What does a cake decorator do?
Cake decorators create a wide variety of simple and elaborate designs for many different purposes. They use a variety colors and designs and many different types of frosting, icing, and décor such as chocolate, fruit, and candy. They create many different textures to achieve the desired look. Cake decorators often create tiered cakes, cakes in the shapes of objects, and a variety of other designs. They use a variety of utensils such as spatulas, mixers, and special icing bags. They also tint icing and insert dies of specific designs. Some cake decorators specialize in a specific type of cake such as wedding cakes. Others focus on fantastical and unique designs that can be customized to meet any need.
What kind of training does a cake decorator need?
Cake decorators typically need at least a high school diploma. Many cake decorators have formal training from a pastry program. The American Culinary Federation accredits many different pastry programs around the country. Prospective cake decorators often complete courses in baking, cake decorating, cake frosting and icing, and designing wedding cakes. Many cake decorators start out as helpers to experienced cake decorators to gain practical experience. New cake decorators often begin shadowing experienced workers and performing simple tasks. They move on to more advanced tasks as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Cake decorators complete additional training as needed throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a cake decorator?
Employment of cake decorators is expected to grow slower than average for all professions, increasing 4% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in automation will reduce job growth.
Job prospects should be good especially for cake decorators with extensive experience. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace cake decorators that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do cake decorators make?
As of March 2010, cake decorators with less than 1 year experience earn average hourly rates between $7.89 and $9.75. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $8.43 and $10.80 (2).
A career as a cake decorator is a great choice for people with a strong interest in decorating many different types of cakes for a variety of occasions. Cake decorators must have a solid understanding of many different cake decorating techniques as well as a variety of fillings and frostings. They must also have a good knowledge of what baking materials can withstand high temperatures. Patience, creativity, determination, detail orientation, and artistic talent are essential characteristics. Cake decorators must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of clients. They must be able to work under pressure to meet specific deadlines.