Do you daydream of bread, cakes, and pastries, enjoy cooking, and have good creative skills? If yes, a career as a baker might be a great option.
Bakers follow recipes to prepare a range of sweet and savoury baked goods. They may work in a bakery chain, commercial factories, or small privately-owned cafes.
You usually need to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in baking. Alternatively, complete a Certificate III in Bread Baking or Certificate III in Baking through an RTO to work as a baker in Australia.
This blog discusses what a baker does, where he works, how much he earns, baking apprenticeships, how long it takes, qualifications, what career paths and specialisations he can pursue, and the steps to enter this profession.
1. What Is A Baker?
Bakers use flour and other ingredients to bake various products, such as cakes, croissants, rolls, bread loaves, muffins, buns, doughnuts, cakes, biscuits, quiches, and pastries.
They know different baking techniques and procedures, oven operations, different types of dough, and proper health and safety guidelines.
In addition to remarkable cooking skills, Bakers are skilled at handling cash and dealing with the public. They start the day early and cook baked goods to sell them fresh to customers when the bakery opens.
2. What Does A Baker Do?
Based on the production scale, they may perform various tasks daily:
Mix dough by hand or machine
Prepare sweet and savoury pastry fillings
Roll sheets of pastry
Decorate/Glaze pastries and cakes with cream or icing sugar
Ensure good quality ingredients are used and food, health, and safety standards are followed
Fill the dough/batter in baking trays, moulds, and tins for cooking
Load trays or tins into ovens
Carefully monitor the oven temperatures and cooking and cooling period
Check the appearance of the baked items
Unload ovens when the baked products are baked and put them aside in a tray to cool
Clean the machinery, equipment and utensils used
Co-ordinate with wholesalers to place an order for baking supplies
Check the weight and quality of ingredients and raw materials
Operate wrapping and slicing machines
Implement suitable baking techniques
3. Reasons To Pursue A Career In Baking
As the bread will never disappear, the baker will have plenty of good career prospects for the years to come.
We have compiled convincing reasons for making it worthwhile to pursue this profession:
This an excellent opportunity to pursue your baking passion while you earn
No need to invest several studying to pursue this profession
Different pathways to pursuing the profession
Work opportunities are available in various settings, such as high-end cafes, coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, factories, bakeries and shops.
An opportunity to pursue a mixed, and sheer number of roles in patisserie
Opportunities of career progression: Baker -> Pastry Chef -> Executive Pastry Chef -> Business Owner/Business Manager
Plenty of specialisation option makes the profession interesting to work in
You can bake endless things, from delicious pastries and beautiful desserts to lip-smacking pies and mouth-watering cakes.
No two days are alike. Different types of activities make each day exciting.
You get to offer your creative skills to create a wide range of sweet and sour delicacies that appeases your customers.
You get to enjoy Flexibility in terms of work schedules and workplaces to suit your unique lifestyles.
Opportunities to set up your business or work self-employed
4. Skills You Need To Become A Baker
To work efficiently in the kitchen and succeed in a culinary career, you need a combination of professional techniques and a few characteristics:
Basic kitchen skills and techniques
Knowledge of different baking methods and techniques
Kneading, maturing, moulding and shaping the dough
Weighing ingredients and preparing ingredients for fillings
Forming, inserting, baking, removing, de-panning and cooling the bread and baking items
Coating and decorating with cream and icing sugar
Operating dough mixers, ovens, and other machines used in baking
Emptying, oiling, and cleaning baking equipment such as baking trays and tins, biscuit cutters, and shaping devices
Knowledge of health and safety regulations
Math skills to measure ingredients
Fond of cooking
Enjoy working in a practical and fast-paced job
Able to stay calm and work efficiently in stressful environments
Strong interpersonal skills
Effectively communicate with coworkers, vendors, bakers, and customers
Curios to try new recipes
Good health, fitness, and stamina to stand for extended durations and lift and move heavy bags of flour
Good hand-eye coordination
No skin allergies
Neat and clean appearance
Able to maintain a hygienic and organised workplace
Comfortable working shift work, working nights and the early starts
Customer service skills
Able to handle money and operate the cash register
Strong teamwork skills
Like to be an early riser
Good time-management skills
Able to follow food health and safety rules
Able to think and act quickly
5. Qualifications To Become A Baker In Australia
How do you become a baker or pastry chef in Australia? You must complete a baker's apprenticeship or traineeship to qualify.
