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Career Outlook for Bakers

Career News November 22, 2014

What do bakers do? Why, of course, they mix and knead breads, pastries, pies, and other baked goods according to recipes. Bakers work in grocery stores and commercial, retail, and restaurant settings. Their shifts might include early morning and late night hours. Though many bakers learn from on-the-job training, others might learn through internships. They might also learn through technical or culinary arts schools.

Baking Careers Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for a baker with less than a high school education is about $23,000 and is projected to grow by about 6% from 2012 to 2022. Bakers with years of experience will be in higher demand and will probably make a higher salary.

Bakers will check the quality of ingredients, measure, weigh, prepare equipment, knead, roll, cut and shape, place on baking sheets or pans, observe, and apply icing, frosting, and other toppings of baked goods. They will also create new recipes and presentations. They are responsible for hiring, training, and supervising others to ensure they are following sanitation and safety rules and regulations.

Baking Careers

Bakers that run their own business will also deal with bills and payroll along with supervision of other assistants or bakers. In large manufacturing facilities, there are hazards such as hot ovens, cutters, heavy lifting, and other things that might allow for safety hazards. The hours may be long, challenging, and hot. To reduce some of these risks, bakers wear protective clothing, such as gloves and aprons.

Bakers are considered to have a higher injury and illness rate than the national average. Often they will work very early mornings, late nights, and even weekends and holidays.

Baking Careers Depend on Training

Grocery stores and restaurants employ more than half of the bakers out there and sell freshly baked goods throughout the day. While some bakers learn their skills through on-the-job training, employers may also offer apprenticeships. Other bakers start as a baker’s assistant.

There are also technical and culinary schools that you can attend, but you will have to have at least a high school diploma to start. Education programs usually last from one to two years, during which time you will learn nutrition, food science, and safety and sanitation.

You will also learn basic baking techniques, cake decorating, and preparation as well as participate in correspondence. In some cases, you work towards a certification. The Retail Bakers of America offers a certification program that offers four levels of competence. These levels include sanitation, management, retail sales, and staff training. The years of experience and education range from one year up to eight years. Eight years will give you certification as a master baker.

Although you can attend a culinary school to become a baker, you can also check into community colleges in your area, which may save you money on your tuition. You will also want to check to see if they have any financial aid programs that you may qualify for. This is a great career path, and it’s going to smell and taste wonderful every step of the way.

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