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Bakery Worker Duties and Responsibilities

While a bakery worker's day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Package Baked Goods When customers order cookies, cakes, or bread, bakery workers package these baked goods. Bakery workers make sure that packaging is secure, presentable, and neat.

Maintain a Clean Work Environment Since they handle food, bakery workers maintain a sanitized workplace. This includes cleaning the work area, wiping surfaces, and washing utensils and machinery after use.

Communicate with Customers Bakery workers attend to customers and make sure that their needs are met. Bakery workers occasionally take orders from customers in addition to handling customer complaints. Bakery workers check up on customers during their meals and inform them of daily specials.

Count and Inspect Products Bakery workers count and sort baked goods and keep track of the inventory. They also visually inspect baked goods to make sure that quality is maintained in all products.

Assist Head Baker Bakery workers help prepare products for the head baker. This often includes preparing icings and toppings, cutting fruit, removing baked goods from the oven, and mixing ingredients.


Bakery Worker Skills and Qualifications

Bakery workers should have an enthusiasm for food and possess excellent customer service skills. Qualifications for this role vary based on company, but many employers prefer workers with previous experience in the food industry. In addition, employers look for the following skills:
  • Customer service skills - bakery workers handle customers with a smile and graciously attend to complaints to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Physical stamina - bakery workers are constantly on their feet working in a high-energy environment. The job requires frequent bending, twisting, stooping, and the strength to lift up to 25 pounds
  • Food industry experience - bakery workers have knowledge of the food industry. They know how to follow recipes and maintain proper hygiene when handling food items
  • Multitasking skills - working in a fast-paced environment, bakery workers often juggle multiple tasks at the same time. This includes running machines, packaging baked goods, and removing baked items from the oven
  • Attention to detail - bakery workers inspect and sort food items and also decorate baked goods. This requires careful attention to detail and a keen eye for presentation

Bakery Worker Education and Training

There are no minimum education requirements to be a bakery worker, but many employers prefer those with a high school diploma or GED. Bakery workers typically receive on-the-job training to learn specific processes and duties. Bakery workers should have previous experience working in food production or cooking. Employers might require a food handler’s certificate depending on state laws.. Any education or certificates in baking or culinary arts are considered a plus.

Bakery Worker Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of bakery workers is $25,000 per year. The top 10 percent of bakery workers make more than $39,000, while the lowest 10 percent make less than $18,000. Bakery workers who serve customers are usually given tips in addition to their salary. The expected growth for this occupation in the next 10 years is about 8 percent, which is the average for all careers.

Helpful Resources

Are you interested in a career as a bakery worker? Here is a list of resources to help you learn more about this occupation:

Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog - customer service skills are integral to bakery workers who interact with customers on a daily basis. This blog is filled with customer service insights and includes many tips and advice on keeping customers satisfied

American Society of Baking - this LinkedIn group allows members of the baking industry to interact and engage with one another. The American Society of Baking encourages members to share ideas and educate one another on various aspects of the baking industry

The Baker's Trade - author Zachary Y. Schat profiles successful bakeries, giving valuable insight into the baking industry and what it takes for a bakery to thrive

The Bread Baker's Guild of America - this nonprofit alliance of bakers, bakery owners, and technical experts supports the production of high-quality baked goods, and its website provides helpful information on baking techniques

Opening and Operating a Retail Bakery - written by Rick Douglas Crawford, this book discusses the necessary skills to operate a successful bakery, including tools, advice, and best practices that are used extensively in baking

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