Complete your year ten education.
Enrol in a traineeship or apprenticeship. You may seek the assistance of a Group Training Organization or Apprenticeship Network to find a local employer willing to offer you an apprenticeship.
Alternatively, you can complete a trade-qualified baker course, such as a Certificate III in Baking or Certificate III in Bread Baking, via an RTO. These qualifications teach you the knowledge and skills of a baker who bakes cakes, bread, biscuits, or pastries in a commercial baking environment.
6. Steps To Become A Baker In Australia
The academic requirements to become a baker differ based on your objectives. Usually, you would need a combination of education and practical work experience to refine the essential skills.
This 5-step guide will help you prepare for a career as a baker:
Step 1: Finish Your High School Education
Many Bakers usually complete formal VET training in a pastry or culinary school. To be eligible to undertake the course, you must obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent.
Choosing an elective subject in baking or nutrition in your high school education will prove advantageous when studying for a formal training course.
Step 2: Attend A Culinary School
Consider attending a culinary school. It will help develop a broader understanding of baking and more sophisticated culinary skills, even if you already have perfected baking recipes.
Generally, a culinary school education takes around 1 to 2 years to complete, based on your study mode and the depth of the program you undertake.
Certificate III in Baking is an ideal course for aspiring bakers who want to enhance their baking abilities and refine their craft. You will learn about various topics that include:
Health and nutrition
Proper culinary techniques
The critical trade baking skills and techniques you learn as part of the training include:
Learning and perfecting these skills will prepare you to work in a food processing industry or a retail baking environment as a Baker or Pastry Chef.
Step 3: Gain Industry Exposure
The profession of baking requires immense practical knowledge. Working in culinary as a baker's assistant or taking on a chef apprenticeship can go a long way in making a rewarding career as a proficient chef. These are the best ways to learn the baking process and put theoretical learning into practice.
By working under a professional baker for 1 to 3 years, you learn basic baking practices, food sanitation, and safe food handling procedures. It is also a chance to network with other bakers and increase your chances of finding employment.
However, finding apprentice opportunities might take much work for aspiring bakers. Suppose you need help to gain hands-on experience and want to know how to become a baker's assistant. In that case, you can contact local bakeries and employers for baker sponsorships in Australia.
You can also complete other related courses, such as hospitality management courses, helping increase your employability for the role.
Step 4: Gain Professional Membership
Since baking practices constantly change, you need to be a continuous learner.
Joining a professional group or attending a baker networking event allows you to build industry connections, stay in touch with the latest developments, and progress in your career through potential job opportunities.
Step 5: Continue Improvising Your Culinary Craft
Baking is an art. Refine the culinary craft throughout your career. Keep experimenting with new recipes to develop your baking skills and upgrade your recipes.
It is vital as, through trial and error, you learn what works and what doesn't and thus become more effective in baking.
Food Industry Career Resources:
7. Courses To Become A Professional Baker In Australia
Qualified bakers can find numerous employment and career advancement opportunities in this industry.
Here we have mentioned some popular courses designed for aspiring bakers who are looking to get a start in this profession.
Certificate III in Baking (FBP30517) - Charles Darwin University
Certificate III in Bread Baking (FBP30417) – South West TAFE
Certificate III In Patisserie – TAFE SA
8. How Much Does A Baker Make In Australia?
The salary of a baker depends on their work location, level of experience, industry, type of employment, specialisation, and position type.
Bakers with specialisation and experience working in Queensland/Victoria/NSW earn more than freshly recruited bakers in other states of Australia.
