A baker is the person responsible for mixing and baking pastries and other baked goods for restaurants, hotels, supermarkets or private shops. This requires a working proficiency with chemistry, kitchen equipment and common baking ingredients. Becoming a baker requires creating baked goods according to schedule, juggling several different projects and deadlines at once and learning new ways to bake edible pieces of art.
Bakers are chefs as well as artists. If you’ve ever walked into a bakery and wanted to create artful cakes, sweet treats and tasty pastries, a career as a baker might be for you.
A baker creates, either alone or with others, all of the baked goods for an establishment within the hospitality industry. This entails the ability to multitask, as bakers must keep track of several simultaneous projects, each with their own deadlines and time constraints. A baker must be able to bake goods according to client specifications as well as create designs on their own.
Since baking takes a considerable amount of time and care, a baker often works odd hours, weekends and long shifts on his or her feet. There is a great deal of specialized knowledge to bake, so many bakers start their careers as apprentices or baker’s assistants while they are enrolled in a degree or certificate program for baking. Bakers often move up into the pastry department of a hotel, restaurant or retail bakery outlet; they may also open their own bakeries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2006 bakers earned an average of $22,030 per year with a high end of $35,380. Bakers who worked in bakeries and tortilla manufacturing earned the most, taking home an average of $22,580 per year. Actual salaries earned, however, depend greatly on educational level, skill and location.
Bakers who become television personalities, such as Duff Goldman of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” have the potential to command far more lucrative salaries and endorsement deals.