Skills Baker near Canmore (AB)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a baker in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Bakers (NOC 6332).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Prepare dough for pies, bread, rolls and sweet goods, batters for muffins, cookies and cakes and icings and frostings according to recipes or special customer orders
  • Bake mixed dough and batters
  • Prepare special orders
  • Frost and decorate cakes and baked goods
  • Draw up production schedules
  • Ensure that the quality of products meets established standards
  • Inspect kitchen and food service areas
  • Operate machinery

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

Reading
  • Read instructions and other text entries on product labels, e.g. read instructions for storing and mixing concentrated colour and flavour extracts. (1)
  • Read logbook entries and short notes from co-workers, e.g. read comments in daily log books about outstanding work, special orders, equipment malfunctions and supply deliveries. (1)
  • Read instructions in recipes, bakers' sheets and production sheets, e.g. follow instructions in production sheets and recipes to create products, such as gluten-free bread, cookies and specialty seasonal items. (2)
  • Read memos and bulletins from within their own organization and from agencies, such as health departments and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, e.g. read memos about upcoming events, new products, allergy alerts and changes to food handling regulations. (2)
  • May read requests for seasonal bakery samples for various organizations, e.g. read details about themes and tastes to determine which samples to create and recommend. (2)
  • Read website articles and trade magazines to learn about trends, techniques and industry highlights, e.g. read about the food science involved in new flavour blends and suggestions for refreshing fresh fruit desserts. (3)
  • Read food handling and food importing regulations, Acts and codes, e.g. read provincial food handling regulations to determine cleaning requirements for working surfaces. (4)
Document use
  • Scan product labels and warning signs, e.g. locate colour codes, dye names and concentration levels of alcohol and flavour extracts on product labels. (1)
  • Enter data into templates, e.g. complete product labels by listing ingredients and entering instructions for storage and reheating. (1)
  • Locate codes on colour swatches, e.g. use codes to locate mixing ratios for custom cake icing colours. (1)
  • Locate data in recipes, production sheets and bake orders, e.g. locate baking quantities, product sizes, decorating details, due dates and customers' names in bake orders. (2)
  • Locate data in lists and tables, e.g. locate colours and mixing ratios on colour sheets. (2)
  • Complete bake orders and tracking and quality control forms, e.g. enter times, bake order numbers and production details in timesheets. (2)
Writing
  • Write brief notes in production logs, text entries in forms and comments on recipes, bake orders and production sheets, e.g. note changes to recipes on production sheets. (1)
  • Write instructions for preparing, baking and decorating baked goods on recipes, bake orders and production sheets. (1)
  • May write memos and bulletins, e.g. self-employed bakers and head bakers may write memos outlining changes to baking priorities and bulletins describing new food preparation and storage procedures. (2)
  • Write incident reports, e.g. complete incident reports to describe events leading up to accidents. (2)
  • May prepare job quotes and proposals, e.g. self-employed bakers and head bakers write job proposals that describe baked products, quality standards and service guarantees. (3)
Numeracy
  • May receive cash, credit and debit card payments from customers and make change. (1)
  • Take measurements using weigh scales, graduated containers, tapes and digital thermometers, e.g. measure depths, heights, widths and lengths of finished products, such as cookies and cakes. (1)
  • Compare the weight and dimensions of bakery products to specifications to verify that baked goods meet quality standards. (1)
  • May prepare customers' bills, e.g. bakers in retail locations total customers' bills for baked goods and add discounts and taxes. (2)
  • May calculate costs for baked goods, e.g. calculate costs for ingredients needed for large production runs. (2)
  • Calculate ingredient quantities when modifying recipes, e.g. calculate amounts of ingredients for double and triple recipe yields. (2)
  • Manage inventories of baking supplies, e.g. determine how much inventory to stock and when to reorder. (2)
  • Estimate the time required to complete baking tasks. They depend on their experience with similar baking tasks to estimate times. Complex decorating and multi-stepped activities, such as developing and placing cake tiers of uncommon shapes, can affect preparation and decoration times. (2)
  • May schedule the order of activities and tasks, e.g. head bakers establish production timelines and staffing requirements to meet weekly and seasonal baking orders. (3)
  • May develop budgets, e.g. head bakers may develop annual budgets by allocating money to capital, staffing, leasing and inventory costs, operating expenses, insurance and supplies. (3)
  • Analyze sales data in order to examine purchasing trends, e.g. head bakers calculate average daily, weekly and seasonal sales. (3)
Oral communication
  • Discuss baking supply requirements with suppliers. (1)
  • Discuss baking order details with customers, e.g. provide advice and present different choices for types of bakery goods, ingredients and decorations. (2)
  • Discuss current work assignments and products with co-workers, e.g. speak with other bakers about current assignments to coordinate the use of equipment and space and to integrate baking tasks. (2)
  • Make product suggestions and participate in product development meetings, e.g. offer suggestions and give opinions about types, flavours and design features of baked goods. (2)
  • May instruct apprentice bakers and new sales staff, e.g. explain preparation and decorating procedures while demonstrating tasks. (3)
  • May speak with dissatisfied customers, e.g. speak with dissatisfied customers to determine the nature of their complaints and offer solutions. (3)
