Bakers make bread and other products such as rolls, pastries, cakes, biscuits and pies. Confectioners make sweets and chocolates. The work may be done by hand or by using machinery.
You could be:
weighing, measuring and mixing ingredients
dividing mixture into portions
baking the products in ovens
decorating cakes and pastries
slicing, wrapping, and labelling the products
displaying and selling goods
following rules on hygiene, health and safety
using specialist equipment and machinery
keeping your work area clean and tidy.
You might specialise in making sweets or chocolate, as a confectioner or chocolatier.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company you work for
the demand of the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour. This would increase with experience.
You could work in a small shop, a supermarket or a plant (factory) bakery.
In a small shop you would do most work by hand and would have a variety of tasks.
In a supermarket you would use machinery to bake prepared mixes.
A plant bakery is like a factory producing large quantities of a limited range of food. You would work at a conveyer belt or use machinery for all stages of the production.
Conditions in all cases would be similar.
You would probably start work very early in the morning.
You would sometimes work at weekends and possibly at night.
You would wear protective clothing and perhaps ear protectors.
It might be hot, dusty and noisy.
You might have to lift heavy materials, such as large bags of flour.
a responsible attitude, especially to following health, safety and hygiene regulations
good maths skills for measuring ingredients and calculating cooking times.
You should be able to:
work quickly, neatly and accurately
work well as part of a team
do a variety of tasks if necessary.
Training might be on the job, through the employer’s training scheme.
You might train through a Modern Apprenticeship, on the job and at college.
You could gain SVQ Food and Drink Operations (Craft Bakery Skills) at SCQF Level 5, or SVQ Food and Drink Operations (Bakery Skills) at SCQF Level 6.
You might study part time at college to gain a specialist qualification such as cake decoration and production. For example, you could study for an HNC in Professional Cookery or the PDA Professional Pastry at SCQF Level 7.
With experience, skill and further qualifications you could move on to be a supervisor or possibly a production manager.
You might become a technical advisor, a trainer or a test baker.
You might move into sales and marketing or become self-employed.