What Does A Baker Do?

Bakers arrange quality ingredients to mix and craft specific recipes to make all kinds of pastries and baked goods such as cookies, brownies, muffins, bread, tortillas, and cakes. They prepare doughs, batters, icings, or fillings and use several types of equipment like scales or graduated containers to weigh or quantify ingredients. Baking is a science that requires precise measurement and temperature conditions, so bakers should have keen attention to detail, great accuracy, and good organizational skills. This career may not sound as glamorous as it could be, but this is a very physical and demanding type of job.

Here are the duties and responsibilities that bakers across different industries are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Bake a variety of bake goods as well as designed and decorate custom cakes with fondant and butter cream.
  • Follow principles of sanitation and safety in handling food and equipment, ensuring corporate and OSHA safety standards are met.
  • Follow haccp and sanitation practices daily.
  • Gain valuable experience in servicing VIP requests.
  • Bake desserts for three 5-Star restaurants.gain valuable experience in servicing VIP requests.
  • Prepare high volume of orders for cheesecakes, various desserts and beverages.
  • Produce different types of bread: whole wheat, white, potato, and millet.
  • Receive a promotion and move on to work for a different area of Panera, the baking team.
  • Bake muffins, cookies, and doughnuts, operate cash register to complete sales and assist with customer making orders.
  • Work independently to replenish product to pars -mix and portion muffins, scones, cookies, pies, cakes, etc.
Baker Traits
Dexterity describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.
Sense of taste and smell
A sense of taste and smell is one's way of determining a flavor.
Math skills
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Baker Overview

Between the years 2018 and 2028, baker jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's even crazier is that the number of baker opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 11,100.

Bakers average about $11.62 an hour, which is roughly an annual salary of $24,173. Additionally, bakers are known to earn anywhere from $19,000 to $30,000 a year. This means that the top-earning bakers make $11,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Let's say you're interested in learning about careers that are similar to bakers just so you can understand the differences in skills, salaries and education. Well, you've come to the right place. We've compiled information regarding all of that for becoming a pastry decorator, pastry finisher, deli/bakery associate, and baker/cake decorator. The information on how these careers compare to the job description of a baker will come later.

Baker Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 29% of Bakers are proficient in Fresh Bread, Panera, and Food Preparation. They’re also known for soft skills such as Dexterity, Sense of taste and smell, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Bakers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Fresh Bread, 29%

    Supplied chefs cupboard with breakfast goods, cakes, cupcakes, fresh breads, ice cream, sorbet and gluten free options

  • Panera, 20%

    Trained and educated the other bakers in the Cedar Rapids and Panera stores on the new products.

  • Food Preparation, 4%

    Maintained a safe and healthy food preparation environment by enforcing food preparation standards and procedures complying with sanitation and legal regulations.

  • Menu Items, 4%

    Baked and decorated dessert menu items

  • Muffins, 4%

    Prepared mixes and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce biscuits, muffins, cookies and other baked goods.

  • Safety Standards, 4%

    Maintained a clean working environment according to safety standards.

Fresh bread, panera, and food preparation aren't the only skills bakers have. In fact, there's a whole list of personality traits that are commonly seen among them, including:

  • Bakers are also known for math skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. Bakers must possess basic math skills, especially knowledge of fractions, in order to precisely mix recipes, weigh ingredients, or adjust mixes. An example of how this skill is put to the test is, "certified bakery trainer skills used math skills and customer service skills"
  • Yet another important skill that a baker must demonstrate is the following: communication skills. Bakers, especially retail bakers, must have good communication skills in order to deal effectively with customers. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a baker who stated: "developed great communication skills and customer service skills, and established a personal relationship with each customer."
  • Physical strength. Bakers should be able to lift and carry heavy bags of flour and other ingredients, which may weigh up to 50 pounds. This is demonstrated in the following example: "pulled customer orders and ensured that the products were accurate and free of damage; conducted physical inventory of merchandise periodically."
  • See the full list of baker skills.

    Over half of bakers have graduated with a bachelor's degree. In fact, it seems 20.0% of people who became a baker earned a bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree roughly 2.8% in this career have them. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it seems it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some bakers have a college degree. But about one out of every two bakers didn't attend college at all.

