What Do Bakers Do?
Bakers play an essential role in the food production industry. They are responsible for mixing and baking ingredients to produce cookies, cake, pies, pastries, breads, rolls or other baked goods. There are two types of bakers: commercial and retail. Commercial bakers typically work in manufacturing facilities that produce pastries and breads at high speeds while retail bakers commonly work in grocery stores, bakeries and specialty shops. There is expected to be a 6% growth annually for this position across the United States. This results in approximately 5,010 job openings each year. The industries that employ the most bakers include tortilla manufacturing and restaurants.
Bakers Skills and Abilities
In order to produce baked goods, you will need a thorough understanding of production and processing such as quality control and techniques for maximizing the effective manufacturing and distribution of goods. A comprehensive knowledge of food techniques will also prove useful because you will need to plant, grow and harvest plant and animal food products for consumption on a regular basis. Verbal Communication and time management skills will be beneficial, and you should also be able to make sound decisions by accurately weighing costs and benefits. Some other tasks you should expect to be involved with include:
- Rolling, kneading, cutting, or shaping dough to form sweet rolls, pie crusts, tarts, cookies, or other products
- Coordinating or directing bakery deliveries
- Receiving or ordering supplies or equipment
- Maintaining or preparing inventory or production records
- Operating wrapping or slicing machines
- Developing new recipes for baked goods
Bakers need to be able to combine measured ingredients in bowls of mixing, blending, or cooking machinery. You will also be expected to check the quality of raw materials to ensure that standards and specifications are met. You will also need to check equipment to ensure that it meets health and safety regulations and perform maintenance or cleaning, as necessary. Some of the other tasks associated with the position include:
- Adjusting temperature controls of ovens or other heating equipment
- Applying decorative or protective finishes to products or workpieces
- Cleaning production equipment
- Ordering supplies, materials or equipment
- Recording production or operational data
- Shaping dough or clay to create products
Bakers Tools and Technology
You will be working with cake decorating equipment, commercial grade cutlery, molds and ovens and forming machines. Since you will be managing food production, you should have a working knowledge of computer software such as database, inventory and email. You may also require desktop publishing software for creating such things as menus and flyers.
Education and Training for Bakers
Most bakers who enter this profession have less than a high school degree. Generally, you do not need work experience for a job in this field. However, long-term on-the-job-training is common once you land a job.
The salary for people working in this field can vary greatly, depending on your experience and what state you live in. The lowest 10% of bakers make around $17,600 a year while the median yearly salary is $23,600 a year. However, you can go quite a bit more than that. The top 10% of bakers can make approximately $37,600 a year.
Bakers Jobs by Geography
California, Texas and Florida have the biggest concentration of bakers by population. However, the states with the greatest growing demand include Idaho, Texas and Georgia. Some of the industries that have the most need for this type of work include specialty baked goods, such as cupcakes, cakes and pies, from grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants. You need to look at all these various factors in order to determine where the best place for you to launch your career as a baker.