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Occupation Details

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Baker / Confectioner

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€18k > 31
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 31
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Employment growth has been below the national average in this occupation. Attracting and retaining deboners for the meat processing sector continues to be an issue for employers.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Butchers, Fishmongers & Bakers

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 9%
Non-Nationals: 46%
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At a Glance... header image

Bakes and decorates bread and confectionery of all kinds.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

David Kehoe

David Kehoe is the Executive Head Chef in the Tower Hotel in Dublin.  When he completed his Leaving Cert he went to study in Athlone IT on a 2 year fulltime professional cookery course.  He also is qualified in HACCP (Food Safety Mgmt) up until management level.  He was one of the chef presenters on "Corrigan Knows Food", which was on RTÉ1 television.

Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Baker - from: YouTube Video
Go..Baker - from: YouTube Video

The Work header image

Bakers (confectioners) prepare and bake bread, pastry, cake and confectionery products. Plant bakers (large industrial bakers) use machines to produce goods on a large scale. Craft bakery work involves more 'hands on' activities and often a wider range of production in smaller quantities.  
Bakers (confectioners) need to know how to make many types of bread and confectionery and have to keep up-to-date with any new varieties.  
The work can be divided into two types: plant (large industrial) bakery and craft bakery (small and medium size business).  
A Plant bakery is a mass production, automated factory that operates on a 24 hours a day shift basis. The main product of a plant bakery is bread; some also produce pre-packed cakes and pastries. In plant bakeries, operators and assistants control various types of machinery that prepare dough and then pass it through different processes. Processes include moulding, proving (rising the dough), baking, cooling, slicing and wrapping. Here, the baker has less opportunity to be creative and the work may overlap with that of a food technician.  
Craft bakeries tend to be smaller companies and produce fewer but a greater variety of products. Many craft bakeries use automated machinery to some degree, but a lot of the processes, such as dipping éclairs in chocolate or filling cakes with jam and cream, must still be done by hand. There is also much more scope for creative work such as icing or decorating fancy and celebration cakes. Routine work, such as packing orders or putting them out on racks for delivery, also has to be done manually.  
Supermarket bakeries are known as "In-store Bakeries" and are usually located within the shop. The bakers (confectioners) usually work behind the counter and in view of the customers. There are usually opportunities to meet and speak with the public.  
Bakers must observe hygiene, health, and safety regulations when handling food and dealing with equipment. Bakers wear protective clothing - usually a white vest, pants, apron and a hat. Long hair must be completely covered and suitable shoes must be worn (special safety shoes are often supplied by the employer). Wearing jewellery of any kind is not permitted while working in the bakery.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Observe color of products being baked and adjust oven temperatures, humidity, or conveyor speeds accordingly.


Set oven temperatures and place items into hot ovens for baking.


Combine measured ingredients in bowls of mixing, blending, or cooking machinery.


Measure or weigh flour or other ingredients to prepare batters, doughs, fillings, or icings, using scales or graduated containers.


Roll, knead, cut, or shape dough to form sweet rolls, pie crusts, tarts, cookies, or other products.


Place dough in pans, molds, or on sheets and bake in production ovens or on grills.


Check the quality of raw materials to ensure that standards and specifications are met.


Adapt the quantity of ingredients to match the amount of items to be baked.


Apply glazes, icings, or other toppings to baked goods, using spatulas or brushes.


Check equipment to ensure that it meets health and safety regulations and perform maintenance or cleaning, as necessary.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.


Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Food Production: Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.


Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be quick and methodical, as you will often work to tight deadlines. You should be able to concentrate on tasks that are sometimes repetitive but that also need a good deal of accuracy, for example measuring and mixing ingredients. You need to pay attention to detail and be good with your hands. It is essential that you work in a clean and tidy manner. As a craft baker, especially, you should have an opportunity to be creative in the way in that you finish or decorate products.  
Bakeries can be warm and the work involves a lot of standing and also some heavy lifting, so you need to be reasonably fit. The job may not be suitable for people who suffer from skin complaints, such as eczema, or breathing complaints, such as asthma.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Baker - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Bord Bia
Address: Clanwilliam Court Lower Mount Street. Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 668 5155
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Apprenticeship Information


Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Food & Beverages
Tourism & Hospitality
Farming, Horticulture & Forestry

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