What Does a Baker Do?

Bakers (423A) prepare dough for pies, different types of bread and roll and other sweet goods, and prepare batters for different types of muffins, cookies and cakes for sale in retail food establishments (e.g. grocery stores) or for serving in restaurants or other establishments. Bakers may also frost and decorate cakes or other baked goods. The NOC code for this trade is: 6252.

Job -Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • planning the sequence of tasks in order to produce quality goods that people will want to buy
  • ensuring that baked goods are produced according to a schedule to meet customer demand
  • calculating raw product requirements to meet production demand
  • overseeing the sale and merchandising of baked goods
  • hiring, supervising and training new staff
  • keeping up with changes, trends and customer preferences for baked goods (e.g. organic products)
  • performing job duties carefully, with attention to detail, and hygienically for safety reasons
  • operating high-tech equipment as well as conventional ovens, microwaves, food processors etc.

You may find additional information about this trade and applicable standards at the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website – follow this sector link:http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/membership/resources/training-standards

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

To become a Baker you must complete Grade 12, with credits in Math, perhaps co-op experience in retail or food preparation or via entry through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program in high school. The minimum entry level for an apprenticeship is Grade 12. Successful completion of this apprenticeship generally requires 5280 hours of on-the-job training as well as two 12 week in-school training sessions. This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

If you are currently attending high school, you may benefit from enrolling in a Hospitality and Tourist Specialist High Skills Major Program. For more information, please click the following link:

http://edu.gov.on.ca/eng/studentsuccess/pathways/shsm/hospitality.pdf

What’s Your Future as a Baker?

Although most Bakers work full-time, a significant number work part-time, sometimes in shift work or irregular hours. As a Baker you might be required to supervise staff in the department, or train new hires, as well as schedule production. Technological changes in the mass manufacturing end of baking have led to the use of robotics and specialized mechanical equipment which has led to some job loss. However, bakeries have opened up in large retail food chains, and many restaurants and hotels either have their own bakery or contract with fresh bread shops or bakery cafes to provide their products. It's anticipated that specialty bakeshops will continue to expand. If you're a Baker, you could be hired by: 

  • Bakery manufacturing companies
  • Wholesale and food manufacturers
  • Food stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Specialty baking/pastry businesses

 Wage Rate

  • Apprentices usually start at a wage that is less than that of a journeyperson
  • this rate increases gradually as you acquire skills and gain competency
  • Bakers can earn on average $500.00 per week and up, sometimes with benefits and shift premiums 

 Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Baker For You?

 Self-Rating Quiz

Do you enjoy working with numbers, ratios and performing calculations?

Yes      No

Can you lift, load, push or carry boxes and containers, some of them heavy?

Yes      No

Do you mind getting up early or working at night?

Yes      No

Do you enjoy working with your hands and with mechanical equipment?

Yes      No

Are you the kind of person who enjoys being creative and pays attention to detail?

Yes      No

Do you like interacting with people, either as customers or co-workers?

Yes      No

Can you stand on your feet for long periods of time?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Baker may be for you!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Cook
  • Patissier
  • Cake Decorator
  • Supply company salesperson

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