Bakery Clerk Job Description
From making baked goods to helping customers, Bakery Clerks perform all of the tasks required to run the bakery department of a supermarket. The job may sound simple, but in reality it’s a challenging role that has a direct impact on the profitability of a supermarket’s bakery department. That notwithstanding, it’s a service role that doesn’t typically require any special education beyond on-the-job training, though aspiring Pastry Chefs can often be found working as Bakery Clerks while in culinary school. Most Bakery Clerks work in supermarkets, but they can also be employed by boutique bakeries and large-scale baking facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Bakery Clerks is set to rise 7 percent through 2024.
Bakery Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
A Bakery Clerk performs a variety of duties throughout their day. We took a look at a handful of Bakery Clerk job postings to put together this list of core Bakery Clerk duties and responsibilities.
Stock Bakery Department
It is the Bakery Clerk’s responsibility to make sure the display cases are fully stocked with bread and other baked goods. This requires good organizational and time management skills, as the bakery can get quite busy depending on the time of day. It also requires the Bakery Clerk to maintain a clean work environment.
Prepare Baked Goods to Customer Specifications
This response requires a steady hand and a strong attention to detail. When it comes to personalized orders, presentation is just as important as taste. The Bakery Clerk uses specialized cake decorating tools in order to make sure each intricate detail is perfect.
Operating the scale requires basic math knowledge and often becomes second nature with experience. Operating the bread slicer requires a reverence for safety protocol. It also requires the employee to be at least 18 years old. This part of the job requires heightened focus and awareness.
Taking and Filling Customer Orders
This responsibility requires good interpersonal skills and communication skills. It can often involve conflict management when dealing with upset customers. It also can require multitasking, as bakery areas can get quite busy.
Packaging and labeling products for self-service
In the retail environment, making sure all prices and labels are correct is a vital part of operations. In the bakery, this is the responsibility of the Bakery Clerk. Prices of perishable goods often change based on freshness, so Bakery Clerks are constantly performing markdowns.
Bakery Clerk Skills
While the role of Bakery Clerk does require some technical knowledge, it is a position that mostly revolves around soft skills. The role of Bakery Clerk is customer-facing in most scenarios, so it requires the ability to maintain a positive attitude. It also takes the ability to work in a fast-paced environment without getting frustrated.
The following list is made up of the core skills required to get a job as a Bakery Clerk, which we compiled based on our research of Bakery Clerk job postings.
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to seamlessly switch tasks
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Ability to operate scale and bread slicer
- Ability to work in a team environment
Bakery Clerk Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for Bakery Clerks is $24,170. Those in the bottom 10 percent make $18,140, while those in the top 10 percent make above $38,400. The three states with the highest median salary for Bakery Clerks are Alaska at $33,300; Hawaii at $33,300; and Nevada at $32,000.
Bakery Clerk Tools of the Trade
Bakery Clerks use a variety of tools and equipment as they prepare and package baked goods and provide customer service. Here are some of the tools that Bakery Clerks use most often.
Cake Decorating Equipment – A Bakery Clerk uses cake decorating equipment when filling personalized orders and filling doughnuts and pastries.
Forming Machine – The forming machine is used to shape dough into rolls, bagels and other bread products.
Measuring Tools – The Bakery Clerk uses measuring cups and scales when measuring ingredients.
Commercial Use Cutlery and Ovens – The Bakery Clerk uses commercial ovens on a daily basis to bake bread, pastries and cakes. They also use knives and a slicing machine to slice products.
Bakery Clerk Resources
Are you interested in becoming a Bakery Clerk? Continue your research into the position with these great resources below.
The Baking Bible - Written by Rose Levy Beranbaum, this book lives up to its namesake. This book covers everything you need to know about baking, which makes it a great resource for Bakery Clerks.
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Written by Peter Reinhart, this book is one of the best learn-to-bake books on the market. It focuses strictly on bread, which is important for Bakery Clerks.
Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes - Written by Jeffrey Hamelman, this is one of the highest-selling books on baking bread that has ever been written. The most-recent edition was released in 2004, and the advice is still highly regarded over a decade later.
Advanced Bread and Pastry - Written by Michel Suas, this book is an excellent read for those who want to use the position of Bakery Clerk as a stepping-stone to a career as a Pastry Chef.
Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft – This comprehensive guide on the art and science of baking was compiled by the teaching chefs at the Culinary Institute of America. It is one of the baking industry’s most trusted resources.
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