Career Profile: Baker
Type of Work
Bakers prepare bread, rolls, muffins, pies, pastries, cakes and cookies in retail and wholesale bakeries and dining establishments. Bakers who are supervisors are included in this unit group.
Sources of Employment
Job opportunities will result primarily from the need to replace bakers who will be retiring. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace bakers who leave this occupation for other food-related occupations such as cooks or jobs in other fields, or because they have been promoted to chefs or to management positions in the food business, food production or food and beverage industry, or to open up their own bakery or pastry shop.
People can also advance their careers somewhat within this occupation by moving from baker or pastry cook to pastry chef, for example, or to a supervisory position. Note that the turnover is fairly high in this occupation, as indicated by the relatively high rate of young people aged 15 to 24 (26% compared with 14% for all occupations) and the contrasting low rate of people aged 55 and over (10% compared with 15% for all occupations). These data have been taken from the 2006 census.
Jobs will be accessible to a large number of candidates. First of all, students seeking part-time, evening or weekend work represent a large pool for some of the job opportunities, especially for jobs in food stores. Young people with limited schooling can also access jobs in this occupation by learning the trade from an experienced baker or by taking on-the-job training. Another share of the jobs can be filled by candidates from among the large number of unemployed bakers with experience. Many candidates also come from the immigrant population, as is shown by their substantial presence in this occupation: 23% of jobs in 2006, whereas they filled approximately 12% of jobs in other occupations, according to census data.
Finally, other jobs will be filled by graduates with a vocational diploma (DEP) in baking and pastry making or a vocational certificate (ASP) in restaurant pastry making. It should be noted that the labour market status of ASP graduates is not really dependent on the outlook in this occupation, because the majority of graduates are in other occupations, such as cook or chef, according to data from the Relance survey conducted by the Department of Education, Recreation and Sport. In addition to being directly linked to the occupation of pastry chef, pastry making is a desirable skill in other cooking and food services occupations
According to census data, in 2006 women held approximately 53% of the jobs in this occupation, a percentage that has been rising significantly since 1991 (45%). The annual employment income ($24,256) shown in the “Characteristics” section of the “Statistics” applies only to the 48% of people in this occupation who worked full time and full-year in 2005. The average employment income for those who did not work full time and full-year, including students, was $11,230. Work on weekends, evenings and holidays is frequent. This occupation requires candidates to be in good physical shape because bakers may work long hours on their feet and carry fairly heavy loads. There is some seasonal unemployment from January to April.
Education and Training
Candidates can become bakers or pastry cooks without any special training. According to data from the 2006 Census, approximately 57% of the people working in this occupation had no post-secondary education and only 16% of them had a post-secondary diploma or degree in Personal and Culinary Services. Learning from an established baker or pastry cook and on-the-job training are fairly common ways of entering this occupation. Nevertheless, different training programs make it easier to work in this occupation, and are thus an important asset.
Programs that facilitate access to this occupation are a vocational diploma (DEP) in bakery and pastry making, and an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS) in restaurant pastry making.
Candidates can obtain a certificate of qualification in bakery. The certificate is sometimes required and is an asset in any case.
Bakers with Red Seal certification can work anywhere in Canada.