Baker

Alternative job titles
patissier
konditor

Role info

You would make baked goods for customers in shops and supermarkets. Or you’d bake and sell your hand-made products in a small craft bakery or delicatessen.

As well as bread and rolls, you’d make other items such as pastries, pies, cakes and biscuits. You’d also decorate and fill them with cream, fruit, jam or icing so they look appetising and taste delicious.

You would:

  • Weigh out the ingredients
  • Mix the ingredients according to the recipe
  • Work out cooking times
  • Shape the individual products
  • Bake the goods in ovens

Once they are baked you would get them ready to put on display and sell. You would decorate cakes and pastries, and wrap and label the products.

You’d need to order supplies to ensure you have enough ingredients to make everything you need.

You could also experiment with ingredients and recipes to create new products for customers to enjoy. You’d need to meet hygiene, and health and safety standards.

You’d usually work in one of three types of bakery.

At a plant bakery, you’d use specialist machinery to make large amounts of baked goods for shops, supermarkets and other large customers.

As an in-store baker in a supermarket, you’d use some machinery to make fresh products to be sold in the store.

At a craft bakery, you’d make small quantities of products which will be sold in a shop, delicatessen or chain of specialist shops. The work would be more varied and although you’d use some machinery, you’d do much of the work by hand.

Personal Qualities

  • A passion for food

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work 39 hours a week over five days, with very early starts. Plant bakeries usually operate shifts on a rota system, which include nights and weekends. As an in-store or craft baker you would also be expected to cover weekends.

Environment

The work involves a lot of standing as well as lifting and carrying trays and heavy sacks of flour, although lifting equipment is widely used. Bakeries can be noisy and dusty. If you have asthma, an allergy to dust, or have certain skin conditions, you may find this kind of work unsuitable.

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Enter this job:

  • directly with qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6
  • or through a Modern Apprenticeship leading to relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Food Manufacture: Craft Bakery Skills (SVQ level 2)
  • or by completing a college course in an appropriate subject such as a NC Bakery (SCQF level  5) or NPA Bakery (SCQF level  4)

You can enter some National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with no formal qualifications.

A National Certificate (NC) or National Progression Award (NPA) usually requires a minimum of three National 4 qualifications (SCQF level 4).                                                                                                              

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate an interest in food and catering such as Skills for Work Food and Drink (SCQF level 5) or Hospitality (SCQF level 4/5).

People doing this kind of job in the UK have these types of qualifications

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