Bakers make a wide range of breads, pastries, and other baked goods. They follow all the processes from receipt and storage of raw materials, preparation of raw materials for bread-making, measurement and mixing of ingredients into dough and proof. They tend ovens to bake products to an adequate temperature and time.
The following job titles also refer to baker:
A high school diploma is generally the minimum required to work as a baker.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Baker is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Baker career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to baker.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of baker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of baker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of baker.
- Crafting: The ability to work with the hands in order to create something artistic.
- Food safety principles: Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.
- Bakery ingredients: The raw materials and other ingredients used in baked goods.
- Financial capability: Financial operations such as calculations, cost estimations, budget management taking relevant commercial and statistical data into account such as data for materials, supplies and manpower.
- Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.
- Bakery production methods: The bakery production methods used to make baked products such as leaven, unleaven, sour dough, and predough.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of baker.
- Monitor flour unloading equipment: Monitor flour unloading equipment and flour processing systems. Ensure ingredients are delivered on time.
- Maintain cutting equipment: Maintenance of the cutting equipment (knives, cutters, and other elements).
- Ensure sanitation: Keep workspaces and equipment free from dirt, infection, and disease by removing waste, trash and providing for appropriate cleaning.
- Care for food aesthetic: Convey presentation and aesthetic elements into the production of food. Cut products properly, manage right quantities into the product, care for the attractiveness of the product.
- Monitor machine operations: Observe machine operations and evaluate product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
- Store raw food materials: Keep in reserve raw materials and other food supplies, following stock control procedures.
- Mark differences in colours: Identify differences between colours, such as shades of colour.
- Apply flame handling regulations: Apply laws and organisation rules for the safe storage and use of flammables.
- Prepare bakery products: Make bakery products such as bread and pasta by preparing dough, using proper techniques, recipes and equipment to achieve ready bakery items, combining with other products if necessary.
- Clean food and beverage machinery: Clean machinery used for food or beverage production processes. Prepare the appropriate solutions for cleaning. Prepare all parts and assure that they are clean enough to avoid deviation or errors in the production process.
- Bake goods: Perform all tasks for baking such as oven preparation and product loading, until the baked goods are discharged from it.
- Apply HACCP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
- Check quality of products on the production line: Check products for quality on the production line and remove defective items before and after packaging.
- Administer ingredients in food production: Ingredients to be added and the required amounts according to the recipe and the way those ingredients are to be administered.
- Tend bakery ovens: Operate ovens using the right thermal regime to bake different types of dough and maintain equipment in order to ensure effective and correct operation.
- Operate moulding of doughs: Operate moulding by crafting or using different equipment to have a certain shape of doughs.
- Work according to recipe: Perform tasks in food preparation according to recipe or specification in order to preserve the quality of ingredients and to ensure replication accuracy of the recipe. Select the appropriate materials to follow the recipe, taking into account the current situation.
- Set up machine controls: Set up or adjust machine controls to regulate conditions such as material flow, temperature, or pressure.
- Follow hygienic procedures during food processing: Ensure a clean working space according to hygienic standards in the food processing industry.
- Administer lactic ferment cultures to manufacturing products: Add specified quantity of lactic ferment cultures to food preparations such as pasteurised milk to obtain starter for sour dairy products, such as buttermilk, cheese, and sour cream. Also, to dough making in bakery.
- Select adequate ingredients: Select adequate ingredients based in their technological function to execute ideas. Strive for consistent good quality of the ingredients and use them adequately to obtain a satisfactory final product.
- Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
- Apply GMP: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
- Monitor temperature in farinaceous processes: Monitor and control the temperature in the different phases of farinaceous processes such as fermentation, proofing, and baking. Adhere to specifications or recipes.
- Ensure correct use of bakery equipment: Use the utensils, machinery and equipment for the production of bakery and farinaceous products such as kneading machines, proofing equipment, vessels, knives, baking ovens, slicers, wrappers, mixers, and glazers. Keep all tools in good condition.
- Measure precise food processing operations: Carry out accurately measured assignments with suitable tools and equipment in the process of producing food and beverages.
- Operate weighing machine: Work with a weighing machine to measure raw, half-finished and finished products.
- Operate kneading of food products: Perform all kinds of kneading operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.
- Operate mixing of food products: Perform all kinds of mixing operations of raw materials, half-finished products and foodstuffs.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of baker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Biotechnology: The technology that uses, modifies or harnesses biological systems, organisms and cellular components to develop new technologies and products for specific uses.
- Fermentation processes of food: Conversion of carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process happens using bacteria or yeasts, or a combination of the two under anaerobic conditions. Food fermentation is also involved in the process of leavening bread and the process of producing lactic acid in foods such as dry sausages, sauerkraut, yogurt, pickles, and kimchi.
- Milling machines: Milling and mills and their operation in theory and practice.
- Mill operations: Details of milling operations related to grind size, particle size distribution, heat evolution. Milling processes for different cereals and grains.
- Processes of foods and beverages manufacturing: Raw materials and production processes for getting finished food products. Importance of quality control and other techniques for the food and beverage industry.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of baker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Tend packaging machines: Tend packaging machines such as filling, labelling, and sealing machines. Stock and sort products to be processed according to specifications. Replenish packaging supplies as required, such as boxes, cartons, wrapping paper, plastic sheet, glue, ink, or labels.
- Impart training on general quality management supervision: Provide training to production employees, in groups or individually, on standard operating procedures, product specifications, visual quality inspection criteria, production controls, formulas and food safety procedures.
