How To Define "professional" Cake Designer/de

Decorating By CoutureCakeCreations Updated 13 Aug 2008 , 4:29am by tonedna

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:01am
post #1 of 33

So how do you define a professional cake designer/decorator?

32 replies
tannersmom Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:08am
post #2 of 33

Doesn't the term professional mean, anyone who gets paid for any type of service??? I guess it depends on how much you get paid for those services will determine how much of a professional you are??? Does this make sense. LOL

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:09am
post #3 of 33

Yes it makes sense, but does part time or full time have anything to do with it?
I just wonder! thats all!

MamaBerry Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:21am
post #4 of 33

As a professional you have gone through training, it can be apprenticeship or schooling depending on the career/law requirements. As a "professional" you have the basic knowledge of either cake decorating, candy/pastry making, confectionery or the all incompassing pastry chef training.

I've learned that the food service industry is little different than my former career as a massage therapist. Unfortunately, NJ doesn't require any schooling to become a MT. I did not feel comfortable with such being that massage is the knowledge, use and skillful application of medical Anatomy & physiology, etc. but that's a whole 'nother soapbox. thumbs_up.gif

jessieb578 Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:24am
post #5 of 33

I personally don't think full or part time has anything to do with it. I agree that training as well as experience makes you professional. There are those that are self taught and would kick the butt of someone who may be trained for years at culinary school, so experience is a biggie too. I suppose someone could call themselves professional when they can show that their accomplishments meet the needs of others?? Wow...what a good question.

sugabear Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:29am
post #6 of 33

Personally, I don't think part time/full time has anything to do with it. When I think professional cake decorator I think of someone who is skilled enough to make a career out of it. Of course some are more skilled than others, and for me that's where the different levels are. Just my two cents worth. icon_biggrin.gif

varika Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:44am
post #7 of 33

I would tend to define it as one who at least partially supports themselves with it/does it as a business. Whether it's part-time or full-time, you're a professional if you're paying bills with what you bring in.

Which is not the same thing as being professional at it, which is a quality thing and much harder to define...all I can say is, I'm neither one!

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:27pm
post #8 of 33

If I were to enter a contest, I'd be in the professional category because I get paid for decorating cakes. The applications I've seen don't ask me if I do it full time or part time, they don't ask me how much profit I make, they don't want to know how much I charge. They just want to know if I'm compensated for the skill. If I mark "yes", then I'm in the professional category.

But I'm going to throw in that "professional" is also a state of mind; it's how the business/transaction is handled; it's how a problem is resolved; it's how the bride is reassured and comforted during the booking conversations. Anyone can receive ten bucks for a cake .... but to receive ten bucks and be a professional ..... there's a fine line in there somewhere.

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 2:59pm
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

If I were to enter a contest, I'd be in the professional category because I get paid for decorating cakes. The applications I've seen don't ask me if I do it full time or part time, they don't ask me how much profit I make, they don't want to know how much I charge. They just want to know if I'm compensated for the skill. If I mark "yes", then I'm in the professional category.

But I'm going to throw in that "professional" is also a state of mind; it's how the business/transaction is handled; it's how a problem is resolved; it's how the bride is reassured and comforted during the booking conversations. Anyone can receive ten bucks for a cake .... but to receive ten bucks and be a professional ..... there's a fine line in there somewhere.




Indydebi that was so well said. You go girl!!!

CakeMakar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:16pm
post #10 of 33

What are you trying to determine your professional status for? Maybe that would help?

I mean, I decorate cakes for profit...but I'm not at a "could own a cake shop" level yet (contrary to what customers think!!) so if I entered a contest it would NOT be as a professional. (Plus it would be my first time entering! icon_eek.gif ) I'm just lucky I've found people willing to pay for me to practice.

I am professional in my dealings - have a contract, am business minded, talk appropriately, have done a wedding, so in that regards I am.

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:37pm
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

I mean, I decorate cakes for profit...so if I entered a contest it would NOT be as a professional.



I'm pretty sure it would be .... you make cakes for a profit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMakar

(Plus it would be my first time entering! icon_eek.gif )


Whether you've been in a contest before or not has no bearing on if you're in the professional category or not.

CakeMakar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 3:54pm
post #12 of 33

"I decorate cakes for profit" is just fine. It gets the point across. Most people would assume I baked the cakes as well! (ETA: Though a lot of times I get DH to do that part! Haha! icon_biggrin.gif )

Of course it doesn't have bearing on your status in a contest, it was merely a side comment that I never had before.

snarkybaker Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:07pm
post #13 of 33

Technically cake decorating is a "trade" not a profession. A trade can be learned with or without formal training, and a tradesman is usually judged by the quality of the work they produce alone.

The criteria for "professional" include:



1-The highest academic qualifications - i.e., university college/institute
Expert and specialised knowledge in field which one is practising professionally
2-Excellent manual/practical & literary skills in relation to profession
3-High quality work in (examples): creations, products, services, presentations, consultancy, primary/other research, administrative, marketing or other work endeavours
4-A high standard of professional ethics, behaviour and work activities while carrying out one's profession (as an employee, self-employed person, career, enterprise, business, company, or partnership/associate/colleague, etc.)


So technically to qualify as a "professional" in terms of pastry work, you would need to have a culinary degree.

