How to become a baker: Georgia's story

Meet Georgia, 27, from London. She runs her own cake business, making cakes for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"It’s slightly alternative to the normal career path. My parents had to be convinced … and my grandparents … and my friends."

What is your job?

I sell bespoke cakes to clients, for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations. I also teach cake decorating workshops. I've started a YouTube channel and am slowly becoming more of an ‘influencer’ in the baking world.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

Towards the beginning of the week I do lots of admin – sending emails, contacting clients, getting in touch with companies and exploring new business opportunities. Towards the end of the week, I bake and decorate cakes as most people want cakes for the weekend.

What subject do you draw on from school?

I studied Art, Photography and Maths at A-level. I got three As. I think they all come in handy. Art is the creative design side. I photograph all of my own cakes and use the photos for social media and marketing. The Maths is useful for the baking and science side.

Is this the job you always knew you wanted to do?

No, At first I didn't think it was a job option at all. I got a place at university to study Architecture, but decided I didn't want to do it, so I took a year out. I completed an Art Foundation Course and was then accepted on a Foundation Degree in Animation at LCC. Whilst studying, my hobby was cooking and baking. After speaking to one of my college friends who was enjoying the course a lot more than I was, I realised that baking was (and still is) my true passion. In a lightbulb moment, I realised you can actually do what you love!

I then decided to go to Le Cordon Bleu for culinary training. The application included a cover letter, where I wrote about how passionate I am about this field. That, I suppose, was my qualification – but it obviously helps having the grades too.

One of Georgia's cakes.

Top tips

  • Do what you are passionate about
  • If you think that something you love isn’t a career, you may be wrong. There’s so much out there beyond school subjects
  • I took risks, but I always had a back-up plan.

What to expect if you want to be a baker

  • Baker salary: £13,750 to £40,000 per year
  • Baker working hours: 41 to 45 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a baker?

  • Typical entry requirements: To become a professional baker, you can do a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Bakery or Level 3 Diploma in Professional Bakery. Level 2 courses usually require two GCSEs, and Level 3 courses usually require four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D). If you’re really passionate about baking, you may be able to start as a trainee or as a bakery assistant.

What to expect if you want to own your own business

Georgia owns her own business so her income and hours may vary. Working for yourself looks different for each person and each business, but in general it means you:

  • run your own business and are responsible for its success
  • can decide how, when and where you do your work
  • charge an agreed, fixed price for your work
  • sell goods or services to make a profit
  • can hire people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you.

The salary and working hours when you own a business can vary enormously but what's most important is you work hard and love what you do.

You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time. You can work for your employer during the day, for example, and run your own business in the evenings and at weekends. It’s important to contact HMRC for advice if you’re not sure if you’re self-employed.

You can get help with setting up or developing your business, through the government’s business support services, for example, for advice about tax or how to find funding to start your business.

This information is a guide (source: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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