Becoming a certified baker requires quite a bit of knowledge and professionalism that come with experience and education. Explore this gratifying career.
Many people still look at bakers as blue-collar workers due to their careers within the service industry, but these professionals are much more than meets the eye. The extensive training and education necessary to become a master-certified baker are on par with that of becoming a chef. And while their salaries do not match up with their capabilities, they are still widely respected and renowned within the industry. If you’re looking to explore this engaging career path, here are some tips to become a certified baker.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s no surprise that bakers must obtain eight years of commercial baking experience, either through a bakery or a restaurant, to earn their certification as master bakers. Many bakers rely solely on their experience to get them into their careers. But for those who want to go on to more formal training to understand and master the trade, an apprenticeship can continue your training. After completing training, you can then become a certified master baker.
While in your apprenticeship, you will learn a specific skill set in addition to general baking techniques. You’ll also explore the techniques and philosophies of decorating for style and events and hone your craft with continual practice. Knowing how to move around and operate equipment within the bakery will be fundamental in how you progress in your career. And along with understanding how a bakery works, you’ll become more familiar with the safety procedures that go hand-in-hand with food handling and machinery.
Formal Training Comes Afterward
On the academic side, bakers must complete 30 hours of sanitation coursework and 30 hours of professional development to remain eligible for certification. You’ll then contact the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) to look through your portfolio to check your academic record. After the RBA has approved your application, you will be verified and granted candidacy status.
Once this happens, you will have two years to complete both a written and a practical exam. The written exam will test you on all the formal knowledge you acquired while learning the art of baking. The practical examination will focus on the skills you learned from your experience honing your craft in the bakery.
These exams will be reviewed cumulatively, as both will require a passing score. Upon completing and passing the exams, you’ll receive certification as a master baker. Hopefully, this will supply you with the knowledge necessary to become a certified baker in the days and years to come.