Head bakers wear many hats. In addition to possessing exceptional baking skills, head bakers must be highly organized, detail-oriented and level-headed. They need to work well under pressure and be able to multitask. These skills come in handy when you have rolls in the oven; dough in the proofing cabinet; pastry in a dough mixer; cakes awaiting decorating; and employee schedules that need adjusting.
Baking and More Baking
Head bakers in a commercial or retail bakery must be experts in weighing and measuring ingredients, often in bulk; mixing, kneading and molding dough; pastry-making; and specialized decorating. They must know how to bake in a variety of ovens, including commercial, convection, rack, stone deck and revolution types. They also must be adept at using all commercial-bakery equipment, such as dough mixers, dough rollers and proofing cabinets, which are used to make dough rise. Head bakers must lead by example in all areas of baking and preparation, and exercise quality control so products are consistent and of high quality.
Oversee Employees and Menus
As leader of a baking operation, head bakers must train and supervise workers. In the kitchen, they make sure the staff uses proper baking techniques. Outside of the kitchen, head bakers maintain employee work schedules; assign daily baking tasks; and make referrals for advancement, discipline, termination and retention. They also create menus and consult with their own supervisors about menu suggestions.
Maintain Supplies and Safety
Head bakers order or recommend the ordering of baking equipment. They train other bakers to operate equipment according to proper sanitation and safety standards. Head bakers extend these models of sanitation and safety to all areas of the kitchen by making sure staff members wear protective clothing and that utensils and surfaces are properly cleaned. Ultimately, they are responsible for making sure that their kitchens meet federal, state and local safety and health regulations.
Salaries for head bakers vary widely by company, location, industry and experience. As of September 2014, head bakers earned an average $47,000 a year, according to Simply Hired. For all bakers working in the United States, including head bakers and assistant bakers, the 2012 median average wage was $23,140 a year, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of these, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,200 a year and the highest 10 percent earned more than $36,980 a year. However, the BLS pointed out that nearly one-third of all bakers worked part-time in 2012.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Bakers
- Maine's Public Universities: Job Description: Head Baker
- North Carolina Office of State Human Resources: Head Baker
- Food Service Warehouse: Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Commercial Bakery
- United States Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration
- New York State: Department of Agriculture & Markets: Division of Food Safety & Inspection
- Simply Hired: Average Head Baker Salaries
- Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images
Baker Job Description
Those who enjoyed working with play dough as children and who appreciate the artistry (and taste) of baked goods might want to...
Cake Decorator Job Description
Cake decoration is more than just frosting and sprinkles. For professional cake decorators, it's an art that requires practice and training to...
Bakery Job Descriptions
Caramel rolls, blueberry bagels, carrot cake, cinnamon-raisin bread, Boston cream pie -- bakeries are full of many kinds of tasty treats. Staff...
Bakery Manager Job Description
Although a baker manager is responsible for preparing and displaying bakery items, they also perform the day-to-day operations that keep their bakery...
Job Description for a Bakery Clerk
You may think that being a bakery clerk involves eating free croissants fresh out of the oven. Happily, in many bakeries it...
What Does it Mean to Be "Baker Acted"?
The Baker Act refers to a Florida statute that allows for an individual who is 18 years or older to be either...
Bakery Assistant Duties
Few jobs offer the chance to smell fresh bread baking in the oven or the opportunity to work with sugary donuts and...