What's the Salary of a Wedding Cake Decorator?
Bakers specializing in wedding cake decoration create edible art using their knowledge of cake recipes, frostings and design elements. Read on to learn about how much these professionals earn and what their job prospects look like.
Overview of Job Duties
Bakers work in a range of industries, from grocery stores to specialty bake shops, creating an even greater diversity of goods. While some produce a variety of products required by supermarkets, others focus entirely on pastries or confectionery. Bakers generally order supplies and ingredients; prepare baked goods, such as cakes, bread, cookies, pies or pastries; monitor and adjust production to meet customer demand; handle special orders and maintain a clean and safe baking area that's properly stocked and sanitized. While these professionals, in general, are capable of decorating all kinds of cakes, some specialize in creating and decorating wedding cakes using gum paste, fondant, icing, and chocolate.
Important Facts About This Occupation
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)||5% (for all bakers)|
|On-the-Job Training||Long-term training is common; internships and apprenticeships|
|Required Education||No formal education is required, but a certificate, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in baking and pastry arts are available|
|Similar Occupations||Chefs and head cooks, cooks, food prep workers|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to PayScale.com, as of March 2021, most cake decorators, which includes but isn't limited to wedding cake decorators, earned an annual gross salary between $22,000 and $58,000. The same source reported that the median income for these workers was $30,029.
Salary by Employer
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted in May 2019 that bakers working for the bakeries and tortilla manufacturing industries made $30,230, on average. Restaurants and other eating places paid these professionals an average wage of $27,750. Bakers working for colleges, universities, and professional schools made the highest average wage of $35,580.
According to the BLS, the bakery and tortilla manufacturing industry employed the most bakers in May 2019, followed by food and beverage stores (which had a a mean wage of $29,630).
Salary by Location
Additionally, BLS surveys indicated that California, Texas, and New York led the country in the numbers of bakers employed in May 2018. Workers in these states earned average wages of $32,580, $25,830, and $32,780, respectively. However, those in Hawaii, and District of Columbia, and Massachusetts earned the highest annual mean salaries of $38,080, $35,620 and $35,240, respectively.
Training programs in baking and pastry arts teach you the fundamentals of baking, including baking principles, food safety practices, and industrial production techniques.
General education requirements may include English, math, public speaking, and marketing. You also might take specialized courses like the following:
- Baking fundamentals
- Food safety
- Kitchen sanitation
- Specialty bread
- Cake decorating
- Cake design
- Decorative artistry using chocolate and confections
You'll likely practice using different icings and securing the layers of a tiered cake. You'll also develop your piping techniques, such as the uses of different icing tips and methods for producing desired shapes and patterns. Additionally, you may use materials such as chocolate or gum paste to create flowers or other decorative pieces.
Once you've met training and experience requirements, you can pursue voluntary certification through the Retail Bakers of America. Candidates for the Certified Decorator designation also must demonstrate their skills in a proficiency test.