Becoming A Wilton Instructor

Decorating By mandysue Updated 8 May 2014 , 3:08pm by Gingerlocks

mandysue Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 1:54pm
post #1 of 11

So, I have one more month of cake class and I will be done with all 4 courses. Then, I want to look into teaching. I looked at the info offered on the Wilton website this morning and it all looks fine except it appears that they only want teachers in stores that sell Wilton. This makes sense, but the nearest retailer is 40 miles away! I was hoping to teach at the local community college. Does anyone know if Wilton ever does this?

Next question-are there additional classes to take before you start teaching? I feel like some of my Wilton methods could certainly use tweaking before I try to teach them.

Finally, what does it pay? All I found out so far was that you get a 40% discount on supplies.

If there's any other information you want to share, I would appreciate it.

TIA!

10 replies
kdodgen Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 2:00pm
post #2 of 11

I live in louisiana and I know that Wilton Instructors teach at the local ballpark gyms. Just contact your parish, city, parish or county who is in charge of parks and recreations and they should be able to help you.

I don't know what the pay is or any other information that you are looking for.

laneysmom Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 2:16pm
post #3 of 11

I think if you go through Wilton, you have to do it through a retail store. The classes they offer are geared to sell their product.

If you are looking into using this as a form of income, you'd probably be better off doing something else. The pay is not very good and you have to use your own supplies. That means: carting in your mixer and making buttercream for every class, etc. It's fun and it certainly helps tweak your piping skills, but it can also be very discouraging when only 1 or 2 people have signed up for classes. (The more students you have, the better your commission). Also keep in mind that you will be required to do in-store demos during special promotions, (again all at your own cost for materials) usually for a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday once or twice a month.

You might be better off doing something independently through a technical school or local community college enrichment program. You could choose what topics to offer and set your price accordingly by cutting out the middle man. Of course, if you did this, you would not be able to teach "The Wilton Method."

HTH

TexasSugar Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 4:51pm
post #4 of 11

If you want to be a WMI you have to go through Wilton. There are WMIs that do teach at Community Colleges, but again you have to apply with Wilton and then Wilton will put you in touch with places in your area that are looking for a WMI. You can't walk into a store and asked to be the WMI, it all goes through Wilton.

There are training meetings, but no there are not other classes to prepare you for teaching. If you think you may need some more practice then you just have to practice. You can always apply and see if there are any openings in your area. If there aren't you can keep practicing and re apply along the way.

I've been an WMI at Michaels for 5 years and I love it. It isn't a job that will pay the bills, but it is great for spending money. Your responsibilities depend on where you work, and I'm not sure how they figure the pay for people that teach at Community Colleges.

At the retail stores we get paid per students, so if you get a bigger class, over 7 you get more money. But you don't know until the beginning of every month how much you will be making. One month you may have three courses going on, one month you may only have one. My base pay starts at $33.50 for 4-7 students. In my opinion that is nice pay for 2.5 hours of doing something that I enjoy.

I could go on about the pros and cons, but since you are looking to do it at a Community College then I'm not sure how much of it really applies.

Yes there are some outside expense, though unlike the previous poster I do not make and bring icing to every lesson. I do bring a cake and make a double batch of icing for Course 1, usually a batch of royal icing for C2, and use a little fondant and gumpaste in C3 and F/GP class. Yes, 90% of the products you saw your instructor use, she bought. Wilton does give freebies now and then and there is the 40% off discount when you order directly from them. Being a Michaels' WMI I also get a 25% off employee discount.

As far as I know Michaels is the only one that has required demos. And they aren't once or twice a month (though you can certainly do them once a month) they are one every other month or so, and you do get paid to do them. The demo's are to help get the word out that we have classes at the store, so by doing them you could be boosting your enrollment.