    Those bakers who do attend college, typically earn either culinary arts degrees or business degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for bakers include general studies degrees or criminal justice degrees.

    Once you've graduated with your degree, you're ready to tackle the world as a baker. But where to start? Generally, bakers are hired the most by Panera Bread, Texas Roadhouse, and El Super. Currently, Panera Bread has 1,519 baker job openings, while there are 525 at Texas Roadhouse and 211 at El Super.

    But if you want to earn the most bang for your buck, bakers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Coborn's, New York Public Library, and Jordan Specialty Plastics. Take Coborn's for example. The median baker salary is $39,778. At New York Public Library, bakers earn an average of $36,006, while the average at Jordan Specialty Plastics is $33,859. Now before you get too googly-eyed over those digits, take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies. While Coborn's has 1 job listings for bakers, New York Public Library and Jordan Specialty Plastics only have 0 and 0 job listings respectively.

    View more details on baker salaries across the United States.

    The most prestigious bakers can be found working at Panera Bread Company, Dunkin' Donuts Northeast Distribution Center, and The Cheesecake Factory. We determine this by assessing the schools where bakers have earned their degrees, and then looking at the companies that have hired a significant number of bakers from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States.

    In general, bakers fulfill roles in the retail and hospitality industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the salaries for bakers are the highest in the retail industry with $29,842 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and finance industries only pay $28,308 and $27,883 respectively. This means that bakers who are employed in the retail industry make a whopping 8.7% more than bakers who work in the hospitality Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious bakers are:

      What Pastry Decorators Do

      First up to compare is the job of a pastry decorator. Let's start with salary. Generally speaking, pastry decorators receive $5,846 higher pay than bakers per year.

      The two careers find some common ground in the skills department though. Both bakers and pastry decorators alike are skilled in safety standards, wedding cakes, and customer service.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A baker is more likely to need to be skilled in fresh bread, panera, food preparation, and menu items. Whereas a pastry decorator requires skills like bakery equipment, custom orders, cream cheese, and credit card transactions. Just by understanding these different skills you can see how truly different these careers are.

      Onto a more studious topic, it's no surprise that pastry decorators tend to reach similar levels of education than bakers. The actual difference in levels of education may actually surprise you. Pastry decorators are 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Pastry Finisher?

      On deck, we have pastry finishers. This career brings along a higher average salary of $5,985, which is higher than the salary of bakers per year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's the skills they need. Both bakers and pastry finishers are known to have skills such as fresh bread, food preparation, and menu items.

      While some skills are similar, others aren't. For example, a baker requires skills like panera, muffins, bagels, and quality standards. But your average pastry finisher will need skills, such as, cheesecake, exact recipe specifications, guam, and new tasks. This is where the differences really kick in.

      When it comes to education, pastry finishers tend to reach similar levels of education than bakers. In fact, they're 2.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Deli/Bakery Associate Compares

      Let's now take a look at how deli/bakery associates compare. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher dough than bakers with a higher pay of $695 per year.

      Bakers and deli/bakery associates both have similar skills such as fresh bread, food preparation, and menu items, but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are the other skills necessary to get the job done. For example, a baker is likely to be skilled in panera, muffins, bagels, and quality standards, whereas a deli/bakery associate is skilled in company policies, bakery equipment, positive shopping, and proper utilization.

      Interestingly, deli/bakery associates earn the most pay in the retail industry, where they command an average salary of $28,079. As mentioned previously, bakers rake in the most money in the retail industry with an average salary of $$29,842.

      For educational purposes, deli/bakery associates are known for reaching similar levels when compared to bakers. In fact, they're 1.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Baker/Cake Decorator

      Last, but not least, are the baker/cake decorators who typically earn higher pay than bakers, with a difference of $555 per year.

      Both professions of bakers and baker/cake decorators use skills such as fresh bread, food preparation, and menu items within their day-to-day roles.

      Panera, muffins, bagels, and quality standards are typically used by a baker, whereas the average baker/cake decorator uses skills like bakery equipment, cupcakes, fondant, and gum paste to get through the day. Now you can really understand how different these two professions are.

      Baker/cake decorators tend to earn a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $29,021.

      When it comes to education, these two careers couldn't be more different. For example, baker/cake decorators reach similar levels of education when compared to bakers. The difference is that they're 1.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.7% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.