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Become A Baker or Pastry Cook In Australia

If you have a passion for baking, or making delicious cakes and pastries, then becoming a Baker or Pastry Cook could be the career for you. With a strong demand for modern and classic bakery items in Australia, your skills will definitely be put to good use.

In this guide, you will learn about studying and finding work in baking and pastry cooking in Australia, as well as the visas you’ll need. 

What Bakers and Pastry Cooks do 

They are experts in preparing and baking bread loaves, rolls, buns, pies, doughnuts, quiches, cakes, croissants, biscuits and pastry goods. However, other skills are needed, including:

Working with dough

Kneading, maturing, cutting, moulding, mixing and shaping. 

Preparing ingredients

Including pastry fillings, the quality of raw materials and weighing ingredients. 

Co-ordinating a baking kitchen

Forming, loading, baking, unloading, de-panning and cooling of bread and pastry products. 

Glazing and decorating

Buns, pastries and cakes with cream and icing. 

Operating machines

For slicing and wrapping; as well as dough mixers and monitoring oven temperatures and baking times. 

Handling equipment

Emptying, cleaning and greasing baking trays and tins, and using biscuit cutters, dough moulding and shaping devices. 

Following strict health and safety regulations

Ensuring the bakery, equipment and machines are clean. 

Serving customers

Helping people to choose their bakery items, taking orders, handling money, operating the cash register.

Ordering supplies

Making sure that the bakery is always fully stocked with ingredients.

Job outlook for Bakery graduates in Australia 

The baking manufacturing sector is the one of the largest employers in the processed foods industry. According to the ABS Labour Force Survey, the current workforce is around 32,000 and projected to be 34,000 in 2024. 

This sector is expected to grow over the next 5 years because of rising profits from increasingly health-conscious customers choosing to buy higher value, hand-crafted bread, and premium bakery products, rather than factory-made white bread. 

As a result of this shift, the major bread manufacturing companies have had to invest in innovation, research and development to create premium products. This provides more opportunities for Bakers to take on different roles at work. 

Most Bakers and Pastry Cooks can be found working in manufacturing, retail and hospitality settings. They usually work 44 hours a week full time, with the average wage being AUD $996 (lower than the average of $1460). However, the salary can increase with more experience and responsibilities at work.

Career pathways for Bakers and Pastry Cooks

It’s possible to follow a traditional career trajectory or carve out a less traditional career with your baking skills. Take the time to understand what kind of working environment best suits you. Remember, no pathway is fixed, and you can change directions when you feel inspired to do so. Here are some important points to consider when deciding on your next steps with your baking career: 

Hospitality offers many opportunities

Your qualification can take you in different directions within the hospitality industry. This industry continues to expand with population growth, increased consumer demand, popular “foodie” culture and the positive perception of owning a hospitality business.

You will learn skills within and outside of baking, meet many new people, be able to negotiate flexible hours and working conditions.  Look for job openings to progress your career in baking, as well as into other areas, such as marketing, training or management. 

Become a business owner

By opening your own bakery, you will inevitably face all the highs and lows of operating your own business. However, you are also being of service to your local community, and, in return, being supported by them as well. Showcase your baking skills and creativity, and your mark in this growing industry. 

Finding your niche

Many Bakers and Pastry Chefs decide to narrow their focus to certain specialties and become known as experts in a particular area. For example, a Baker could set up a café which specialises in bagels, and many Pastry Cooks enjoy the creative freedom in cake design and decorating, or become sugar artists and chocolatiers. The possibilities are endless if you follow your imagination. 

In-house bakers in supermarkets

As customer preferences shift to high-end bakery products, supermarkets have responded by employing more Bakers. This is an alternative career option for you, if you aren’t ready to start your own bakery, or less keen to work in large scale manufacturing, and wanting to build your experience in a large corporate retail setting.

Qualifications needed to become either a baker or pastry cook 

You’ll need an either an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III, which includes at least 2 years of on-the-job training (an apprenticeship), or an AQF Certificate IV (ANZSCO Skill Level 3). 

How Bakers and Pastry Cooks are different 

Both jobs have some overlap, but if you’re wondering which one may suit you better, there are some important differences to remember. 

Baker (ANZSCO 351111)

Their focus is more on preparing and baking bread loaves and rolls, with the option to specialise as a doughmaker. Whether they work in a factory setting or retail bakery, they usually begin work early in the mornings, and are on their feet all day, baking large amounts of bread. A baker can become a Pastry Cook with extra training.  

