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Career and Education Opportunities for Bakers in Elgin, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for bakers in the Elgin, Illinois area. Currently, 8,620 people work as bakers in Illinois. This is expected to grow 11% to about 9,580 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for bakers are expected to grow by about 0.2%. In general, bakers mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.

The income of a baker is about $10 per hour or $22,490 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,290 per year on average. Incomes for bakers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Food in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Food category nationally.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including four within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a baker. The most common level of education for bakers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Elgin include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Baker Training

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef which graduated eighteen, eleven, and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

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.

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.

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.

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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.