Food & drink


Bakers make bread, cakes and pastries using machines or by hand.

Annual Salary

£13,750 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


What's it all about?

You'll work in an industrial (plant) bakery, an in-store bakery or a craft bakery. At an industrial bakery, you'll make large amounts of baked goods for shops and supermarkets. As an in-store baker, you'll use machinery to make bread products to be sold in the shop.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • making sure you have enough supplies
  • measuring out large quantities of ingredients
  • working safely with machinery like power mixers, industrial ovens and production lines
  • making dough
  • working out cooking times
  • keeping production areas clean
  • developing new products

At a craft or 'artisan' bakery, you'll work by hand and create fewer products.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You can do a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Bakery or Level 3 Diploma in Professional Bakery.

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course


You could start by doing a baker intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship


You may be able to start as a trainee or as a bakery assistant.

Direct application

You can apply for a job in a bakery if you have some catering experience.

Further Information

Any experience you have of making or serving food may help you get into this job.

You can find out more about working in the food and drinks industry from Tasty Careers and the Federation of Bakers.

£13,750 to £40,000

Starter salary: £13,750 to £17,000

Experienced salary: £20,000 to £25,000 (specialist or supervisor)

Your salary may increase by working overtime or shifts.

These figures are a guide.


You'll usually work 40 hours a week. You may have very early starts or work nights or weekends.

Bakeries can be noisy and dusty places. This may cause problems if you have asthma, dust allergies, or certain skin conditions.

You may need to do some lifting.

You may also need your own transport if working early or late shifts.

With experience, you could become a bakery supervisor, charge hand or production manager.

As an in-store or industrial baker, you could move into a job at a flour mill or become a sales representative.

You could also become a technical adviser or development baker for a baked goods or equipment company.

Another option is to become a craft baker and set up your own business.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of food production methods
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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