Cake decorators may work in an independent bakery or in the baking department of a larger establishment. Some cake decorators are graduates of culinary arts programs, while others are self taught or have learnt on the job. This career is an interesting combination of aesthetic sensitivity and food service knowledge.
Cake decorating is not a highly paid field, with beginning wages ranging from £5.80 to £9.70 per hour. Working full time, these rates translate to a yearly income of £11,700 to £19,500 per year. Beginning cake decorators who have graduated from a formal training program will generally be paid more than someone with no experience. People who are just getting into this field should try to get a job at a respected establishment where they have an opportunity to learn and advance, increasing their chances for an increased income in the future.
More cake decorating jobs are available in larger population centres where more cakes are sold. Wages tend to be somewhat higher in cities as well, although the higher costs of urban living tend to cancel out the wage difference between cities and small towns. Cities also have sufficient population density to support speciality cake shops, which tend to pay more than grocery stores with bakery departments in small towns. Talented and speciality bakers have trouble supporting their high-end businesses in sparsely populated areas, so tend to live in cities.
Cake decorators are frequently responsible for a range of duties. In large, production businesses some employees may be responsible solely for decorating cakes, but in smaller establishments cake decorating is often combined with other jobs such as baking pastries and bread. Cake decorating often involves applying customised images and messages to speciality cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and special events. This can be done with carefully applied frosting as well as with the application of representational figures, pictures or small toys.
Cake decorating is a field that can be entered without an extensive amount of formal training. It can be an interesting career for a person who has both culinary and artistic skills. Although the pay is not stellar, a motivated cake decorator can learn many things on the job and eventually advance to expanded duties and responsibilities and an increased salary.
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