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Career and Education Opportunities for Bakers in Chicago, Illinois

For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for bakers. There are currently 8,620 working bakers in Illinois; this should grow by 11% to about 9,580 working bakers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for bakers are expected to grow by about 0.2%. Bakers generally mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.

A person working as a baker can expect to earn about $10 per hour or $22,490 annually on average in Illinois and about $11 hourly or $23,290 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for bakers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Food in Illinois and not quite as good as general Food category earnings nationally.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a baker, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level for bakers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a baker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Baker

In general, bakers mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.

Bakers measure and weigh flour and other ingredients to ready batters and icings, using scales and graduated containers. They also set oven temperatures and place items into hot ovens for baking. Equally important, bakers have to check apparatus to insure that it meets health and safety regulations and perform maintenance or cleaning, as needed. They are often called upon to check the quality of raw materials to insure that standards and specifications are met. They are expected to combine measured ingredients in bowls of mixing or cooking machinery. Finally, bakers order and receive supplies and equipment.

Every day, bakers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for bakers to place dough in pans or on sheets, and bake in production ovens or on grills. They are often called upon to ready and maintain inventory and production records. They also roll and shape dough to fashion sweet rolls and other products. They are sometimes expected to adapt the quantity of ingredients to match the amount of items to be baked. Somewhat less frequently, bakers are also expected to combine measured ingredients in bowls of mixing or cooking machinery.

Bakers sometimes are asked to order and receive supplies and equipment. They also have to be able to operate slicing and wrapping machines And finally, they sometimes have to roll and shape dough to fashion sweet rolls and other products.

Like many other jobs, bakers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Baker Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a one to two year program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated two students in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has a one to two year program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated five students in 2008.

The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, 361 W Chestnut, Chicago, IL 60610. The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,053 students. The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago has an associate's degree program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a one to two year program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated four students in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60621-2709. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,873 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College has a less than one year program in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Baker: A Certified Baker prepares and produces baked goods while assisting with general commercial bakery operations.

For more information, see the Retail Bakers of America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.