Being a WMI isn't for everyone, and I understand that. I have a great manager that is supportive of the Wilton program and that can make a big difference.

sweetcakes Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 7:10pm
post #5 of 11

i recommend you go ahead and fill out the online application, you're not commiting to anything. Wilton will contact you if there is a vacancy for a wmi in your area. You never know perhaps one of the craft stores will open up in your town. Wilton goes through their database of apllications first, then they ask wmi to recommend someone in their newsletters to us. The pays isn;t too bad, mere pocket money really. But ive got to say i love teaching it regardless.

laneysmom Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 8:20pm
post #6 of 11

I hope I didn't give you the impression that it's a terrible idea. Like I said, teaching the actual classes was a blast and really kept my skills in top shape. I haven't taught for a few years, and I see a difference now in my piping for sure! (I still refer to my manuals from time to time.) I just felt that for the amount of time and effort I put into it, the return was not what I expected.

But I think TexasSugar is absolutely correct when she says having a supportive store manager makes all the difference. I never even saw my store manager and frequently had to clean up the craft room before I could even get started. That said, I should say the Wilton people were wonderful and very helpful when I was first getting started. Check out the website--they have all the info there.

Good luck!

kleroj Posted 7 May 2014 , 9:43pm
post #7 of 11

Hi, do you know what the requirements are to become a Wilton instructor? I know you have to go to their web site and look for the requirements; however, I have been told that you must have taken all 4 iIlton courses with the same instructor in order to become one. I did not find this info on their web site but again I have been told that they would not say that. Is that true?? I would highly appreciate some info about this! thank you!!

howsweet Posted 7 May 2014 , 9:52pm
post #8 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by laneysmom 

I think if you go through Wilton, you have to do it through a retail store. The classes they offer are geared to sell their product.

If you are looking into using this as a form of income, you'd probably be better off doing something else. The pay is not very good and you have to use your own supplies. That means: carting in your mixer and making buttercream for every class, etc. It's fun and it certainly helps tweak your piping skills, but it can also be very discouraging when only 1 or 2 people have signed up for classes. (The more students you have, the better your commission). Also keep in mind that you will be required to do in-store demos during special promotions, (again all at your own cost for materials) usually for a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday once or twice a month.

You might be better off doing something independently through a technical school or local community college enrichment program. You could choose what topics to offer and set your price accordingly by cutting out the middle man. Of course, if you did this, you would not be able to teach "The Wilton Method."

HTH


Holy cow - how do they get people to do this?

AZCouture Posted 7 May 2014 , 10:01pm
post #9 of 11

ANo kidding!

MBalaska Posted 7 May 2014 , 11:50pm
post #10 of 11

thinking back a year or 10, were there any other widely offered classes than the Wilton classes?  All this internet stuff is relatively new.

Gingerlocks Posted 8 May 2014 , 3:08pm
post #11 of 11

Many years ago I became certified to be an WMI; its seems like a great little oppertunity at first..and like TexasSugar said, I thought it would be good to get a bit of extra cash for what (at the time at least) was a hobby. 

 

The Wilton people were great, and I liked when they would call up, and I even liked the courses/modules you had to compelate. The real kicker is the store..you don't really get to choose where you are placed; there is a vacancy and you can either fill it or not. Stores varry wildy; the one I was placed at was a nightmare! Before I even started I knew that it wasn't going to be good..the manager who ran it told me I would have to advertise and basically drum up my own students and that the store was not going to even advertise that they are offering the Wilton courses..okay..

 

Plus there usually is a minimum number of students before the course will go ahead..at this store there only needed to be 1 person and I was obgligated to teach..for basically no money, it was less than minimum wage with only one student!

 

Then there is the pushing of product..don't get me wrong there are some great Wilton products that I would absolutely recomend; but it can get sooo pricy if you only recomend Wilton products, they are very over priced in many cases and you don't get any commision on the products you are pushing, the store benefits while you are working hard to promote Wilton for less than minimum wage, because only one student signed up, because you are left to drum up your own students..(this was in the time before Facebook so maybe its easier to promote your classes now, I can't really say). I will say that as soon as you start raising your concerns to a store manager thats it your out..they want people to tow the line.

 

Being a WMI is not an easy job, and you are NOT going to really make any money; after you pay to bring your own cake, butter cream, Royal Icing, colours etc..there really isn't much financial benefits. If you're doing it because you just love decorating, believe in the Wilton Method, and their products than go for it. 

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