Baker: Career Profile
You’ve always had a passion for baking. Ever since you held your first rolling pin, you knew you wanted to do something more with your talents. If you’re considering a career path as a baker, here’s a quick look at what to expect:
A baker is someone who will combine ingredients in order to create a variety of goods, including bread, cake, cookies, muffins, and the like. These goods can be sold in grocery stores, restaurants, or a bakery.
Believe it or not, baking belongs in the trades. Though many often categorize technicians or engineers as tradespeople, bakers and chefs fall into this category as well.
In order to pursue a career in baking, you’ll need to complete high school. Employers are more likely to
hire candidates who can accurately read ingredients, understand basic math, write well, and take inventory. However, depending on the bakery, some employers may require additional schooling such as post-secondary programs in bakery and pastry arts management or the culinary arts.
You’ll have lots of duties as a baker, including but not limited to:
- Creatively decorating baked goods
- Lift heavy items
- Thinking of new recipes or improving old favourites
- Preparing dough and placing them on baking sheets or trays
- Accurately measuring ingredients to ensure a good end result
- Ordering supplies and monitoring inventory
- Maintaining a clean work station
- Standing for long periods of time
- Responsibly handling machinery and heat sources
The average entry-level baker in Canada earns minimum wage. Typical wages range from $14/hr to $15.75/hr.
Though, as you advance through your career, you may climb the ranks to head baker, which earns anywhere from $22/hr to $25/hr.
Your hours as a baker depend on where you work. If you work alongside a head baker in his shop, your day may be a typical 9-5 deal. However, if you work in a grocery store or coffee shop, your shifts could range from eight to ten hours throughout the day.
Keep in mind that some employers may ask you to work an early morning shift. Some bakeries may require you to arrive at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and work until the afternoon. Others may require you to work from the evening in the wee hours of the morning. Chances are, if you’re just starting out, you’ll need to make a serious adjustment to your schedule.
Pros and Cons
Baking can be a very rewarding career. You’ll be able to spend your day doing what you love, working hard, and creating something that people can enjoy. It’s not often people can say that they love their jobs.
On the flip side, some people just can’t handle the crazy hours, how difficult it is to advance in the industry, and the relatively low pay.
If you’re interested in joining the culinary career path, don’t let the irregular hours scare you away. At the end of the day, if you love your work, your schedule will be the last thing on your mind.