Call your self a cake artisan, artist, or designer. I actually do none of the above. I call myself a small business owner, since I spend a lot more time owning/ running my business than I do baking these days.

Cynita Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:15pm
post #14 of 33

Whether you have been trained or self taught, I believe it's the level of your skill and your experience that makes you a professional and like Jessie said, it's like when your accomplishments meet the needs of others.

Cynita

CakeMakar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:21pm
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynita

Whether you have been trained or self taught, I believe it's the level of your skill and your experience that makes you a professional and like Jessie said, it's like when your accomplishments meet the needs of others.

Cynita




I like that!

Cynita Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:28pm
post #16 of 33

I believe in this field you could call yourself a professional much easier than you could in some other fields. To be an attorney and open a law firm, you must posess a professional license, to be a doctor and open an office you must possess a professional license, to be a hairstylist and work in a shop, you must possess a professional license, to work in a bakery or to own a bakery and to perform the jobs to operate a bakery, such as baking and cake decorating, it doesn't require a professional license. So, because this particularly field doesn't necessarily require a proffesional license it doesn't mean that you are not a professional.

Cynita

CharmingConfections Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:36pm
post #17 of 33

The cake decorating contest that I am entering said the professional category was for anyone that earned more than $2,000 a year cake decorating.

snarkybaker Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:40pm
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Quote:

I believe in this field you could call yourself a professional much easier than you could in some other fields.




You can " call yourself" anything you want. I can " call myself" a supermodel, but the fact that I am 5'2 and 175lb might be a tipoff that I might be a little delusional.

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:58pm
post #19 of 33

Well everyone here has made very good points. I have noticed that different cake contest use different descriptions to define "professional" while some are very generic and say that you are a professional if you sell cakes, others are very specific and say that you are a professional if you have x amount of years of training and sell more cakes than you give away, etc. Its so confusing and I see that everyone has their own definitions.

staceyboots Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:20pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCakeCreations

So how do you define a professional cake designer/decorator?




If you are concerned about the level of skill / experience required to be a "professional" cake decorator, I do recall that ICES has a certification program. Although you don't have to do the official exam, you can probably review their standards for a beginner decorator and a master decorator and see where you stack up.

Unfortunately, I can't find it on their website, but maybe someone here on CC can direct us to the link. Here is a link to a previous post...some CC members took the test at the Florida convention.

http://forum.cakecentral.com/ices-certified-sugar-artist-test-ftopicp-5905359.html#5905359

Denae Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:29pm
post #21 of 33

i think experience is sometimes more important than education. for example, i have tried to get entry level positions as an administrator asst before and they either will not hire me or pay me, because i don't have the "experience" in that field. i have worked in a bakery for over 12years and i just recently switched jobs. they jumped to pay over $15 an hour where as the admin job, with my college degree in business wouldn't pay $10 an hr., because i have no experience. so having said that, i am now working towards my master's of arts in teaching in phys ed. i want to teach and coach high school softball (that is my passion). so anyways, yes cake decorating is a trade, but it is a SKILLED trade, not everyone can do it. so to me, "professional" determines your quality of work and experience, no matter what the "technical" definition is. so if you want to call yourself a professional, then go ahead, have enough self esteem to make that "call"

"I'm a professional"

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:31pm
post #22 of 33

Thank you for the link. I sent a pm to someone in that post who mentioned that they were going to take it to get some additional info. Once she answers I will post her response here!

indydebi Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 5:35pm
post #23 of 33

Here's the ICES info: http://www.icesreps.com/Forms/Certification%20Application%20form/ICES%20Certification%20Guidelines.pdf

It's pretty hidden. Go to the "ICES Reps" page, then click on "Resources", then click on "forms", then click on "ICES Certification Program Guidelines". (Geesh! Talk about going behind the bush and around the outhouse to find something! icon_eek.gif )

But in reading thru this thing, I guess I am no where near a "professional" because I don't know what over half of these things are! icon_confused.gif So if I had to do them to pass a test, I'd just have a "duh....which way did he go? which way did he go? I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George" look on my face! icon_confused.gificon_lol.gif

staceyboots Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 10:53pm
post #24 of 33
Quote:





thanks for the link!

CakeMakar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 11:40pm
post #25 of 33

Wow, something to shoot for...

I got a LOOOOOOONG way to go!

costumeczar Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 11:51pm
post #26 of 33

That ICES certification program is brand new, isn't it? I'm a professional baker, I do it full time and have my own business, but I don't think that having someone give you a stamp of approval for being able to fit their random criteria has much to do with it.

I think that in the case of decorating cakes, it's simple enough to say that if you have a business and sell cakes, you're a professional. It doesn't need to get all complicated...

jules1719 Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 11:25am
post #27 of 33

I read somewhere, and it makes me chuckle to think of it, that you aren't a professional cake designer until you've "fired" a client.

tracycakes Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 8:21pm
post #28 of 33

Wow! You basically have to be able to do EVERYTHING! I've wanted to try some things in Nicholas Lodge's books I've got but I didn't think that many of the techniques in there were actually used except in compeition cakes because no one would be willing to pay the cost for the amount of work they require. Now I see that they are used for ICES certification too. How interesting.

Thanks for the link!

need2sleep Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 9:19pm
post #29 of 33

txkat you are hilarious!!!

need2sleep Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 9:28pm
post #30 of 33

txkat you are hilarious!!!

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