Do you fancy yourself somewhat of a wizard in the kitchen when it comes to creating breads and pastries for your family and loved ones? Would you be interested in transforming this culinary skill of yours into a rewarding career as a baker? Let’s face it, everybody likes to eat, especially the type of food prepared by bakery professionals. We eat at occasions aimed to celebrate, to commemorate and even to mourn. For this reason, even in the toughest economic times, the need for qualified bakers remains relatively high. So ask yourself this: Isn’t it about time you started getting paid for what you do well? The following is a brief guide on how to search for bakery jobs, complete with a description of the primary duties and responsibilities of a bakery professional.
What is a Baker?
A baker is a culinary expert who specializes in bread, pastries, cookies, pies and other delicious treats. As a baker, you’ll not only prepare the food, but take and manage orders from your customers and balance the bakery finances. Most bakers offer a wide variety of baked goods for general sale, and may create specialty items for specific occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. Some bakers even offer delicacies from a specific region or style of cooking.
What Type of Person Makes for a Good Baker?
Obviously as a baker you’ll need to have a love of cooking, but since many of the items you will prepare will be for a special occasion, like a birthday, graduation, or wedding, you’ll need to be very creative and personable as well. Successful bakers are able to manage this creative and social side of their personality with good business sense to ensure that their business remains profitable.
The bakery profession typically requires no advanced college education, however courses in the culinary arts are recommended. What is required is a lengthy on-the-job training or apprentice program in which you learn the secrets of the bakery trade from other successful bakers. Under their supervision you’ll learn both beginning and advanced baking techniques for making a wide array of tasty products.
Finally, if your bakery skills take you to a large bakery operation, in which products are produced on a mass scale and then distributed to grocery and other wholesale outlets, you will definitely need to be versed on operating several pieces of large equipment, including industrial mixers and ovens.
Where to Find Bakery Jobs
Whether your goal is to attain regular long-term employment with a large scale manufacturer (like Hostess or Sara Lee), or to open up your own bakery specialty shop, the opportunities for qualified bakers are plentiful. It all depends on your specific goals. Before you pursue a bakery career, ask yourself a few questions to help narrow your search. For example, do you need medical benefits provided? If so, you may want to start with a larger company that can afford these types of benefits. Later on, if you wish, you can take what you’ve learned and apply those skills to a business of your own. Below are just a few of the places which are always looking for qualified bakers:
- Large Bakery Goods Manufacturers
- Grocery Stores
- Donut Shops
- Wedding Cake Decorators
- Small Bakery Specialty Shops
If you’re ready to turn your love of cooking into a full-time gig, consider a career in the baked goods industry. With plenty of opportunities available, it may be easier than you think.