Pastry Cook (ANZSCO 351112)

This role requires a combination of passion, precision and creativity, and is mainly concentrated on preparing and baking sweet treats, including buns, cakes, biscuits and pastries. Pastry Cooks produce smaller quantities of each item, because they usually need more time to make and put different elements together. Many Pastry Cooks begin their careers assisting Pastry Chefs in restaurants, hotels or fine-dining settings, with the opportunity to eventually be promoted to a Pastry Chef.

Bakery Courses in Australia 

There are courses available in every state and territory, and all require a minimum IELTS score of 5.5.

Course

Institution

Certificate III In Patisserie (Pastry Cook)

TAFE NSW Institutes

TAFE Western Australia

Le Cordon Bleu Australia (Melbourne campus)

Le Cordon Bleu Australia (Brisbane campus)

Le Cordon Bleu Australia (Sydney campus)

Le Cordon Bleu Australia (Adelaide campus)

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

TAFE South Australia

Canberra Institute of Technology

Box Hill Institute of TAFE

Chisholm Institute of TAFE

Holmes Institute

Australian Professional Skills Institute

Gordon Institute of TAFE

Front Cooking School

Australian Patisserie School

North Metropolitan TAFE

Culinary Solutions Australia

South Regional TAFE

Adelaide College of Technical Education

Certificate IV in Patisserie (Pastry Cook)

TAFE Western Australia

TAFE South Australia

Canberra Institute of Technology

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

Le Cordon Bleu Australia

Melbourne Polytechnic

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE

Australian Professional Skills Institute

Gordon Institute of TAFE

Front Cooking School

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

Australian Institute of Business and Technology

Royal Greenhill Institute of Technology

Certificate III in Baking

Kangan Institute

William Angliss Institute of TAFE

TAFE SA

Charles Darwin University

Federation University Australia

South Metropolitan TAFE

TAFE Queensland

Certificate III in Bread Baking

Federation University Australia

South West TAFE

 

Visas to study Baking in Australia 

This profession is considered high demand for the foreseeable future, so it has been placed on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). You may be eligible to apply for the following visas: 

Visas requiring you to be nominated by a state or territory, then invited to apply

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190), from AUD $4045

This permanent visa enables you to work and study anywhere in Australia. You must submit a copy of your skills assessment with your application.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) - State or Territory nominated, from AUD $4095

This provisional visa allows you to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia for up to 5 years. You can apply for permanent residency 3 years after your visa is granted.  

Visas requiring you to be nominated by an approved temporary activities sponsor, who cannot find a suitably skilled Australian worker to fill the position

Training visa (subclass 407), from AUD $310

This temporary visa allows you to visit Australia to complete workplace-based training for up to 2 years.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) - Short-term stream, from AUD $1265

This temporary visa allows you to stay for up to 2-5 years, depending on certain conditions. 

Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 494), from AUD $4095

This provisional visa allows you to stay for 5 years. It enables you to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia. You can apply for permanent residency 3 years after your visa is granted. 

Working as a Baker or Pastry Cook in Australia 

Complete the Job Ready Program (JRP) skill assessment

Once you have completed your Baker or Pastry Cook qualification Australia, you will need to pass the Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) Job Ready Program (JRP), which is 4 stage employment-based skill assessment, and normally takes about 12 months to complete. To pass each stage, you must achieve a certain number of work or placement hours and submit reports. 

Once you have successfully passed the JRP, you will be able to apply for a visa and find work.  

Before You Begin

Confirm with Department of Home Affairs that you are going through the TRA for a skill assessment for your visa. 

Stage 1: Provisional Skills Assessment (PSA) – AUD $300

Your Australian qualification, and past work history/placement in a bakery are verified. You can apply for this after you have completed 360 hours of work or placement. 

Stage 2: Job Ready Employment (JRE) – AUD $500

You must complete 1725 hours of paid work under a TRA approved employer over a minimum of 12 months, and provide a Skills Progress Report (SPR). The SPR is self-assessment record of the training and skills you have developed whilst at work.  

Stage 3: Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) – AUD $2000

This usually involves a technical interview and an observation of your practical skills by a representative of a TRA-approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO). You will need to submit signed Employment Verification Report from your employer.  

Stage 4: Job Ready Final Assessment (JRFA) - AUD $150

You’ll receive a letter to confirm that you have completed the JRP with a successful skill completion to work as a baker or pastry cook.

If you are interested in joining the growing Bakery profession in Australia, or learning more about studying to be a Baker or Pastry Cook in Australia, speak to one of our IDP careers counsellors today.

 

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