How to become a baker in Australia: careers in food production
Bakers are responsible for making read, cakes and pastry goods. They often start work very early in the day, preparing and baking their goods so they are ready to be sold fresh when the bakery opens for the day. They have a solid understanding of various baking techniques, mixing and rolling different doughs and pastries, oven operations and the shelf life of products. Some bakers not only cook their products, they also deal with customers and need good interpersonal skills.
Depending on the scale of production in their work environment, bakers have different daily tasks. They may work in a commercial factory setting, within a bakery chain or in small, privately-owned cafes. Bakers need to start early and their duties generally involve mixing dough, rolling sheets of pastry, preparing sweet and savoury pastry fillings, cake and pastry decoration and serving customers.
- Preparing doughs, pastries and fillings
- Filling trays, tins and moulds for cooking
- Monitoring proving, cooking and cooling times
- Ensuring food and safety standards are met
Because of the early starts involved, you will need to be comfortable with keeping these sorts of hours in order to be a baker. You may also be required o work shift work, working nights as well as the early starts. Kitchens can be stressful environments requiring quick thinking and good physical stamina. You will need to be able to stand all day and physically interact with ingredients and kitchen machinery. A good eye for detail is also important as baking requires precise measurements and timing.
- Enjoyment of cooking
- Physical fitness
- Able to cope with shift work and early starts
- Attention to detail
- Able to work under pressure
If you are interested in furthering your career in the culinary world, here are a variety of other options you can pursue, each with different levels of experience and qualifications necessary.
A chef is a professional cook who works in a commercial kitchen preparing, cooking and presenting food in accordance with a designed menu. Sometimes they may be responsible for designing the meals on a menu or training other chefs, depending on their level of seniority in the kitchen.
A kitchen hand is responsible for prepping food items before they are cooked by a chef. They also clean all kitchen utensils, plates and equipment and ensure proper storage of all food stock.
A pastry cook specialises in creating cakes and pastries, designing, baking and decorating them. They have a thorough understanding of various techniques and ingredients used in sweet and savoury baking.
If you are considering a career as a baker, there are a number of courses available.
Start your career
Get started in the food industry by choosing a relevant course.
Strengthen your skills
Targeted study options will allow you to get closer to your baking career goals.
Build your resume
Get closer to working in a commercial kitchen by learning hands-on skills.
To work in a commercial kitchen you will need to know the basics of food safety procedures and workplace safety guidelines.