  • May negotiate contracts with suppliers, e.g. head bakers negotiate with suppliers to establish the costs for equipment, such as ovens. (3)
Thinking
  • Find that there are not enough baking supplies to complete customers' orders. They pay retail prices at other bakeries and grocery stores until wholesale purchases are delivered. (1)
  • Find that baked goods do not turn out as expected due to environmental conditions and substandard ingredients. They may adjust batch sizes, change ingredients and use alternate equipment, e.g. bakers making bread in hot weather may reduce the amount of yeast to slow rising times. (1)
  • Are unable to complete orders due to malfunctioning equipment, e.g. bakers find that ovens are burning baked goods. They adjust oven temperatures and may use oven thermometers to obtain correct temperature settings. They call appliance repairers to fix the equipment. They adjust their tasks to minimize the effect on daily productivity. (2)
  • Encounter customers who do not pick up products they have ordered. They place these products on display as daily specials, sell them at reduced rates to recoup costs and freeze remaining items for later use. (2)
  • Receive complaints about baked goods from customers. They review customers' specifications and the steps taken to meet them. They sample products to determine if the complaints are justified. If they feel that goods are substandard, they may offer customers free products and discounts on future purchases. (2)
  • Decide how to modify recipes to suit different circumstances. They use their experience with baking and product substitutions to guide their decisions, e.g. bakers may add lemon juice to tart fillings to decrease the sweetness and enhance flavours. (2)
  • Choose items for daily and seasonal specials. They consider the latest dining and entertaining trends, the type of fruit that is in season and the amount of time needed to prepare each item. They review past sales statistics and recall what customers have said about specials and seasonal items offered in the past. (2)
  • Select decorating styles and products for cakes and pastries. They consider transportability, material and ingredient costs, availability of supplies, ripeness of fresh fruit and flavour combinations. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of baking supplies, such as fresh fruit, cream, fillers and chocolates, using criteria such as freshness, appearance, taste, size and texture. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of the baked goods they produce. They use their technical knowledge to assess how flavours combine and enhance each other. They apply established quality control criteria, such as acceptable dimensions, finishes, details and textures. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of apprentices. They consider apprentices' abilities to use equipment, maintain sanitary conditions and complete baking tasks. (2)
  • Organize their own tasks most of the time. They take direction from managers of bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants and other locations where they work. Bakers in retail locations put their job tasks in order so that they can meet production requirements while dealing with customers by telephone and in person. Job task planning is complicated by the need to coordinate the use of space and equipment with other bakers. (2)
  • Find information about new baking methods and products by reading recipes, magazine articles and cookbooks and by consulting with bakers. (2)
  • Locate prices and product codes by referring to paper-based and electronic catalogues and by speaking with suppliers. (2)
  • May select equipment and suppliers, e.g. head bakers decide which brands and types of ovens to purchase by considering prices, qualities and their personal preferences. (3)
  • May evaluate the efficiency of baking operations, e.g. head bakers assess the organization of job tasks and the placement of equipment to optimize operations. (3)
Digital technology
  • May use databases to maintain inventories of baking supplies. (1)
  • Use calculators to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • May operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers, bar scanners, scales and touch-screens, to complete sales. (1)
  • May use specialized software applications to calculate the protein levels, calories and carbohydrates for baked goods. (1)
  • May use spreadsheet software to calculate ingredient requirements for non-standard orders. (2)
  • May use databases to input and retrieve recipes. (2)
  • May use bakery management software to input costs and receivables and generate sales summaries and income and expense statements. (2)
  • May use communication software to send and receive email, e.g. send email to suppliers requesting information about the availability and costs of supplies and equipment. (2)
  • May use browsers and search engines to locate recipe ideas, information about industry trends and equipment descriptions and specifications. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by apprenticeship trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and Web forums where they seek and offer advice about recipes and health trends. (2)
  • May use personal digital assistant (PDA) devices and enterprise digital assistant (EDA) devices to manage inventory and reorder supplies. (2)
  • May use advanced spreadsheet features to create budgets and track capital, staffing, leasing, inventory and operating costs. (3)
Additional informationWorking with Others

Bakers work independently to prepare, bake, assemble and decorate baked goods. They coordinate and integrate tasks with other bakers in order to share resources, such as ovens and workspaces.

Continuous Learning

Bakers learn continuously to keep up-to-date on new food and taste trends, to research new products and to improve their baking techniques. They learn through their daily work experiences, by observing other bakers and by reading cookbooks and industry publications, such as Bakers' Journal. In addition, they may attend baking seminars and courses offered by colleges and specialty baking and cooking schools. For example, they may participate in training seminars about blending flavours and using organic products.

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