Bakers combine ingredients and follow recipes to make sweet and savoury breads, pastries and cakes. They use mixers, blenders, ovens and pans to create baked goods for grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, bakeries and institutional food services.
Commercial bakers work in manufacturing facilities and mass-produce baked goods for wholesalers and restaurants, while retail bakers work in grocery stores or bakeries to produce breads and pastries for immediate sale.
Duties and responsibilities
- Mix ingredients and follow recipes to make baked goods
- Use equipment like mixers, blenders, ovens and pans
- Check the quality of ingredients and determine which ones to use
- Measure and weigh ingredients like flour and sugar
- Knead, roll, cut and shape dough
- Set ovens and pans to appropriate heating temperatures
- Create and design cakes
- Oversee the entire baking process
- Hire, train and supervise staff
- Plan budget, set prices and order supplies
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally
Bakers work in bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants or manufacturing facilities. They are exposed to high temperatures when dealing with hot ovens and pans, and must be cautious when using mixing machines, knives and dough cutters.
Bakers must have physical stamina as they tend to stand for long periods of time observing the baking process and cleaning equipment. They also lift and carry heavy objects and materials such as trays and food products.
The life of a baker can be stressful as they strive to meet tight deadlines for daily production.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
No formal education requirements
There are no formal entry requirements to become a baker. However, some aspiring bakers attend technical or culinary school, which generally requires a high school diploma. There is also the option to take part in an apprenticeship programme, which is always beneficial for hiring managers. While previous experience in baking, such as working as a baker’s assistant is seen as a positive, most training for baker positions is provided on the job.
There is the option to gain certification from organisations such as the Retail Bakers of America. This encourages job opportunities at retail baking establishments.
Bakers have the prospect of advancing to bakery supervisor or production manager. There is also the opportunity of becoming a craft baker and starting your own business.
Many bakers take part in competitions and write their own recipe books.