Bakers make bread, rolls, muffins, pies, pastries, cakes and cookies. They work in retail bakeries, pastry shops, restaurants and cafes of all sizes. They also work for supermarkets, hospitals, hotels, cruise lines, resorts, catering companies and large wholesale businesses that sell baked goods to retailers and other outlets. They may be employed full-time, part-time, on contract or self-employed.
Bakers should be creative, detail-oriented and enjoy working with their hands. They must follow public health regulations and standards.
Watch the video below to learn what a typical day is like for a baker.
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 2,860
Employees work shifts and may work early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays. While many bakers work as part of a team, they may also need to work on their own, depending on their job description and the size of the company they work for.
Bakers often work with large mixers, ovens and other small-scale industrial equipment. They typically work in hot, steam-filled work areas and must be able to lift heavy bags of flour, sugar and other ingredients. People in this job must do repetitive actions such as scooping, rolling and forming the dough. Bakers must understand how to work safely to avoid accidents and injuries.
Bakers usually work under strict production deadlines. They must manage the preparation and baking time of different baked goods, which can cause stress. They must ensure that the baked goods are consistent in quality, taste and texture. They must also make sure that health, safety and sanitation guidelines are always followed during the production and cleanup processes.
Source: 2016 Census
Completion of secondary school is usually required. Other requirements may include:
Certification is not required to work as a baker in B.C. Those who wish to be certified must complete a three-year apprenticeship program.
Work experience and in-class instruction are part of apprenticeship programs. Some part-time and online programs may be available. To apprentice, workers must be sponsored by an employer. A person who successfully completes an apprenticeship program and the final certification exam earns a Certificate of Qualification. Workers with significant experience in the trade may be able to challenge the certification exam to earn the Certificate of Qualification without completing a formal apprenticeship. For more information on earning a Certificate of Qualification, visit SkilledTradesBC.
To work in other provinces
Bakers may need Red Seal certification to work in other provinces. This can be earned by passing an exam and proving significant work experience.
Workers coming to B.C.
Bakers who are certified by a regulator elsewhere in Canada can apply for the same certification from the regulator in B.C. Under the terms of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), most applicants who are transferring their credentials from elsewhere in Canada will not be required to complete additional training or testing. However, the B.C. regulator may ask applicants to provide further information, such as a letter of good standing, references or a criminal record check.
Workers who trained outside of Canada
Bakers who trained outside of Canada and have never received certification from a Canadian jurisdiction will likely need a full assessment. Most occupational regulators have a process for assessment and recognize internationally trained applicants. Contact SkilledTradesBC for details on how to apply for certification in B.C.
For information about labour mobility in Canada, visit www.workersmobility.ca.
View a list of B.C. occupational regulators.
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
Every job calls for a certain set of skills. Knowing those skills is the first step in finding a good career fit.
Here, you will find the 35 most relevant workplace skills. Some are more important to achieving success in a certain career than others. These skills may come naturally to you or you may need to gain them through education, training and experience.
See the list of work-related skills below, ranked in order of importance for this career. You’ll also find the skill strength needed, letting you know how capable you must be in that skill.
Check out the list and see if this career matches your skills—take that first step!
More and more, consumers want choice in the products they eat, including baked goods. For some consumers, this means a preference for healthy, high-end products and specialty baked goods, such as gluten free, dairy free or high protein items.
There are now many bakeries that offer organic products to meet specialty demands. Some larger companies, such as supermarket chains and hotels, have responded to these demands by opting for on-site bakeries. These trends have created a demand for skilled bakers, particularly those with trade certification.
Working for a small bakery may provide more opportunity to be creative and hands-on in providing ideas for what products might be baked and sold. The job of baker at a larger business, such as a restaurant, hotel or wholesale bakery, may be more task-related because the baking is done in huge commercial-size batches, which means that precise measurement, timing and more operational aspects are the focus.
Supply chain issues can make it challenging for a baker to get the ingredients or supplies needed to fulfil the production schedule. Smaller bakeries, cafes and restaurants may need their bakers to replace ingredients or to think of a different product to bake using the ingredients available.
Social media has created opportunity for people with baking skills to show off their abilities. Some bakers have created small home-based businesses by taking orders via social media platforms or by creating sponsored content that is paid for by the companies that manufacture baking ingredients and tools. Bakers must have a business licence and follow all health and safety protocols when selling goods to members of the public, no matter where they bake.
Individuals may begin their career as production assistants or assistants to bakers. They may advance to apprentice baker positions.
Completing an apprenticeship and gaining additional experience and training, makes it possible for workers to progress to baking executives or supervisors. Experienced bakers may be asked to manage a bakery or may choose to start their own businesses.