How Can I Get a Job in a Bakery?
Baking is a profession that is a mixture of science and creativity. If you'd like to work in a bakery, you might start out as an apprentice, or you might receive formal training at a college or culinary institute.
Bakers make and decorate all types of pastries, bread, cakes, and cookies. As a baker, you might find work in a commercial bakery where you make goods for wholesale distribution. You may work in a supermarket or restaurant bakery producing fresh baked goods in-house each day. You could also find employment in a small, independent retail bakery, or you might choose to open your own shop. No matter where you work, you'll most likely work a variety of hours, including early mornings and holidays. Additionally, the work environment is typically hot and noisy.
Important Facts About Bakers
|Median Salary (2020)||$29,400|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||5%|
|Similar Occupation||Pastry Chef|
|Key Skills||Detail oriented, good at math and organization, physical stamina and strength|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Education and Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bakers often start out as apprentices or trainees, although they may complete formal training before seeking a job (www.bls.gov). You can search for apprenticeships in retail bakeries or training programs in grocery store bakeries. Typically, the minimum education requirement is a high school diploma. The BLS notes that in some states a bakery worker must hold a health certificate.
Culinary schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges may offer culinary degree and certificate programs that have baking as a component. These programs will teach you baking techniques, from decorating to baking safety, along with general cooking skills, food handling practices, and food preparation techniques. Many courses also include business topics, which are useful if you'd like to be self-employed.
Although you can find a job in a bakery with little experience, moving up into senior positions usually requires proven skills. You can highlight your skills and experience by pursuing a certification from the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). The RBA offers multiple certification options, which are focused on different skills and experience levels. Newcomers to baking might choose to become a Certified Journey Baker, while those with plentiful experience can pursue the Certified Master Baker designation. To become certified, you must meet both education and experience requirements.