How to Become a Baker

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Baking is an important part of the food processing industry that involves cooking products using convection typically in an oven. Bakers are trained professionals that prepare a variety of products for many different reasons.

What does a baker do?

Bakers combine and bake ingredients according to recipes to create a variety of quantities of products such as breads, pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, tarts, and other baked goods. They often add a variety of flavors and ingredients to give products a signature taste. Bakers often work in specialty shops, restaurants, and grocery stores where they make small quantities of baked goods that are available for consumption in the environment of for sale. Some bakers work in manufacturing positions where they produce products in larger amounts to be distributed to large facilities. They use high-volume ovens, mixing machines, and other necessary equipment.

What kind of training does a baker need?

Bakers typically begin their careers as trainees or apprentices. Trainees usually start in store bakeries, while apprentices usually begin in craft bakeries. Many apprentices participate in training programs and gain certificates in baking. Others work as assistants to experienced bakers to gain practical experience. Bakers need to gain sufficient skills in baking, decorating, and icing, so many will enroll in culinary degree programs. Strong knowledge in products, ingredients, nutrition, baking equipment is required, along with a basic understanding of business concepts and government health and sanitation standards. They must know how ingredients mix with each other and how heat and production affects different ingredients.

Bakers can gain voluntary certification from the Retails Bakers of America to remain competitive in the field. There are four levels of competency including retail sales, baking sanitation, staff training, and management. Minimum education and experience are required for certification.

What are the prospects for a career as a baker?

Employment of bakers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% through 2016. The increase in traditional, specialty, and store bakeries will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for highly skilled bakers with extensive experience. Job openings will also stem from the need to replace bakers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do bakers make?

As of this year, bakers with less than 1 year experience earn average hourly rates between $7.60 and $10.17. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $8.60 and $11.42.

A career as a baker is a great choice for people with a strong passion in baking a variety of products. Bakers must have excellent eye-hand coordination, detail orientation, and ability to accurately follow directions. Since bakers work with the public and a variety of other professionals they must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They must also be able to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines. Bakers must be able to work efficiently independently and as part of a team.

Becoming a Baker Requires Skills and Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Baker? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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