Q:

What type of education do I need to become a baker?

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Quick Answer

Most bakers enter the profession via one of two paths. The first path is to assume an apprenticeship under an experienced pastry chef or baker. The second is to attend a formal culinary program that specializes in pastries and baking.

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What type of education do I need to become a baker?
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Full Answer

In determining which path is the best course, it is best to distinguish the difference between a baker and a pastry chef. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not necessarily the same thing. A pastry chef is a highly trained individual who is capable of making desserts and pastries as well as baked items, such as bread. A baker can be as skilled as a pastry chef but can also be simply someone who bakes. In the latter case, a baker would likely work under a pastry chef.

Since pastry chefs generally have a more well-rounded skill set, the best course for anyone who aspires to be an executive pastry chef or baker is a formal culinary program. It should be noted, however, that most pastry chefs still spend a period of time as an apprentice or intern after attending culinary school, though it is typically less time than those who choose not to attend culinary school.

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