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Summary of occupation

Bakers prepare and bake all types of breads, rolls, cakes, pastries and other 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 use raw ingredients and combine them either using machines or even by hand, bake them in ovens, and also glaze and decorate them. They may also slice and wrap these products for individual consumption.

ANZSCO description: Prepares and bakes bread loaves and rolls.
Alternative names: Bread Baker
Specialisations: Breadmaker, Cake Maker, Doughmaker, Pastrycook
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Bakers need:

  • good hand-eye coordination
  • good organisational skills
  • the ability to read and follow recipes, to be creative
  • the ability to follow strict health and safety standards
  • good health with no skin or breathing complaints
  • the ability to meet strict deadlines
  • to maintain a neat and clean appearance.
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Working conditions

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.

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Salary details

On average, bakers and pastrycooks can expect to earn up to $999 per week ($51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. 

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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.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a qualified baker you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. A breadmaking or baking (combined) apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and both are available as school-based apprenticeships. ​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related links

Related videos

Baker Video Baker Occupation

Bakers prepare and bake breads, rolls, cakes, pastries and other baked goods made from flour, yeast or other ingredients.

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