According to Payscale, the average baker's salary in Australia is AU$ 54,373 or AU$ 23.42 hourly.
Let us look at estimated baker's salary at different experience levels:
Entry-level Bakers (< 1-year experience): AU$20.59 per hour
Early career Bakers (1 to 4 years of experience): AU$22.53 per hour
Mid-career Bakers (5 to 9 years of experience): AU$24.07 per hour
Experienced Bakers (10 to 19 years of experience): AU$24.17 per hour
Location-wise Baker's Salary in Australia:
Gold Coast, Queensland: $85,787 per year
Windsor, Victoria: $69,182 per year
Dandenong, Victoria: $64,014 per year
Doonside, NSW: $57,759 per year
Sydney, NSW: $56,286 per year
9. Work Conditions And Environment For Bakers
Bakers usually work in a factory or a retail bakery such as a bakery shop, restaurant, or other food service establishment. Self-employed bakers work in their kitchens or bakeries to fulfil their client's orders.
Many bakers work full-time and usually have odd and inconsistent working hours during weekends and public holidays. Most part-time bakers work late evenings or early morning shifts to prepare freshly baked goods for the public.
They spend a long time near an oven working with different kitchen machinery and baking tools to bake large amounts of artisan bread, speciality desserts, or dinner rolls. It is a physically demanding job that requires them to stand on their feet for a long time.
10. Where Are Bakers Employed?
The most common workplaces for a certified Baker are:
Commercial factories that produce baked products
Speciality cake stores
In-house bakeries in supermarkets
Restaurant-style kitchens with a brigade system
Bakers can work in the following job titles in this industry:
Pastry Sous Chef
11. Specialisation Options For A Baker
Suppose you are interested in advancing your culinary career. In that case, you can consider various specialisation options requiring a certain experience level and qualifications.
Depending on your area of interest in baking, you can choose from any of the following baking specialisations:
12. Job Prospects For A Baker In Australia
The baking manufacturing sector is among the largest employers in the entire Australian processed foods industry. The future employment prospects are quite strong due to the everlasting demand for bread, which is part of most Aussie diets.
Bakeries, supermarkets, coffee shops, and hospitality businesses such as resorts, hotels, and restaurants depend on skilled bakers and breadmakers to fill their kitchens and shelves.
Additionally, customers are more health-conscious and prefer healthier and premium-quality hand-made bread over factory-made white bread.
Looking at this shift in customers' buying preferences, many major bread manufacturers have begun to invest in innovation and research to create baking products with higher nutritional value.
It indicates the creation of more work opportunities for Bakers to perform a variety of baking tasks. Thus, there will be robust growth and demand in baking manufacturing in the coming five years.
13. How To Become A Baker Without School?
You are mistaken if you think you can only become a baker by attending certificate courses. Gaining a formal qualification is not essential, but it helps you get started.
If you want to know how to become a baker from home, then make online web space your friend. You can find ample learning resources, YouTube tutorials and recipes that can familiarise you with baking essentials.
You will learn to mix and roll dough, prepare fillings, use baking machinery and kitchen tools, and a lot more from the comfort of your home.
This way, you can learn and try things out on your own to get a feel of working as a baker. You can start learning new recipes such as bread loaves, desserts, pastries, or muffins and prepare them for your family on their occasions.
The more you practice, the more confident you will become. As you achieve perfection, you can spread the word about your baking profession in your friend circle. Invite your friends to your home and serve your baked delicacies.
On receiving a favourable response, consider taking your passion to the next level and taking small orders. Start small until you form a loyal customer base. As you get comfortable working in this profession, you will have your signature recipes or items that will never fail.
However, to be an expert baker, you must continue expanding your repertoire throughout your profession. Your creativity, quest for new baking knowledge, and vision will set you apart from the ordinary. It will also keep you inspired in your career, helping you improve and grow into a great baker.
14. How To Become A Baker With No Experience?
Luckily, you don't need any experience to work as a Baker. Formal training, online learning resources, and baking tutorials can help you build a firm foundation in baking.
