Cake decorator

Cake decorators design, make and decorate cakes for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions.

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £12,000 - £25,000

Typical hours (a week): 41 - 43

How to become a cake decorator

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You can take a course at your local college. For example:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Professional Cake Decoration
  • Level 2 Certificate in Sugarcraft

Some colleges and adult learning centres run hobby courses in cake decorating, where you can pick up useful skills and techniques.

You may also find it helpful to get a food hygiene certificate.

College (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course


You could start as an assistant in a bakery or patisserie and do training on the job.

Direct application

You could apply for jobs if you've got the right level of skills. You could have developed these skills from decorating cakes for special occasions for family and friends.

More info

Career tips

If you're displaying your work online, make sure you:

  • put a watermark on your online images to deter someone from copying them
  • check copyright terms if you're using popular characters or logos in your designs

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • maths knowledge
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day to day

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • talking with clients about cake design ideas
  • creating designs and decorations, and drawing sketches to show clients
  • baking cakes to order
  • writing messages on cakes using icing
  • putting pre-baked cakes and decorations together
  • setting up, clearing away and cleaning baking equipment
  • checking stock levels and buying ingredients
  • promoting the business and keeping accounts

Working environment

You could work from home or at a store. Your working environment may be dusty and cool. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Career path & progression

With experience, you could start your own business. You could also teach cake design.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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