Cake Decorating: Career Outlook for the Cake Decorating Profession

Published Sep 09, 2009

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Cake Decorating is literally the icing on the cake in bakeries across America. Cake Decorators, pastry chefs and bakers are all responsible for decorating cakes and other pastries for bakeries, cake shops, hotels, restaurants and supermarket bakeries. This article provides a career outlook for the Cake Decorating profession.

Cake Decorator Overview and Career Outlook

Cake Decorators can be seen icing birthday cakes and intricate wedding cakes at specialty bakeries and even large supermarket bakeries. Their handiwork makes each cake an edible, professional work of art. Cake Decorators work alone while decorating cakes but serve as part of a larger bakery team. They must work well under strict timelines, customer-specific directions and the fast pace of a full-scale bakery. They may also train and supervise new Cake Decorators and ordering ingredients or supplies.

No formal education is required of Cake Decorating professionals; however, some individuals take appropriate courses at culinary institutes or community colleges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS),, Cake Decorating is expected to have better than average growth from 2006 to 2016 as workers move into better jobs or retirement.

Pastry Chef Overview and Career Outlook

Pastry chefs oversee Cake Decorating and the production of other pastries in bakeries, restaurants and hotels. They are responsible for planning dessert menus for parties and displaying their cakes and pastry goods at special events. In addition, pastry chefs are part of a kitchen staff and may work with other bakers and party planners to meet customer demands.

Pastry chefs often attend culinary schools and participate in supervised internships under other pastry chefs. Certification from professional culinary associations, such as the International Association of Culinary Professionals, is beneficial. Pastry chefs face more competition for employment at prestigious restaurants and hotels. However, average growth opportunity is predicted by the BLS.

Baker Overview and Career Outlook

Bakers make up the largest employment segment related to Cake Decorating. Like pastry chefs, bakers are responsible for decorating cakes along with baking pies, cookies, breads and other specialty desserts. Senior-level bakers often staff and manage the bakery and must have excellent customer service skills since they often serve customers too. Bakers have unusual hours and are required to work shift work, weekends and holidays. No formal education is required for becoming a baker, although optional certification from the Retail Bakers of America illustrates a certain level of skill to potential employers. The BLS states that overall employment of bakers will increase by ten percent from 2006 to 2016.

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