If you’ve got artistic inclinations and a passion for happy occasions, being a wedding cake maker is going to be a rewarding career for you. Creating a wedding cake takes skills and experience to master. So you need to have a strong and solid foundation in order to break through the often competitive pastry market. Besides skills, additional qualifications such as training and certifications can separate you from the rest.
Requirements For A Wedding Cake Maker
Cake makers often work for bakeries, catering companies, and pastry shops. However, skilled wedding cake makers can work independently or as on-call staff of an event organizing company. Particularly, they’re those who specialize in weddings, prenuptial ceremonies, and bachelor or bachelorette parties.
As a wedding cake baker, one has to conceptualize with the clients for designing the cake and purchasing its ingredients. They’d also be in charge of crafting recipes, creating a sample, and developing the actual pastry product.
In the United States, bakers in general earn a median salary of USD 27,700 (as of 2019), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Comparatively, the United Kingdom’s National Career Service’s approximation for cake decorators’ salary is from GBP 12,000 for beginners to GBP£25,000 for seasoned practitioners.
As to qualifications, there are no strict requirements for becoming a wedding cake maker. But there are certain qualifications you can meet to help transform you from a good to a great wedding cake maker. Check out the following:
- Educational Requirements
At least a high school diploma is needed to become more competitive in wedding cake makers in the US. Basic skills such as fluency in the language and good communication skills and innate artistic abilities are the basic skill qualifications.
Training and classes are important to learn the basics. As you start your journey in the cake-making business, make sure to participate in training and classes. Like other jobs, cake making offers you the possibility to advance your career. Beginners and intermediate practitioners can benefit from any of these modes of instructions:
- Face-To-Face Classes
Those without prior experience can take beginner classes offered by private institutions, including pastry shops and restaurants, among other companies in the food business. These firms may offer training for different levels—from basics skills (for beginners) to advanced techniques (for advanced learners).
- Online Courses
Online, both skilled and would-be cake makers can search for and take advantage of digital cake creation and decoration courses. Through these video training sessions, it’s as if the students are enrolling in a culinary school and taking in-person classes. Unlike face-to-face training, though, your advisor won’t be able to see your product in person or provide advice on improving your techniques.
Also, because the state doesn’t regulate these classes, you can’t be assured of the quality of instructions. So perform due diligence and check the background as well as the reputation of the training instructors before handing them your hard-earned money for registration fees.
- Formal Education And Training
Technical schools offer multiple programs for specific crafts, including one for cake makers. Consider taking a one- or two-year program or associate degree in baking and pastry arts to further advance your career. In these courses, you’d learn common baking principles and would have hands-on pastry and dessert creation sessions.
If you want to take it a step further, you can enroll in a bachelor’s degree. This comprehensive four-year program would cover advanced skills and knowledge needed to excel in the field, including creating elaborately designed wedding cakes. It may even help you land your first job since an internship is part of the program.
The route you’d take to gain experience would be up to the opportunities available in your locality. Applying for a reputable pastry company position could be a good start, where a high school diploma is typically the only requirement.
While working in a pastry shop or bakery of your choice, you can start with the necessary training and formal education and take it from there. By securing an entry-level position, you can rise from the ranks once you’re finished with your education or training.
After improving skills through training and acquiring some level of experience, you can obtain different certifications. Possessing these documents is a great add-on for every would-be wedding cake maker since it increases the chances of getting employment.
Associate-degree holders may apply to bakers’ federations in their respective areas to certify as a baker or pastry culinarian. This is provided they meet the other requirements.
Prerequisites vary. But generally, an education certificate and experience of at least one year as a pastry worker or practitioner are needed. At least a two-year work experience is required for those without formal education to get a baking certificate.
- Required Skills
Apart from education, skill training, and experience, the following traits are also necessary for a wedding cake maker to excel in their craft:
- Knowledge in food handling and preparation methods: Being in the food business, wedding cake makers should make sure their products are safe for consumption, apart from being aesthetically pleasing.
- Vast knowledge of food and ingredients: As more and more people are leaning toward healthier food, a client may have some special requests—for instance, a sugar-free wedding cake or a vegan pastry. Additionally, some may be allergic to dairy and eggs. A good wedding cake maker should know how to substitute these traditional ingredients with safe ones without compromising the beauty and taste of the cake.
- Creativity: This is one of the most important qualities when decorating cakes. To create a memorable pastry, one must make unique and one-of-a-kind products for each client. A seasoned baker is capable of infusing their own style into every signature wedding cake.
- Leadership skills: Elaborate cake designs often need a group of bakers to come to fruition. A wedding cake maker should be able to lead a team of workers to finish the project.
- Versatility: Aside from nutritional and dietary issues, some couples may have specific or sometimes unusual requests. Personality often plays a big role in pleasing a client. However, baking and pastry art training can help you gain confidence in adjusting to clients’ every demand.
- Resourcefulness: When it comes to cake making, it’s easy to go overboard with the costs, especially if you’re creating a complex and unique design. Bakers must have a knack for finding the best ingredients and materials while managing the costs.
There are no stringent requirements for becoming a wedding cake maker. But experience, training, and innate skills are the key ingredients to being a great one. The qualifications discussed in this article have hopefully helped you understand what you have to do to start your journey.