Professional Baker: Career Diploma Description

About this article
As a professional baker, you might find work in a variety of settings anywhere in the world. This article offers information about earning your diploma in professional baking, what you can expect from a good program, and what kind of a living you can hope to make as a baker.
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What is a Professional Baking Diploma Program?

At its most basic level, baking is the creation of foods like breads and pastries. As a baker, you might work in a grocery store or specialty shop, producing breads and pastries, and other baked goods for sale on site, or for local shops who sell baked goods but do not have facilities for making them. In some cases, a baker acquires his or her training on the job as an assistant or apprentice. But a good diploma program will give you an advantage by immersing you in the craft of baking under the supervision of highly skilled bakers with industry experience, while eliminating the need to spend too much time concentrating on the aspects of the kitchen that require less skill.

Skills Acquired

As a professional baker, you will need to know a lot about the kitchen, and you will need a mastery of techniques and approaches that will facilitate efficiency without sacrificing quality. A good program will teach knowledge of bakery products and ingredients, as well as mixing and baking equipment. As a baker you will have to know about chemistry, ingredients and nutrition, and administrative details such as sanitation and health regulations, business, and production processes. A diploma program will help you develop your understanding of the world of baking, not just the act of baking. You will gain a mastery of egg theory by preparing egg-based desserts like creme brulee, bread pudding, soufflés and mousses. You will learn about sugars in baking, and develop techniques for using sugar syrups, glazes, and fondant, as well as nougat and caramel. A sound teaching of frozen desserts will be necessary, as will techniques and theories of working with yeasted dough in fermentation, dough hydration, temperature control, and methods for kneading and formation.

Coursework in a Professional Baking Diploma Program May Include:

  • Breads and Other Raised Yeast Doughs
  • Introduction to Baking Techniques
  • Pastry Dough
  • Cakes, Fillings and Icings
  • Cake Decorating
  • Chocolate Confections

Career Outlook and Salary Information

All cooking related professions are expected to enjoy job growth through 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Baking will continue to offer employment opportunities, but people with formal academic training will have a significant advantage in the job hunt. Bakers in full service restaurants earned an average of about $20K in 2004, while the highest paid bakers industry wide earned as much as $35K per year.

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