Baker Kaitunu Parāoa

Bakers prepare, bake and decorate bread, rolls, pastries, desserts, cakes and slices.

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Bakers may do some or all of the following:

  • follow recipes and change ingredients when needed
  • measure and mix ingredients
  • knead, roll and shape the dough or pastry for baking, either manually or using a machine
  • bake items in an oven
  • prepare items for sale, including icing items or decorating cakes
  • prepare customer orders and serve customers.

Physical Requirements

Bakers need to be reasonably fit and healthy, with a high standard of personal cleanliness. They also need to have good hand-eye co-ordination. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for bakers includes:

  • work as a baker's assistant
  • food-handling work
  • customer service work.

Personal Qualities

Bakers need to be:

  • careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • creative
  • practical and efficient with good organisational skills
  • able to work quickly
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to do basic maths.

Skills

Bakers need to have:

  • knowledge of bakery products and ingredients
  • knowledge of baking and decorating processes
  • knowledge of food hygiene, health and safety regulations
  • ability to follow recipes
  • ability to handle machinery and equipment.

Self-employed bakers also need small business skills.

Conditions

Bakers:

  • usually do shift work, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends
  • work in kitchens at places such as bakeries, cake shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants
  • usually work in hot and noisy environments, and have to meet strict deadlines.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years' secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include health, home economics (food and nutrition) and maths.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, trades academies and the STAR and Gateway programmes are good ways to gain relevant experience and skills.

These programmes may help you gain an apprenticeship, but do not reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it.

Bakers can earn around $45K-$67K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Baker are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for bakers varies according to experience.

  • Unqualified bakers usually earn the minimum wage.
  • Qualified bakers usually earn up to $45,000 a year.
  • Bakers working in supervisory roles can earn up to $67,000.

Sources: Baking Industry Association of NZ and Competenz, 2018.

Bakers may progress to supervisors or head bakers, or set up their own business.

With further training, bakers may become:

  • bakery tutors
  • food stylists
  • test bakery technicians
  • food technologists and laboratory technicians
  • food writers
  • recipe and product developers
  • production managers
  • specialist technical advisers
  • quality assurance managers.

Bakers may specialise in:

  • artisan breads
  • factory production
  • cake design and decoration
  • confectionery
  • pastry.

Years Of Training

2-3 years of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a baker. However, a certificate in baking is useful. Examples of certificates include:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Baking – Generalist (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Trade Baking – Craft (Level 4)
  • New Zealand Certificate in Trade Baking – Plant (Level 4)
  • Superior Patisserie Certificate (Level 4).

You can complete an apprenticeship and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Trade Baking (Level 4) through Competenz.

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