If spending your day around bread, pastries, pies, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies sounds like heaven, then pursuing baking jobs may be a good choice for you!
Baking Job Description
Bakers make a large variety of baked goods, from large loaves of bread to tiny macarons. Bakers must be able to follow a recipe exactly, as any deviation can result in a bad bake. They must know basic math in order to scale recipes up or down as needed. They must also be able to spend long hours on their feet and be able to lift up to 40 pounds.
The easiest place to find baking jobs is, of course, a bakery. Bakeries may provide a wide variety of baked goods, or they may specialize in a certain niche. For example, a donut shop is a type of specialized bakery, as is a vegan or gluten-free bakery.
Many grocery stores have a bakery department which provides fresh bread, cakes, tortillas, cookies, brownies, and muffins. Grocery store bakeries make a lot of celebration cakes, so bakers must be able to decorate with text and designs, like flowers and balloons made of icing.
Some restaurants employ bakers to make bread and desserts for their menus. These jobs can also include pastry chefs — classically trained bakers who work in a supervisory role overseeing the baking and pastry operations for the restaurant.
Self-employed bakers often work out of rented commercial kitchens to make cakes and desserts for weddings, parties, and other events. If you wish to be self-employed, make sure to check your state’s commercial kitchen requirements. In most states, using your home kitchen as a commercial kitchen is illegal.
The average salary for baking jobs in 2019 is just over $30,000, according to Payscale. Salaries increase with experience, with pastry chefs in high-end restaurants earning up to $70,000 in some markets.
The outlook is good for bakers. The bakery market is expected to grow 8% over the next 10 years, which matches the average for all expected job growth.
Popular coffee shop Boston Commons Coffee is looking for an entry-level baker in Boston, MA to bake muffins, scones, croissants, and cookies.
PR Management Corp. has many baking jobs available at the over 60 Panera Bread locations that company operates, such as bakery jobs in Worcester MA. These bakers are responsible for preparing all the baked goods that Panera Bread’s bakeries offer on a daily basis.
Education and Certification for Baking Jobs
No formal education is required in order to become a baker. Some choose to attend culinary school to learn the basics such as how to use bakery equipment, weights and measures, sanitation, and decoration. Others learn through on-the-job apprenticeships for one to three years.
There are several optional certifications that bakers can receive through Retail Bakers of America, the baking trade association.
To reach Certified Master Baker, the highest level, the RBA requires at least 8 years of commercial baking experience. Applicants must also show proof of at least 30 hours of sanitation coursework and 30 hours of professional development training. The applicant must then pass a written exam and a practical exam within 2 years of submitting their application.
Although these certifications are not required in order to be a baker, they can be helpful in securing more lucrative employment.