Baking is one of the oldest professions in the world but recently it has grown exponentially in India as more food enthusiasts and passionate bakers are emerging into this field or opening up their own bakery ventures. Why has bakery become so popular today? Is there really scope for you to become a baker in India?
A lot of people ask these questions and contemplate if becoming a baker is a good idea or not. The most important thing to remember in bakery career is that you need to have a passion and flair for baking if you want to succeed in it. However, it is quite possible to become a baker in India and there are numerous career prospects for you to follow in this field. Bakeries and baked goods have become quite popular these days as people order cakes, muffins, etc. to celebrate any joyful event with their friends and family. Every day there are countless birthday parties, anniversary parties, and so on happening all over India which require the presence of a well-designed cake. This has grown the requirement for bakers and has allowed more bakeries to open up and supply the public with desired baked goods.
However, being a baker is not always easy, it requires creativity, determination, and a complete understanding of the cooking and baking process. In this article, we will discuss the aspects of a bakery job, eligibility to become a baker, different career options in bakery field, and the average salary that a baker makes in India. This will give you a better idea of this career so that you can easily choose whether you want to pursue it or not.
#1. What does a Baker do?
The first thing that you need to understand is that the job of a baker is not easy. Baking is a delicate art in which precision matters the most so if you make one wrong move, you could end up destroying your dish. If you have a deep interest in baking or cooking or have natural culinary skills then you will find it easy to become a baker but you will need to nurture your skills to become a successful baker. A baker often has to employ creative and innovative ideas to produce different types of biscuits, cakes, bread loaves, pastries, muffins, and so on.
Apart from producing a plethora of items, a bakery is also responsible for creating new recipes and manage other bakers to ensure that baked goods are produced in the proper and accurate proportion. A baker also has other jobs which revolve around managing and supervising and often include tasks like:
- Preparing and measuring the baking ingredients which need to be added to the recipe mixture
- Observing the baking production schedule for their bakery
- Deciding the quantity and the type of baked goods to be produced every day
- Making sure that all the ingredients used are fresh and that everyone follows food safety instructions
- Rolling their dough into its final structure and then baking it at the necessary temperature
- Ensuring the baked good is of the right shape and color and then decorating it with confectionary and icing.
Although a bakery does have numerous tasks, people have love baking won’t really find it exhausting. Also, you can easily become successful if you execute innovative techniques to the existing recipes and coming up with new ideas to make baking quick and efficient. This is important because highly skilled bakers often get opportunities to work abroad where they earn more than in India.
#2. Eligibility for Becoming a Baker
One of the most important things that people often wonder about is whether they need to enroll in any baking courses or need to get any diploma in order to become a baker. While these are not mandatory qualifications to have, they certainly help in getting you a better bakery job and perks with it.
In order to sit for bakery related exams or enroll in bakery and confectionary courses, you need to be a pass out of 12th standard and you need to have a decent score in both 10th and 12th standard. Then, you can take specialized bakery or confectionary courses where they will give you basic training in baking and decorating the products. You will find many such courses being offered by different hotel management institutes all over the country where you will find several specialized courses to choose from. Once you complete the course successfully, you will be given a certificate or a diploma to commemorate your success.
There is a 3-year hotel management degree program as well in which you can learn from any Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) after you give the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) which is held by the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology. Once you complete this degree, you can enroll in some specialized courses for bakery and further hone your skills.
If you aren’t interested in getting a diploma or wish to enroll in such long-term courses then you have an option to take 4-6 months courses in bakery and confectionary. Even these courses will get you a diploma or a certificate and will be valuable for getting a better job and pay. A lot of these baking courses include information about nutrition, food safety, sanitation, production process, the operation of machinery, management of bakery, and so on. Some people also do an extensive course in menu planning, baking, supervisory management, etc. to have an edge on other student bakers. All these courses are important and you need to choose the right specialization course so that you can offer something extra to the employers.
#3. Job Opportunities Available in Baking
There are numerous job opportunities available in the field of baking but whether you get it will mostly depend on your education background and capabilities. If you are an experienced baker then you will surely find several job opportunities outside of India too. If you want to succeed as a bakery then having a certification or a diploma in bakery course can be really helpful in your career.
However, you will need to first start an apprentice to an experienced baker and then learn and the techniques and important baking skills which are often missed out in the courses. Once you have sufficient knowledge, you will have better chances of getting hired at a good bakery company or a restaurant. There are several different career options within the baking field which you can choose from to further specialize. These include cake stylists, dessert stylist, bread chef, confectionary bakery, artisan bread specialist, and so on.
Depending on our job and the environment, you will need to perform different baker tasks and will have to work different schedules. If you work in an industry then you will be mostly dealing with automated machines and high-level mixing machines, ovens, etc. This is a grueling work and won’t require much manual effort from your side and the hours can be quite long too.
Then, there are restaurants and bakery outlets where they employ bakers to prepare baked goods as per the customers’ demands. This requires more manual work and products have to be made on a smaller scale. In such jobs, more focus goes in styling and decorating and in perfecting one product so people usually look for bakery specialists for such kind of jobs. The work timing can be hectic or simple, depending on the day and one might also have to work in shifts like weekend shift, early morning shift, etc. However, there is a lot of scope in such jobs and you end up learning a lot in the process which can be a stepping point for better jobs or your own bakery outlet.
Apart from working for others, bakers can also open their own bakery outlets or a home bakery to earn decent money. In such kind of ventures, the work is mostly manual but it is a great option for people who are passionate about baking and want to do things on their own term. You hardly need any qualifications for this kind of opportunities and if successful, you can end up earning a lot on a monthly basis.
#4. Average Wages of a Baker
One of the most important things that every aspiring baker should know is the salary that he is likely to get when he becomes a baker. We all know that we need a sufficient amount of money to pay for basic necessities like food, water, house, etc. which is why it is important to earn a decent salary as a baker to meet those needs.
However, not to fret, because baker’s salary is not that bad and can greatly improve with experience and qualifications. An average salary of a baker is dependent on several factors like the bakery segment, location, baker’s experience, qualifications, and so on. Initially, if you have minimum qualifications and experience then you can expect a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 – 15,000. This salary can vary depending on the city where you are working as a baker but more or less stays the same. Once you have a little experience and a few bakery course certifications then you can easily earn a salary of Rs 35,000 – 50,000 per month. If you have enough skills and experience then you can also work abroad in a cruise boat, restaurants, etc. where you will easily earn approximately Rs 40,000 per month which will further increase with every passing year.
Another major factor in salary is the type of establishment that you are working for. If you are working in a small-scale bakery then you are likely to earn less whereas a high-scale restaurant can fetch you a much bigger salary per month. A high-scale job will also provide you with different perks like sick leaves, flexible timings, health insurance, etc. Some companies also pay bakers for working on extra shifts or overtime which can help in increasing your monthly salary.
If you choose to become a home baker then you might not earn as much as an employed baker but you would also have flexibility and the monthly can always increase once your bakery starts becoming popular. On an average, a home baker earns something between Rs 8,000 – 15,000 per month in the starting which can go up and down depending on the quality of baking. Some entrepreneurs open their own bakery shops which can easily make more money than other options. In the busiest season, you can easily earn somewhere between Rs 2 lakhs – 5 lakhs and with the current demand for bakeries, it is bound to be consistent in non-busy months too.