- Work in an organised manner: Stay focused on the project at hand, at any time. Organise, manage time, plan, schedule and meet deadlines.
- Operate a heat treatment process: Apply heat treatment aimed at preparing and preserving half-finished or finished food products.
- Manage challenging work conditions during food processing operations: Handle stressful and challenging work conditions in a limited time frame to ensure qualitative food and beverage products are created in time.
- Disassemble equipment: Disassembles equipment using hand tools in order to clean equipments and to perform regular operational maintenance.
- Act reliably: Proceed in a way that one can be relied on or depended on.
- Keep inventory of goods in production: Keep inventory of goods whether they are goods in the front end (i.e. raw materials), intermediate, or back end (i.e. finished products). Count goods and store them for the following production and distribution activities.
- Manage delivery of raw materials: Manage reception of raw materials. Receive raw materials from the suppliers. Check for quality and accuracy and move into the warehouse. Make sure that raw materials are adequately stored until they are required by the production department.
- Manufacture confectionery: Manage the development and production of bakers’ confectionery, also called flour confections, including pastries, cakes, and similar baked goods.
- Follow written instructions: Follow written directions in order to perform a task or carry out a step-by-step procedure.
- Bake confections: Bake cakes, tarts and confectioneries using ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, and butter or oil, with some varieties also requiring liquid such as milk or water and leavening agents such as yeast or baking powder. Add flavourful ingredients like fruit purées, nuts or extracts and numerous substitutions for the primary ingredients.
- Execute chilling processes to food products: Carry out chilling, freezing and cooling operation processes to food products such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, catering food. Prepare food products for extended periods of storage or half prepared food. Ensure safety and nutrition qualities of frozen goods and preserve products in accordance with specified temperatures.
- Make artistic food creations: Use ingredients, mixes and instruments to create artistic food preparations e.g. cakes. Be imaginative and resourceful, and combine colours and shapes to have a good effect. Turn designs into reality, caring for aesthetic and presentation.
- Negotiate price: Arrange an agreement on price of products or services provided or offered.
- Assist in the development of standard operating procedures in the food chain: Assist in the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in the food chain by working with line operators. Understand current operating procedures and identify best techniques. Help document new procedures and update existing ones.
- Hire new personnel: Hire new personnel for a company or organisation payroll via a prepared set of procedures. Make staffing decisions and direct selection co-workers.
- Improvise to occuring food processing situations: Adapt a flexible approach to occuring problems in the process of creating food and beverages.
- Monitor operations of cleaning machines: Monitor the operation of cleaning equipment; stop machines or immediately notify supervisors should incidents or malfunctions occur.
- Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
- Lift heavy weights: Lift heavy weights and apply ergonomic lifting techniques to avoid damaging the body.
- Monitor roasting: Monitor the roasting of coffee beans and grains for proper degree of roasting to produce the desired flavours and colours.
- Identify market niches: Analyse the composition of the markets, segment these into groups, and highlight the opportunities that each one of these niches represent in terms of new products.
- Create new recipes: Combine innovative and creative ideas to come up with new recipes and preparations to extend the product of range of a company. Make modifications to recipes in order to enhance taste, reach productivity goals, develop and improve products.
- Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
- Adapt efficient food processing practices: Ensure to adapt the most efficient production techniques to accomplish food processing tasks with the least amount of time, effort and costs.
- Dispose food waste: Dispose or collect food waste with the purpose of recycling or throwing away from the production process. Follow established procedures for their disposal taking care of the environment and the safety matters according to legislations.
- Control of expenses: Monitoring and maintaining effective cost controls, in regards to efficiencies, waste, overtime and staffing. Assessing excesses and strives for efficiency and productivity.
- Select adequate packaging for food products: Choose the appropriate packages for food products taking into account attractiveness and suitability of the package. Use proper packaging for sending it safely and at a reasonable cost. Have awareness that packaging can also influence the product characteristics such as shape, weight or solidity. Balance out various aspects such as cost, attractivity and compliance with regulations and environment protection.
- Perform services in a flexible manner: Adapt service approach when circumstances change.
- Work in a food processing team: Collaborate in a team with other food processing professionals in service of the food and beverages industry.
- Identify the factors causing changes in food during storage: recognize the most relevant factors (chemical, physical, environmental etc) that can alter the food during its storage
- Analyse characteristics of food products at reception: Analyse characteristics, composition, and other properties of food products at reception.
- Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
- Exert quality control to processing food: Ensure the quality of all factors involved in a food production process.
- Enforce health and safety regulations for bread products: Monitor activities to ensure bread products are handled in accordance with safety and hygiene standards.
- Examine production samples: Examine production samples visually or manually to verify properties such as clarity, cleanliness, consistency, humidity and texture.
- Ensure compliance with environmental legislation in food production: Make sure to comply with environmental legislation in food production. Understand the legislation related to environmental matters in food manufacturing and apply it in practice.
- Label samples: Label raw material/ product samples for laboratory checks, according to implemented quality system.
- Follow verbal instructions: Have the ability to follow spoken instructions received from colleagues. Strive to understand and clarify what is being requested.
- Manage production changeovers: Plan and oversee changeovers and related activities on a timely basis, in order to successfully execute the required production schedule.
- Stand high temperatures: Stand high temperatures while keeping concentration and efficiency under demanding circumstances.
ISCO group and title
7512 – Bakers, pastry-cooks and confectionery makers