#BeAnAwesome: Baker

Soon Pau Voon, Chef - Teaching Fellow at Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Management Sunway University talks to coursesmalaysia.com about the baking life.
Soon Pau Voon
Chef - Teaching Fellow at Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Management Sunway University
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Working as a baker is both mentally and physically challenging. The repetitive nature of the work is one of the hardest challenges, thus, it is important that you have the passion and love for it. Approach challenges as an opportunity to build your career by understanding each process and you will eventually be able to master the needed skills. 

Never stop learning. One should keep up with the development of baking technology and techniques as well as new trends in the market. To be a successful baker, you not only need to learn about baking, but also have knowledge in nutrition, food regulations and business concepts.

What will I do?

A baker is part artist, craftsman, mathematician, and scientist. In this profession, you will start out as a baker’s assistant. Your tasks include weighing as well as mixing and producing baked and confectionary products according to recipes.

Is it for me?

Do you have:

  • a passion for baking and confectionery?
  • the ability to work under pressure?
  • good organisational skills?
  • the will to work on nights and weekends?

How much will I earn?

The salary varies from one establishment to another. However, to give you an idea, a fresh culinary graduate who starts as a baker assistant can earn roughly RM24,000 per year, while a head baker of a large food-service establishment may earn up to a minimum of RM84,000 per year.

Who will employ me?

Both commercial and institutional catering provides job opportunities for a baker. Large-scale food service industries like bread and confectionary factories, airline catering, and convention catering as well as retail bakeries which include independent bakeshops as well as bakery department in supermarkets.

The hotel industry provides a more challenging work environment in preparing baked and confectionary goods for restaurants, cafes, room services and banquet departments. Large operations provide opportunities for the baker wishing to get a wide range of experience.

Specialisations

The craze of soft buns has spread all across Asia especially in Taiwan and Japan. The recent openings of high-end bakeries provide the opportunity for bakers to be creative in producing baked products. One can also specialise in artisan baking – the art of traditional handcrafted breads as well as Viennoiserie – which includes croissants, brioche and Danish pastries.