What does a baker do?

Bakers are responsible for the daily creation of mouthwatering baked goods sold in bakeries, cafes and supermarkets. Depending on the scale of a bakers production, you could work in a commercial factory setting, within a bakery chain or at a small, privately owned cafe. Getting an early start is part of a baker’s life, if early mornings aren’t your thing then this may not be the profession for you. Daily duties in a bakery include mixing dough, rolling sheets of pastry, preparing sweet and savoury pastry fillings, decorating pastries and cakes and serving customers.

Tasks:

  • Preparing doughs, pastries and fillings
  • Filling tins, trays and moulds for cooking
  • Monitoring proving, cooking and cooling times
  • Ensure food safety guidelines are met

What skills do I need to be a baker?

Kitchens are often renowned for being stressful environments that require quick thinking and a certain degree of physical stamina. Being a baker may require you to work shift work, night work or start at very early times in the morning. A baker will also need to be physically fit enough to be able to stand all day, as a large portion of the job requires physical interaction with ingredients and kitchen machinery. Attention to detail is important, as baking (particularly at a large scale) requires precise measurements and timing.

Skills/attributes
  • Enjoys cooking
  • Physically fit
  • Enjoys shift work and early starts
  • Attention to detail

Specialisations

There are a number of career paths in the culinary world, each of which require their own particular experience levels and qualifications. You can choose a specialisation that appeals to your strengths, interests and career goals.

Chef

Chefs are professional cooks working in commercial kitchens. Chefs will prepare, cook and present items of food in accordance with a designed menu. Chefs, depending on their seniority or role within the kitchen, will sometimes be responsible for the designing of the meals on a menu or the training of other chefs working in the same establishment.

Kitchen Hand

Kitchen hands play a vital role in the smooth running of any commercial kitchen. Kitchen hands are responsible for the prepping of food items before they are cooked by the chefs. Kitchen hands are also responsible for the cleaning of all kitchen utensils, plates and equipment and the safe and proper storage of all food stock.

Pastry cook

Pastry cooks specialise in the creation of cakes and pastries. They design, bake and decorate pastries and cakes of all varieties. Pastry cooks have a thorough understanding of ingredients and techniques used in sweet and savoury baking. A steady hand and attention to detail are necessary for adding the finishing touches to sweet creations.

Study pathways for bakers

There are a number of courses available for you if you are considering a career as a baker. You can choose a course that meets your particular career needs. 

Getting Started

Choose a relevant course to get you started on a career in the food industry

Skill Building

Get closer to your baking career goals with targeted study options

Professional Development

Learn hands-on skills relevant to work in a commercial kitchen

Industry Recognition

In order to work in a commercial kitchen, you’ll need to know the basics of food safety procedures and workplace safety guidelines for kitchens.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your food industry career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be strong growth in employment opportunities for bakers over the next five years.