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Baker Profile

 Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Baker. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Baker
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Baker Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Bakers produce bread and confectionery products such as loaves, pastries, cakes and savouries. Tasks include:

• weighing out and measuring ingredients
• mixing, dividing and shaping dough and setting it to rise
• baking different kinds of bread and pastry products
• decorating, slicing and wrapping finished products.

In a plant bakery bakers produce many different types of bread and confectionery items on mostly automated machines. In an in-store bakery, bakers use semi-automatic machinery. They may operate machines that slice, seal and wrap bread, and might also serve customers. In a craft bakery bakers use some machinery, but also do work by hand. The may do cake decoration, serve customer and make deliveries.

Most bakers work 39 hours over five days. Very early starts and shift work is usual.

A baker needs to be:

• creative and enjoy doing practical work
• able to read labels and instructions
• able to do basic maths
• interested in cookery and food production.

Opportunities exist throughout the country in plant bakeries, in-store bakeries and craft bakeries. GCSEs/S grades at C grade or above, in English, maths, science or food technology are useful. There are various ways of training including Modern Apprenticeships, HNDs and BTEC national diplomas. Adults can train for this type of work. Promotion is to bakery supervisor, chargehand and production manager. Experienced craft bakers can set up and run their own bakery business.

What does the role encounter?

Bakers are involved in the production of various bread and confectionery products such as loaves, French bread, rolls, croissants, buns, pastries, cakes and savouries. Typical tasks may include:

• weighing out and measuring ingredients
• mixing and dividing the dough, moulding it and shaping it into tins
• setting the dough to rise
• baking different kinds of bread and pastry products
• finishing the products by decorating, slicing and wrapping them.

There are three main types of baker:

A baker in a plant bakery might produce many different types of bread and confectionery on mostly automated machines. They produce large amounts of baked goods, which are then sold in shops and supermarkets.

A baker who works in an in-store bakery, which is usually part of a supermarket, may use semi-automatic machinery to produce smaller batches than a plant bakery. As a result, they are involved in more manual work, such as lifting and moving of large baking trays. They make fresh bread products to be sold in one store. They may also need to operate machines that slice, seal and wrap bread. They might also serve customers.

A baker in a craft bakery bakes products to be sold in a small shop or chain of specialist shops. As there is less automation, bakers have more varied work and usually see a product through from start to finish. They use some machinery, but also do work by hand. They may even be trained in confectionery work, which includes cake decoration. If the bakery is attached to one shop, they might also be involved in serving customers, ordering and doing deliveries.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Most bakers work 39 hours a week over five days, and often start very early in the morning.

Bakers work in a busy environment. They may find it hot near the ovens, and dusty near where the dough and pastry is being formed. Good ventilation and other control methods reduce the problems from the dust as much as possible. Decorating tasks may be done in a cooled room.

Bakers occasionally work overtime, especially at special times of the year, such as Christmas or Easter. Most production workers in a plant bakery work shifts, which can include night shifts and weekends. If they work in an in-store or craft bakery, they usually work Saturdays.

The work is physically demanding and is done standing up. Heavy lifting and carrying is part of the job, though lifting equipment is often available.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• The basic rate for bakery workers is around £8,500 a year.
• Experienced bakers can earn about £10,700.
• Senior bakers earn between £15,000 and £20,000.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• to enjoy doing practical work
• some creative skills, for moulding dough and decorating confectionery products
• to be able to read labels and instructions
• to be able to do basic maths for measuring ingredients, ordering supplies and calculating cooking times
• to be well organised
• to work well with others
• to be flexible and adaptable
• to be able to deal with problems effectively
• to be careful about safety and hygiene, because of the machinery operation and strict food hygiene rules
• to be reasonably physically fit to do an active, practical job
• to be able to use IT
• to be able to use machinery.

What type of training will I receive?

On Apprenticeships, apprentices can work towards NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Bakery.

For plant bakery work there are NVQs/SVQs in Food and Drink Manufacturing Operations at Levels 1 and 2.

Career Progression:

Opportunities as a fully-qualified baker include working up the promotional ladder to bakery supervisor, chargehand, or even production manager. This sort of promotion can be done without formal qualifications as long as individuals can show that they have the skills and qualities required of those positions. It may be necessary to move around the country to gain experience. There are also some opportunities to work abroad as a baker.

It may also be possible to move into related areas of work. Bakers might work for a flourmill or bakery equipment company as a sales representative, technical adviser or as a test baker, trying out different baking techniques. It might even be possible to move into teaching baking skills in a college or training centre.

A craft baker with experience might set up and run their own bakery business.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Chef
Head Chef
Food Processing Operative
Food Scientist
Kitchen Assistant/Porter
Sales Assistant.

Where can I find further information?

Anglo Welsh Bakery Training Company - see Bakery Training Council.

Bakery Training Council (BTC), Birch House, 57 North Road, Great Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AS. 01223 890660. Website: www.bakerytraining.co.uk

The Federation of Bakers, 6 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JJ. 020 7420 7190. Website: www.bakersfederation.org.uk

National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB), 21 Baldock Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9DH. 01920 468061. Website: www.masterbakers.net

The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB), Atholl House, 4 Torphichen Street, Edinburgh EH3 8JQ. 0131 229 1401. Website: www.samb.co.uk

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

British Baker.


Other Useful Baker Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Baker job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Baker Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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