If you were one of those that spent hours in the kitchen as a youngster baking cookies primarily to eat half the dough or rolled out your own mini-pies alongside your mother, you probably developed a lifelong attachment to baking. The early initiation taught you how to form pie crusts, mix dough, and learn what constituted the right flavor before the item ever went into the oven.
If your experiences also consisted of how to bake bread, sitting on a stool, waiting for the yeast to rise, thumping the table occasionally to watch the globs of yeast rise to the top, and kneading your own small pile of dough, you were well on your way to learning how to become a baker.
Your ventures carried you into the skills of pancakes to crepes, from tarts to cream puffs, and cakes to soufflés. You learned the right consistency of dough, when it needs to be worked, when it was too stiff, and the differences in techniques between bread and biscuits.
Becoming a Baker Is Your Passion
Baking is a passion and one that requires a lot of devotion. Bakers rise very early in the morning to start their day and put in some very long, intense hours. They learn how to make simmering fruit toppings, creamy toppings, and decorative touches to cakes, pies, and sweet breads.
Although your skills may be enough to open your own shop, serving to the public still requires a little extra knowledge. You need an understanding of business procedures, accounting, marketing, and budgeting. Your kitchen must pass safety inspection for food handling and environmental controls, and you must develop a good reputation as a baker.
Your choices in the food industry are broad for landing a baking position. You could choose to work in a plant with industrial aspects that involve working with large machinery or as an apprentice in a bakery shop and working your way into a primary position. Although a degree program isn’t necessary to receive training as a baker, the best way to land a position in the baking industry is through a certified program.
Many community colleges and vocational schools offer courses in culinary and baking skills. Some companies will even reimburse you for your studies, if you commit to a set amount of time to their employment.
Becoming a Baker Is a Matter of Education
There are also various degree programs offered by culinary schools. The programs will teach you how to make delicacies that never came out of your mom’s kitchen, but are mouth watering in their appetizing aroma and display.
Your degree program will also include courses in nutrition. You will learn the healthy aspects of what you bake as well as specialty baking, such as sugar-free products for diabetics and gluten-free products for people with allergies.
Receiving certification is the wisest move for advancing your career as a baker. There are four levels involved to receiving certification with the Retail Bakers of America. The course work for receiving certification will involve retail sales, baking sanitization, staff training, and management. The certification will assure prospective employers that you understand the fundamentals of working with a team, effective productivity, and basic business skills, but they will still want to know just how good you are as a baker. Don’t be surprised if they put you to the test by asking you to whip up a sample delicacy from their own kitchen.
Like so many that depend on natural abilities, innovation, and creativity, you may have to accept a low wage as a beginner baker. However, the opportunities for advancement are as great as your talent, enthusiasm, and commitment. A top baker is a primary asset to a shop, store, or restaurant, with a reputation that drives local consumers to the doors of the business.
With experience and excellent skills, a baker can make over $40,000 a year, though a starting salary could be closer to $21,330 by the estimation of some universities. Nevertheless, the average according to Indeed is $80,000 annually.
Want to learn what’s required in becoming a baker? You need skills, training, and initiative to succeed.
- 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.