Gaining a Qualification

You have the choice of studying full-time before entering the job market, or working and studying part-time while gaining skills on the job through the Modern Apprenticeships scheme. Many employees in the baking industry start their careers working as an apprentice. Some people employed in the industry have no qualifications at all and have simply trained on the job. But remember: the more qualifications you have, the better paid you will be and the more opportunities you will have.

Full-time study

Full-time courses generally cover bakery safety, food hygiene, first aid, biscuits and small goods, pastry baking, bread baking, cake baking, cake decorating, baking for the catering industry, patisserie, confectionery and craft baking production.

The following are providers who offer full-time courses:

CPIT (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) offers a 1 year full-time course resulting in a National Certificate in Baking (Level 3). For more information visit CPIT’s website or phone 0800 242476 or email

The Manukau Institute of Technology offers a full-time course leading to a National Certificate in Baking (Level 3). For more information visit their website, or phone 0800 226262.

UCOL (University College of Learning) offers a full-time course resulting in a Certificate in Baking and Pastry (Level 3). For more information visit or phone 0800 46 8265.

AUT University offers a 1 year programme which lead to a Certificate in Practical Patisserie or a 2 year full-term course to gain a Diploma in Patisserie. Visit or phone 09 921 9999 for further details.

Aoraki Polytechnic offers full-time bakery and Patisserie courses resulting in a National Certificate in Baking (Level 2) and/or Certificate in Patisserie (Level 4). For more information visit or phone 0800 426 725.

Part-time study

Part time study is a good option for people wanting to become bakers but who do not have the time or financial resources to study full-time. Plant & Food Research offers a flexible, high quality distance learning programme made up of modules and assessments. This enables you to study in your own time, wherever you like. The programme provides the underpinning or theoretical knowledge required for the National Certificate in Baking. The course covers flour production, baking science, bread baking, pastry, cakes and sponges, biscuits, small goods and legal requirements. Each course is based upon one NZQA unit standard. As these units are theory-based you do not need to be working in the baking industry to complete them.

For more information on these courses, visit

On-line study

CPIT offers an e-learning course called "Baking Online" which trains apprentice bakers to become qualified craft and plant bakers.For more information please visit CPIT website or phone (03) 940 800.

For information on the practical components of the National Certificate in Baking, contact Competenz on 0800 526 1800 or visit

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships is a work-based education initiative that provides mentored and supported training. A Modern Apprenticeships co-ordinator will work with you and your employer (or assist in matching you with an employer) to help you work towards a national qualification while earning money.

There are a number of Baking Modern Apprenticeship Co-ordinators. For more information and Co-ordinator contact details visit the Tertiary Education Commission Modern Apprenticeships website,

For further information on a career as a baker, visit the Kiwi Careers website, an excellent source of information and career advice