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How to become a baker

baker / baking careers

What does a Baker / Baking do?

Bakers produce various bread and confectionery products and usually work in one of three types of baking environments.

Baking in a craft bakery, a baker will bake products on a smaller scale to be sold in a small shop or chain of specialist baking shops. The baking is more varied and although some machinery is used, more of the baking is done by hand.

Baking in an in-store bakery - which is usually part of a supermarket - involves using some automated machinery to make fresh bread products to be sold in the store.

Baking in a plant bakery involves the use of machinery and production lines to manufacture large amounts of baked goods for shops, supermarkets and other major consumers.


What's the working environment like working as a Baker / Baking?

Bakers work 39 hours a week over five days, with very early starts. Plant bakeries usually operate shifts on a rota system which will include nights and weekends. In- store or craft bakers usually work Saturdays.

The work involves a lot of standing, lifting and carrying trays and heavy sacks of flour, although lifting equipment is widely used.

Bakeries are noisy and dusty. Those with asthma, an allergy to dust, or some skin conditions may find this kind of work unsuitable. There are strict health, safety and hygiene requirements and employers usually supply protective clothing such as hats and overalls.


What does it take to become a Baker / Baking?

To be a baker, you should:

  • be numerically accurate for measuring ingredients, ordering supplies and calculating cooking times
  • be manually skilled and creative for moulding dough and decorating confectionery products
  • be able to work quickly and meet time deadlines
  • have good organisational skills
  • be aware of safety and hygiene regulations concerning food production and machinery operation
  • be physically fit.


Baker / Baking Career Opportunities

Qualified bakers can earn promotion to bakery supervisor, chargehand or production manager. Formal qualifications may not be required as senior positions are more dependent on demonstrating ability and commitment. It may be necessary to move around the country to gain experience for promotion. It is also possible to work abroad as a baker.

Experienced bakers might choose to work for a flour-mill or bakery equipment company as a sales representative, technical adviser or as a test baker, developing different baking techniques. Some move into teaching baking skills in a college or training centre.

Craft bakers with experience could set up and run their own bakery business.


Further information

If you would like to know anything about Baker / Baking that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Federation of Bakers
6 Catherine Street
Tel: 020 7420 7190

Scottish Association of Master Bakers
Atholl House
4 Torphichen Street
Tel: 0131 229 1401






Facts and Stats:

  • The biggest curry was made in Essex in 1998 and weighed 2.65 tonnes
  • Restaurant grader, Fred Magel of Illinois USA, ate out a record 46,000 times in 50 years.
  • The most expensive meal recorded cost £13,091.20 for three in 1997, at Le Gavroche in London.
  • Denmark is the country with the highest calorie consumption per capita, closely followed by Portugal and then the USA. The UK does not rank in the top 10.