How to Become a Bakerby Izabella Blazevic
Are you interested in the field of baking but you’re not sure where to start? Learn about what being a baker is like, what skills and qualities you’ll need to succeed, and how to get started in the industry.
Baker Job Description
A baker is someone who follows recipes to create various types of baked goods, such as bread loaves, cakes, buns, muffins and more. Like many others in the food industry, a baker must follow the proper health and safety guidelines, ensuring that the ingredients are of good quality, using machines to create the dough, checking the oven temperatures and cleaning your equipment. You also may need to order certain ingredients and utensils if you’re running your own bakery, along with other miscellaneous items such as decorations, boxes to pack goods in, etc.
4 Things You Should Know About The Job
A few things that you need to know before you make your decision to become a baker:
Odd Working Hours
It’s likely your shifts will be inconsistent, working in the early mornings or the late evenings, especially if you work part-time. However, chances are, the majority of the time, you’ll be working very early in the mornings in order to have your baked goods fresh for the public.
Speaking of the public, there may be times where you’ll have to serve customers, which means you’ll most likely be handling money as well as talking to many others, besides your coworkers.
Many Workplace Options
When it comes to where you work, the options are wide and varied. A certified baker can be found at resorts, hotels and of course, stand-alone bakeries along a shopping strip. Whether you work in a commercial factory as a part of a chain, in a restaurant-style kitchen with a brigade system, or at a cafe, the tasks that you will have to complete will be relatively the same.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this job can be quite physically demanding. You’ll be on your feet the entire time, whether you be baking out the back or greeting customers at the front.
There are many paths available to you as a chef, baker or pastry chef. For an example of where this career can take you, discover Ben McMenamin’s career journey in the culinary industry, which took him all the way from kitchen hand to sustainability social enterprise founder.
Job Prospects for Bakers and Patisserie Chefs
The job prospects for this field expanded exponentially over the last five years, with 34,900 jobs in 2018. It is expected to keep on growing, up to 39,300 by 2023.
The salary for pastry chefs is typically $52,176 per annum. Bakers are typically paid a little more, at $53,026 per annum.
Typical Baker Salary
What Are The Skills & Qualities You Need As A Baker?
- Strong teamwork skills
- Find a fast-paced job enjoyable
- Can keep calm under pressure
- Strong interpersonal skills
On The Job Training or Culinary School?
Baking doesn’t require you to go to university or any other formal education, although you’ll need to complete high school, at least up to year 10. However, there are courses you can take if you want to get into commercial baking or retail baking. For example, a Certificate III in Patisserie or something similar is required to become a master baker. This particular course will take you about a year to complete, providing you with work placement where you will work as a baker’s assistant. With on-the-job training, you’ll learn all the know-how necessary to be successful as a pastry chef.
There’s also the option of enrolling into a culinary school, which can provide you with both hands-on classes along with online ones as well. Certain schools will hone in on a particular type of baked good, such as focusing mainly on preparing bread, cakes, etc. Be sure to do your research before you enrol, to ensure that what you learn will align with your specialisation.
After completing a course, you should consider an apprenticeship if you haven’t already done work placement. Since this job requires a lot of practical knowledge, the best way to learn is through on-the-job training, where you can see the baking process up close. It’ll also allow you to apply your knowledge.
By becoming a certified master baker, many employment opportunities open top for you. From commercial bakers to retail baking, from manufacturing and accommodation, there are several areas you can work in.
If, by chance, you are still struggling to find work in this area, perhaps completing another qualification should be your next course of action. Training.com.au offers a variety of courses, such as hospitality management courses, that you can increase your employability. Browse a complete list of hospitality courses related to baking.
How a Chef Apprenticeship Can Benefit Your Career
Whether you dream of working at a Michelin-star restaurant, setting up your own trendy cafe or working in any other culinary capacity, taking on a chef apprenticeship will be an incredible stepping stone towards a rewarding career as a skilled chef.
What are the Techniques You Learn?
To summarise what you learn, here are the key skills and baking techniques you’ll learn throughout your training:
- Food safety
- Shaping dough
- Preparing fillings
- Machine operation
- Sanitation methods
Your culinary journey starts here
Start your journey towards an exciting career as a baker.
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