If you love trying new recipes or creating your own twist on baked items, you may find yourself looking for a career as a baker. By turning your passion into a paying job, your opportunities for growth and work/life balance are endless.
The role of a baker varies significantly depending on the job at hand. While a generalized statement that addresses the question of what is a baker could include a person who makes breads, pastries, cookies and other baked goods, these tasks are far from describing the overall abilities and job duties in this field. Baking is the primary function in this position, but how and for whom the baking is done changes drastically depending on the actual position the person was hired for.
As with any industry and profession, there is a lot that goes into determining what can be expected out of a baker salary. The average baker’s paycheck nationally is $23,450, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this can only tell so much. This number can be brought up for more highly skilled employees, or brought down by locations where the pay level is not as high. This number also does not take into account the exact functions and position of the individual employee. Jobs with higher demands and expectations typically pay higher. And independent business owners may have differently calculated paychecks because much of their income is put back into their business.
There are many facets of a baker’s job. From those who work in restaurants, to those who run their own business out of their homes, the careers may seem worlds apart for being in the same industry. However, there are certain aspects of the baker job description that hold true across all positions, locations and skill levels. Ultimately, there is always an end product in mind that is meant to be consumed and enjoyed by the recipients and purchasers of the product.
If you are one of the many people with a passion for trying new recipes and creating new treats in the kitchen to bring to friends or enjoy with your family, you may be considering a career as a baker. This career is one that takes passion to thrive, but is enjoyed by the many who perform it every day because it is seen as a paying hobby instead of a job they dread. To join the job market in this position, you are probably wondering where to start and how to become a baker.
There are many different baking industry associations, career boards and professional groups that provide a number of valuable resources for students and professionals in this field. If you’re going to become a baker, it’s a good idea to learn about all the resources that you have available to you and take advantage of them throughout your career. Here is more information about several of the largest organizations for bakers in the United States.
If you want to become a professional baker, you’re going to need to get some education and training first, even if you’ve mastered the art of baking at home. There are many different types of bakers working in restaurants, hotels, resorts, cruise ships, cafes, bakeries, patisseries, cake shops and many other types of businesses. Some bakers strike out on their own and open their own businesses, as well. Bakers may also choose a specialty, such as artisanal bread, or work on the more elegant side of things as a pastry chef. Whether you’re baking cakes, cookies, pastries, pies or any other type of sweet or savory baked item, a combination of education, hands-on training, professional experience and simple good taste will take you where you want your career to go.
The fact is that graduates of formal pastry and baking programs are much more likely to advance in their careers and earn higher salaries than bakers who are completely self-taught. There are various baking and pastry arts programs to choose from, ranging from apprenticeships to certificates to degrees. More and more these days, employers want to see that a baker has completed a degree program at a reputable, accredited culinary institution. There are many benefits to completing a degree: networking, well-rounded education, hands-on training and fine-tuning of all your skills. There are both associate’s and bachelor’s baking degrees to choose from.