What they do
Bakers prepare and bake all types of breads, rolls, cakes, pastries and other baked goods. They knead, mature, mould and shape pastry goods, monitor the cleanliness of the equipment, and coordinate the forming, loading, baking, de-panning and cooling of all the types of baked goods. They usually work for bakeries that sell food for direct consumption by the public, or they may work for large organisations such as airlines, hotels or the military. They check the quality of raw ingredients and combine them either using machines or even by hand, bake them in ovens, and also glaze and decorate them.
Bakers often work nights and early mornings to prepare their products for the coming day. They may work in plants, where large quantities of generic-¬baked goods are produced, or alternately in craft bakeries, which are smaller and produce a greater variety of more handmade baked goods. They often need to use heavy machinery, and also stand for long periods of time. This type of work tends to be repetitive, and bakeries are often hot and humid.
Tools and technologies
Bakers often use and operate large industrial-sized mixing machines and ovens. The baked goods that they create are usually transported using tins and trays. Once products have been baked, they may also be decorated using glazing or decorating tools. Bakers also use slicing and wrapping machines to package their products for sale.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a baker, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in breadmaking or baking (combined).
The breadmaking and baking (combined) apprenticeships usually take 36 months to complete and are available as school-based apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.