Hiring a Cake Decorator
Cake decorators are artistic culinary professionals who are responsible for the designs and exterior presentation of cakes, pastries, special order items, and specialty bakery goods. They prepare the icing and other ingredients required for decorating cakes. Professionals in this industry work with customers to design and decorate cakes and other bakery items for various celebrations. They primarily decorate custom cakes for special events such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or other formal and informal occasions. Cake decorators have an artistic eye and creative flair that is a must-have for the job. Decorators hired for the position work in a variety of settings, including: bakeries, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, or hotels. They work either individually or with a team of decorators. Some are hired in fine dining establishments or by food photographers or food magazine publishers. Entry-level workers earn a yearly average pay of $20,500, with the most experienced making up to $50,000 per year depending upon expertise, location, and employer. With experience, talented cake decorators can progress to supervisory roles, teaching cake design, and often going on to start their own ventures.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The workload of a cake decorator changes with the seasons, holidays, and wedding season. The fundamental responsibility of a cake decorator is to turn a simple cake into confectionary perfection. The work involves setting pre-made decorations to pre-baked cakes; however, some decorators are required to bake their cakes from scratch. In most establishments, cake decorators are in charge of interacting with clients to gain an understanding of the desired design of the cake. They should be able to take care of the initial planning based on the directions, creating sketches for approval before decorating the cake. Some employers assign them the task of overseeing the overall operation of the kitchen or bakery. Cake decorators must also manage supplies and maintain hygiene before and after the preparation. For self-employed professionals, the duties also include account management, business generation, and business promotion.
Background, skills, and abilities
To be hired for this position, formal education is generally not required, but it may be preferred. Prospective decorators with a pastry degree or relevant certification from a culinary school have an advantage when applying for this role. Some employers provide on-the-job training and train candidates who are fresh out of school. However, some hiring managers favor candidates with experience in cake decorating and pastry production. Cake decorators must be team-oriented and welcome constructive feedback from colleagues and clients. Candidates must have excellent time management skills, be detail-oriented, and be open to working irregular hours. They should be open to taking courses and attending seminars and keep themselves up to date on the new techniques of cake decoration. Most importantly, artistic talent and creativity are an essential requirement for this position.