A lot of people would like to become professionals in cake decorating, but they simply lack the skills or knowledge of how to become one. Below, learn easy steps that can help you kick start a career in professional cake decorating.
Is Cake decorating a good Career for me?
First of all, keep in mind that cake decorating requires more than basic cake decorating skills. The job requires a highly creative mind, a lot of practice and not forgetting a good grasp of cake decorating knowledge. As a cake decorator, one has to work efficiently in designing unique and attractive cakes, constructing them well and also embellish them as customers would like.
Most cake decorators work for pastries and bakeries even though one can start a business on their own. For those who choose to work in bakeries, they have to be highly creative and impeccable in their work as most orders therein are for special occasions such as weddings and group parties. In addition, cake decorators are also sometimes tasked with providing customer care services, tracking supplies of their decorated cakes, and maintaining health and sanitation at their places of work. Also, remember that cake decorating can become a stressful job especially when you have tough deadlines to meet.
Requirements to become a cake decorator
•Degree Level: A bachelor’s degree is not necessary although owning one can is better
•Degree field: Cake decorations, baking, culinary arts and pastry arts
•Certification: Though it is acquired on a voluntarily basis, it is important to have one acquired from the Retail Bakers of America
•Key Skills: Creativity, ability to sense taste and smell, manual dexterity and attention to detail
•Salary (2014): $23,600 annually (average for all bakers)
Step 1: Get Formal Training
A certificate or an associate degree program in pastry or culinary arts is usually the first step to becoming a professional cake decorator. Additional knowledge in cake decorating can also be gained through apprenticeship under the supervision of highly experienced chefs and bakers. Usually, students gain up to 6000 hours of work experience in these apprenticeships.
Most pastry and baking courses enable aspiring cake decorators gain knowledge in areas such as airbrushing, piping and the use of gum paste or fondant. On the other hand, formal training courses may also incorporate classes about the importance of maintaining good sanitary conditions.
Step 2: Gain work Experience
Most employers prefer potential employees with some experience in their relevant areas of expertise. In a recent study for example, a lot of people who went straight to looking for jobs immediately after graduation were least likely to be employed by big luxury hotels and bakeries. In fact, most of them could only get employed in the middle and small retail bakeries and pastries. Therefore, start by working in those small bakeries for one or two years before you can finally get a job at a bigger luxury hotel.
Step 3: Earn Certification
The Retail Bakers of America offers certification to qualified cake decorators with at least four years of experience in preparing icing, decorating cakes and having worked as a professional in a recognized bakery. Finally, you also have to pass a one day practical examination tests besides having completed a course in food sanitation.
- Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months
- Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
- Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
- Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
- Has student housing available.