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Baker Industrial baker, master baker, artisan baker

Bakers make bread, cakes and pastries using machines or by hand.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,750 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, in subjects like:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • food technology

You could start out by:

  • doing a baking course at college
  • applying to be a trainee in a bakery
  • doing a baking apprenticeship

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • measuring and maths skills
  • practical skills
  • organisational skills and the ability to work to deadlines

3. What you'll do

You'll work in an industrial (plant) bakery, an in-store bakery or a craft bakery. At an industrial bakery, you'll make large amounts of baked goods for shops and supermarkets. As an in-store baker, you'll use machinery to make bread products to be sold in the shop.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • making sure you have enough supplies
  • measuring out large quantities of ingredients
  • working safely with machinery like power mixers, industrial ovens and production lines
  • making dough
  • working out cooking times
  • keeping production areas clean
  • developing new products

At a craft or 'artisan' bakery, you'll work by hand and create fewer products.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,750 to £17,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000 (specialist or supervisor)

Highly Experienced: £40,000 (plant production manager)

Your salary may increase by working overtime or shifts.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 40 hours a week. You may have very early starts or work nights or weekends.

Bakeries can be noisy and dusty places. This may cause problems if you have asthma, dust allergies, or certain skin conditions.

You may need to do some lifting.

You may also need your own transport if working early or late shifts.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a bakery supervisor, charge hand or production manager.

As an in-store or industrial baker, you could move into a job at a flour mill or become a sales representative.

You could also become a technical adviser or development baker for a baked goods or equipment company.

Another option is to become a craft baker and set up your own business.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017