Cake Decorator: Job Duties, Career Outlook, and Education Requirements
Explore the career requirements for cake decorators. Get the facts about salary, education requirements and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.
What is a Cake Decorator?
Cake decorators customize cakes and other baked goods for their customers. As with any baker, daily tasks include checking the quality of ingredients, preparing equipment and baking. At the beginning of a project, cake decorators sit down with clients to create a design. After a design is approved, they apply it to a cake using different types of frosting and icing, including buttercream and fondant. This process involves using tools like spatulas, icing bags and different nozzles to create decorative flowers and lettering. The table below provides key career information to help you decide if being a cake decorator is a fit for you:
|Training Required||On-the-job training|
|Key Responsibilities||Measure and mix ingredients for baking; decorate and display cakes and other bakery items; consult and take orders from customers|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||6%* (for all bakers)|
|Average Salary (2018)||$28,660* (for all bakers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Would I Do As a Cake Decorator?
As a cake decorator, you could be employed by retail bakeries or grocery stores. According to job postings for cake decorators on CareerBuilder.com, your primary responsibilities may be to not only ice cakes, cookies and cupcakes, but to also add decorative flowers, designs or scripts according to a customer's wishes. This may involve the use of stencils, airbrushes and sugar molds. Some of your other job duties might include restocking display cases, tracking product inventory, ordering supplies, cleaning equipment and providing customer service.
What Is the Career Outlook?
Though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have statistics specific to cake decorators, it does offers job outlook statistics for the related position of baker, who may also ice and decorate cakes. Employment opportunities for these food service professionals were expected to rise by 6% during the period of 2018-2028, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov). This projection was due to the increasing demand for the number of baked goods. The BLS also reported that bakers made an annual average salary of $28,660 as of May 2018.
What Education Do I Need?
A search of cake decorator job postings on CareerBuilder.com revealed that employers often require prospective cake decorators to have a GED or high school diploma. In some cases, you may need up to a year of cake decorating experience.
There are a variety of continuing education courses and workshops you can take to get the training and skills necessary for a job as a cake decorator. These courses are often offered in the evenings and on weekends by community colleges' continuing or workforce development programs. In these classes, you learn to use pastry bags and tips to create decorative borders, leaves, flowers and shells. In some classes you may even practice making your own icing and cake filling.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Some careers related to cake decoration include chefs, cooks and food preparation workers. Chefs, or head cooks, are typically in charge of the cooks and food preparation workers in a kitchen or restaurant and need to ensure that the food coming out is of good quality. Cooks share in this responsibility, since their primary role is to cook and prepare hot foods. Food preparation workers do many of the same jobs as cooks but with cold, non-cooked items. On-the-job training is a common requirement for all of these careers, though chefs may also need at least a high school diploma.