But, it will take time to establish yourself as a professional baker and build your customer base.
Certificate III in Patisserie
In this baking certification course, you will learn practical commercial cookery skills with specialisations in patisserie and preparing delicious and sweet bread, pastries, desserts, rolls, and more.
The course will also teach you how to operate complex, bigger, and more powerful equipment that can help you produce baked items on a large scale rather than just a few loaves of bread. A Certificate III course paves the road for Certificate IV in Patisserie.
Certificate IV in Patisserie
This advanced-level baking course is ideal for those who want to learn how to become a pastry chef in Australia. The course takes your baking knowledge and hands-on patisserie skills to the next level.
You will learn the following:
More sophisticated techniques
Baking and patisserie essentials
Knowledge of workplace health and safety practices
Required skills to step up in your baking career are interpersonal skills, time management, inventory, staff management, effective communication, and more.
Academia is one of the best training institutes that offer Certificate III and Certificate IV in Patisserie courses. Their patisserie courses teach not only how to produce quality bakery products but also the following:
Proper food handling laws and procedures
Environmentally sustainable work practices
Interaction of flour, yeast, and other baking ingredients
Preservation of perishable goods and items
Their courses combine theoretical and practical training sessions in a blended model that includes on-site Brisbane campus, classroom learning, and online settings.
Government-Funded Free Patisserie Course
Students in Victoria can enrol in Academia's fully government-funded cake decorating courses for free. So, if you don't have money to pay for a patisserie course, this free training will help you get started in this profession.
After completing the course, you gain the skills and knowledge needed to land in a real-world dessert or bakery kitchen.
Make Me a Baker Program - Bake Club- Sydney is another unique and practical program that transforms every aspiring baker into a skilled, confident and inspired baker.
The course is by Anneka Manning in Rosebery, Sydney. It comprises a series of practical classroom sessions, online forums, at-home projects, and workshops.
This comprehensive program is suitable for both beginner and experienced bakers. It covers the baking fundamentals and the challenging techniques as well. The course helps unleash your creative talent and develop a distinctive baking style to create artisan-style home-baked goods.
15. Career Pathways for Bakers
There is no fixed pathway in this industry. Bakers can either follow a conventional career trajectory or change directions when they feel inspired to do so.
Take time to understand the kind of working environment you enjoy working in. Next, explore the possible career opportunities available in that work setting.
Here we have discussed a few career pathways helping you to determine your next steps in your baking profession:
Work In A Hospitality Business (Hotels, Restaurants, Resorts)
As the population grows, rising consumer demand and the popularity of the "foodie" culture are expanding. It can open a new world of career possibilities for a qualified baker.
A Certificate III graduate can complete a Certificate IV in Patisserie, followed by a Diploma in hospitality management, to pursue a career in the hospitality sector.
Own A Bakery Business
Once you have gained considerable experience and developed confidence in baking and customer management skills, you can consider owning a bakery business.
You will have more responsibilities, but it is an opportunity to serve your local community, demonstrate your skills and establish your business in this thriving industry.
Consider Specialisation in Baking
After making a successful baking career, you can even become an expert in a specific baking area.
While some bakers consider specialising in bagels, cake design, and decoration, others become sugar artists and chocolatiers.
As an In-House Baker in Supermarkets
Due to a growing demand for high-end bakery products, supermarkets have started employing more Bakers to meet this demand.
It is a good option for those interested in gaining experience in a large corporate retail setting.
16. How Long Is A Baker Apprenticeship?
Aspiring bakers also need to complete an apprenticeship and formal training.
It is work-based training where you work under the supervision of an experienced baking professional in a real-world bakery.
Usually, an apprenticeship is between 1 to 3 years. The considerable experience you gain prepares you to work safely, competently, and confidently in a bakery.
Being a Baker is one of the best careers to relish and hone your love of baking. It gives you limitless possibilities to work and grow if you follow your imagination.
If you have always wished to turn your passion for baking into a business, then Certificate III in Baking is the perfect course to expand your career opportunities.
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