Career Profile of a Baker

Generally, a baker’s work involves mixing and baking ingredients according to recipes in order to create breads, pastries, and other baked goods. Bakers can find work in a variety of different positions and settings, and after proper training and education, enjoy a growing demand for qualified workers in the baking industry.

You can often find work as a baker in grocery stores and specialty shops. Alternatively, many bakers choose to open their own bakeries and pastry shops, or work to create special occasion desserts such as wedding cakes. As a baker, you will find that you are often asked to create small quantities of a variety of different baked goods, including specially handcrafted and artisan breads. However, some bakers will be required to create large quantities of baked goods in manufacturing settings, using high volume equipment. These goods are generally sold through distributors, grocery stores, and manufacturers’ outlets.

Conditions for bakers can range from calm, solitary and quiet to hot, crowded and noisy, depending on the environment that you choose to work in. However, you will almost always be expected to work under strict order deadlines and time-sensitive baking requirements. Bakers often work as part of a team and may supervise assistants and teach trainees, although when creating particular items, bakers generally work alone. Work hours for bakers can often be odd, involving shifts in the early mornings, or evenings, weekends, and holidays.

To work as a baker, you’ll generally need to start out as an apprentice or trainee in a craft or store bakery. There, you will become skilled in creating baked goods and increase your knowledge of bakery products, ingredients, and equipment. Many bakers find that it is helpful to complete a certificate program or degree in order to hone their skills in the craft. These programs can be found through online schools, correspondence courses, independent culinary schools, and hotel and restaurant organizations. You will need to learn skills including nutrition, regulations, business concepts, and even chemistry to be successful as a baker.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, highly skilled bakers are expected to be in demand. Bakers can expect to earn about $22,000 per year, but some will earn salaries higher than $35,000. The demand for bakers, and specifically highly skilled bakers should increase by 10 percent in the near future. This is due to the growing need for bakers in stores, specialty shops, and traditional bakeries.

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