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What Is a Cake Designer?

Explore the career requirements for cake designers. Get the facts about training requirement, employment outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.

What Is a Cake Designer?

Cake designers may learn the craft through self-study, on the job or a formal training program. Cake designers are typically bakers who specialize in cakes. They may create cakes for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and more. These professionals follow or create original recipes to make cakes and icings for decoration. They ensure that their equipment is working properly and that they use quality ingredients in their creations. Depending on their place of work cake designers may have some administrative duties such as helping with marketing the business or managing the budget. They may also oversee the work of other bakers and assistants. No formal education is required to become a cake designer. Take a look at some of the information in the table below so that you can decide about this field.

Training Required On-the-job training; postsecondary training programs are available
Key Skills Attention to detail, physical stamina, math, creativity
Certification Certification is optional
Job Growth (2018-2028) 6% (for all bakers)*
Median Salary (2019) $30,126 (for all cake decorators)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Where Might I Find Work as a Cake Designer?

You may find a position at a specialty bakery, designing cakes for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions. Alternatively, you might utilize your skills as a cake designer while simultaneously fulfilling other roles in a restaurant kitchen or retail environment. For example, many cake designers are also bakers, pastry chefs, bakery managers or bakeshop owners.

What Will My Job Duties Entail?

When you work as a cake designer in a specialty shop or bakery, you're typically responsible for creating and executing original cake designs. You'll use ingredients such as icing, frosting, gels, flavorings and candies to build and sculpt custom cakes. You may use specialized tools, such as decorating bags, tips and combs, in addition to icing sculptors, stencils and spatulas.

You'll meet with clients to determine what type of design they're interested in. You may formulate sketches and present clients with various cake design options. Once they select a design, you're responsible for making sure their cake is ready for purchase at the time requested.

In a retail chain bakery, you might work from a pre-established collection of cake designs. Customers can select a particular cake design, which you'll then recreate for them.

What Training Programs are Available to Me?

It's possible for you to obtain on-the-job training as a cake designer or decorator. However, bakeries and retail establishments may choose to hire professionals who have formal education or prior experience in the field.

Some community colleges, vocational schools and culinary institutes offer individual courses or certificate programs in cake design or decorating. Through these educational offerings, you can learn to make basic and advanced designs using various types of frosting and icing. You might learn to create rope designs, icing flowers and rosettes using a variety of tools.

What Salary Could I Expect to Make?

According to PayScale.com, the median salary of cake decorators earned was $30,126, as of November 2019. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that bakers in general held 191,900 jobs across the country in 2018 (www.bls.gov).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Cooks and food preparation workers are similar careers that require no formal education, but workers typically receive on-the-job training. Cooks prepare a wide variety of foods and may work at any number of eating establishments. Food preparation workers also work in a variety of eating establishments, but help prepare food under the direction of chefs or head cooks. Chefs and head cooks are also related, but require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. These professionals plan menus, cook and oversee the work of kitchen staff.