How to Become a Baker

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The process of becoming a baker requires years of culinary experience and training. Most bakers work in bakeries and pastry establishments, while some are employed by grocery stores and supermarkets.[1] No matter where they work, bakers are trained in the art of preparing baked goods such as breads, cakes, and cookies from scratch. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that the number of positions for bakers will increase by about 3,500, or 2 percent, by the year 2020.[2]


Baker.jpg

Flickr: Thomas Berg
Education Less than high school[2]
Starting pay $16,910[3]
Median pay $23,450[3]
10 yr growth Little to no change: 2%[2]
Related professions Chef, pastry chef
Author Selena Robinson
 

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Contents

Baker Job Overview

The job of a baker is to make baked goods from scratch. This job requires more than simply placing food in the oven, though. Bakers must weigh food supplies, adjust recipes, measure ingredients, and mix dough before they can shape and bake their goods. Some bakers actually write their own recipes, which requires time, patience, and skill.[4]

Types of Baker Jobs

A person who wants to become a baker typically chooses either commercial or retail baking as a profession. A commercial baker produces baked goods in a factory setting on a mass production scale, while a retail baker works in a small bakery and produces goods for individual clients.[4] Most bakers earn an average of $23,450 annually.[3]

Baker Education

Many bakeries do not require that bakers complete a formal education before getting hired. However, some bakers do attend culinary schools, particularly those who want to work in the artisan baking or pastry chef industry.[5] Pastry chefs and artisan bakers are often asked to make custom culinary items for clients that may involve intricate designs and cooking techniques. Attending a culinary arts school can give an aspiring baker the skills to perform these advanced baking tasks.[6]

No matter what type of education a baker decides to pursue, it is important that he or she practice baking as often as possible, preferably every day. Most bakers learn to refine their cooking techniques through regular practice and observation.[7]

Baker Training

Since many cooking establishments do not require that bakers obtain a college education, most bakers get started in the industry by participating in internships or apprenticeships. These practice periods give new bakers time to learn their way around the industrial kitchen and to spend time with experienced bakers. Bakers who intend to open their own shops can use this time to learn the basics of operating a business and managing employees. Working along with cooking professionals such as caterers and chefs helps new bakers gain experience in the food industry that they can use in future assignments.[8]

Working as a Baker

A professional baker describes his day at work

Also See: How to Become a Hostess, How to Become a Caterer, How to Become a Chef

References

  1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-5
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-2
  5. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/03/artisan-food-training-school
  6. http://www.dorsey.edu/cooking-program.php
  7. http://www.thekitchn.com/be-a-better-baker-advice-from-professional-pastry-chef-jenny-mccoy-195382
  8. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-4