as a full-time career. Some people choose to go to college or culinary arts school for additional training in this field.
Why Become A Baker
Many people are naturally talented when it comes to baking. You may have discovered at a young age that you love to bake, whether it is cakes, cookies or pastries. You may have baked goods for your friends or family. Now, perhaps you are considering turning your hobby into a full-fledged career. It is important to realize that baking in your home kitchen is very different than working as a professional.
There are, generally speaking, two types of bakers:
Production bakers work in large factories, running machinery and mass producing the items that you see in stores, such as breads, pastries, and other baked goods. They typically work for large companies and corporations.
Retail bakers work in small bakeries and grocery stores, hand crafting items for customers, such as cakes, cupcakes, and more. They produce less items on a daily basis, and there is more creativity required in what they do. They are often asked to do special requests for customers.
This is a good career for somebody who enjoys baking, is creative, is able to work in a fast-paced kitchen environment, and wants to work as part of a team.
Bakers should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Detail oriented
- Manual dexterity
- Physical stamina
- Deadline oriented
- Good under pressure
- Organizational skills
- Comply with health and safety standards
Baker Work Environment
The possibilities for bakers are endless, because there are many places bakers could be employed. Some choose to open their own bakeries and work for themselves. Others might become high-profile bakers, working in the homes and events for celebrities. Most work in restaurants, stores, and factories.
As a baker, you will work inside of a kitchen, preparing a variety of baked goods. You must be knowledgeable about the workings of a kitchen. This is a fast-paced environment and you must be able to prepare items quickly, while keeping your products at a high level of quality.
Bakers often have deadlines that they must meet for events. They also usually have very large orders that they must fill, sometimes baking hundreds of items each week. Kitchens can be very hot and there is always a risk of injury when working with tools and equipment inside of a commercial kitchen.
Bakers must be able to work on a team to accomplish tasks. Bakeries often sell fresh baked good throughout the day, especially in the morning, such as fresh breads, doughnuts, muffins, scones, croissants, and more. Because of this, bakers often have to arrive at their job site very early in the morning to start baking for the day.
The median annual salary for bakers was $25,090 in May 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many different factors that play a role in salary. Something to consider is that bakers can work in a variety of work environments, including grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, factories, bakeries, and other work places.
The salaries offered by these venues can vary tremendously. Many bakers choose to open their own business, where they can be self-employed and set their own salary. Approximately one-third of all bakers work part-time. These are all points to keep in might when considering salary for this career field.
Average Baker Salary
- Executive bakers (Top 10%) earn $39,050 ($18.78 an hour)
- Senior bakers (Top 25%) earn $31,110 ($14.96 an hour)
- Mid Level bakers (Median) pay is $25,090 ($12.06 an hour)
- Junior of bakers (Bottom 25%) earn $20,980 ($10.09 an hour)
- Entry Level of bakers (Bottom 10%) earn $18,640 ($8.96 an hour)
Baker Salary By State
|Rank||State||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|#5||District of Columbia||$15.62||$32,500|
Baker Career Outlook
Employment for bakers is projected to grow by 6 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is an average rate of growth, compared to other occupations within the United States. The food and restaurant industry will always be one that people spend money on.
People will continue to want to go to bakeries and restaurants and spend their disposable income on delicious pastries, cookies, and desserts. There will always be a celebration where people will need wedding or birthday cakes, cupcakes, or other specialty items made. Bakers will continue to be needed in the economy for their skills and talents.
If you would like to become a baker, read below for more information.
Step 1: Training. On-the-job experience is the best way to become a baker. Many grocery stores, specialty bakeries, factories, and other types of shops will hire people as apprentices and allow them to train under the watchful eye of master bakers. Under this training, they will learn the basics of baking, icing and decorating. These types of training programs typically last 1 to 3 years.
Step 2: Education. Formal education is not required to become a baker. Many bakers simply have a high school diploma. However, others choose to seek out a culinary arts program, in order to gain specific knowledge about this field. Many community colleges have culinary arts and foods programs. Also, culinary arts programs can be found in many colleges across the United States.
There are also specific schools, such as the Culinary Institute of America, where students may choose to attend. Students will learn many additional things in school that will give them an advantage over other bakers.
Step 3: Get certified. Certification is available through some organizations for bakers who would like to show their additional knowledge in the field. One organization, the Retail Bakers of America, offers certification in specialties such as management, staff training, retail sales, and other areas.
In order to become certified, candidates must satisfy a combination of education and experience requirements, as well as pass an examination.