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 may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, in subjects like:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • food technology

You could start out by:

  • doing a baking course at college
  • applying to be a trainee in a bakery
  • doing a baking apprenticeship

£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:

  • measuring and maths skills
  • practical skills
  • organisational skills and the ability to work to deadlines
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