Thanksharla Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 3:02am
post #1 of

Hi everyone,

I am really considering becoming a Wilton Method Instructor. Can I really pull this off? They want to do a phone interview this week and I'm sooo nervous. I'm a Stay at home mom and haven't had to do an interview in over 3 years. Any advice would be great!

Thanks
Anita

23 replies
Cakepro Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 3:39am
post #2 of

I've been a WMI for 13 years and this is what I have figured out, as I have seen many piss-poor instructors come and go...as long as you are breathing and can do the Wilton techniques, you can become a Wilton instructor. Sad, but true. They aren't exactly discerning in who they let become an instructor.

Don't be nervous about the interview. The REAL test is whether you have what it takes to be a great instructor: patience, a talent for the art, patience, kindness, patience, willing to work for just 'hobby money,' patience...and more patience.

We don't get paid much, there are usually problems at the store where you teach, there's quite a bit of prep work involved for several of the classes, and you deal with people from all walks of life. BUT if you love cake decorating, have a great disposition, and you love sharing your knowledge with others, you will likely do well as a Wilton instructor. It really is a very rewarding experience. Even after opening my own bakery earlier this year and working 85 hours/week during some really busy weeks, I continue to teach two nights per week just because I love to do it.

So my tip to you is...don't be nervous about the interview. Save the nerves for your first night of your first class, because that's really the nerve-wracking part of becoming an instructor! icon_smile.gif

icer101 Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 4:02am
post #3 of

Nothing else needs to be said. Cakepro summed it up and summed it up correctly.Patience and love of the art. I,ve been teaching 5 yrs. at michaels and 4 yrs and a technical school close to me. Love it.hth

Creative_Cookies_Cakes Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 4:31am
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by icer101

Nothing else needs to be said. Cakepro summed it up and summed it up correctly.Patience and love of the art. I,ve been teaching 5 yrs. at michaels and 4 yrs and a technical school close to me. Love it.hth




I agree. I have been teaching for just a few months. I really like teaching it is a lot of fun. But some times you need a lot of patience.

Mark-Mexicano Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 5:14am
post #5 of

How old do you have to be? I'm only 16, so I know I'll have to wate a couple of years. everytime i'm in my local michaels the manager beggs me to look into it. so I was just curious if it was worth it?

quilting2011 Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 5:50am
post #6 of

Mark-

I saw your website and shared it with my cake friends. You are talented. You have a unique style.

You will be a well known cake decorator in a few years. Keep up the good work.

I hope one of your cakes will be featured in a future cake central magazine.

In a few years, you may be a top cake decorator.

Mark-Mexicano Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 6:24am
post #7 of

Thank you so much, your kind words mean so much to me. I've worked so hard to kind of prove myself so I really appreciate the motivation!

Thanksharla Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 11:01am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

I've been a WMI for 13 years and this is what I have figured out, as I have seen many piss-poor instructors come and go...as long as you are breathing and can do the Wilton techniques, you can become a Wilton instructor. Sad, but true. They aren't exactly discerning in who they let become an instructor.

Don't be nervous about the interview. The REAL test is whether you have what it takes to be a great instructor: patience, a talent for the art, patience, kindness, patience, willing to work for just 'hobby money,' patience...and more patience.

We don't get paid much, there are usually problems at the store where you teach, there's quite a bit of prep work involved for several of the classes, and you deal with people from all walks of life. BUT if you love cake decorating, have a great disposition, and you love sharing your knowledge with others, you will likely do well as a Wilton instructor. It really is a very rewarding experience. Even after opening my own bakery earlier this year and working 85 hours/week during some really busy weeks, I continue to teach two nights per week just because I love to do it.

So my tip to you is...don't be nervous about the interview. Save the nerves for your first night of your first class, because that's really the nerve-wracking part of becoming an instructor! icon_smile.gif




Thanks for the advice. I definitely wouldn't be doing it to become rich. I love, love, love cake decorating and like to encourage others to do it too.

What kind of prep work needs to be done before class?

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 2:20pm
post #9 of

Don't worry about the interview, they just want to get more information and a feel for who you are.

As far as prep work before class, on the first night of Decorating Basics you will bring a cake and make icing in class. In Flowers and Cake Design you will make royal icing. There is also some paperwork you will have to do, flyers and advertising, and depend on which store you work at you may have to do demos.

I've been a WMI for 6 years and love it. You deal with good and bad, but mostly I have had good experinces. I'm lucky to work at a store with good supportive management. There are a few times where I have wanted to walk out of class and pull my hair out, but more often than not me and my students have fun.

I'd suggest looking back through some past posts on here to find out what all is involved in being a WMI. I know in the past I have typed up some lenghty posts about it.

Mark, I'm not sure what the age on it is. I'm guessing that you would have to be at least 18, but I'm not totally sure. You can always contact Wilton and ask.

Thanksharla Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Don't worry about the interview, they just want to get more information and a feel for who you are.

As far as prep work before class, on the first night of Decorating Basics you will bring a cake and make icing in class. In Flowers and Cake Design you will make royal icing. There is also some paperwork you will have to do, flyers and advertising, and depend on which store you work at you may have to do demos.

I've been a WMI for 6 years and love it. You deal with good and bad, but mostly I have had good experinces. I'm lucky to work at a store with good supportive management. There are a few times where I have wanted to walk out of class and pull my hair out, but more often than not me and my students have fun.

I'd suggest looking back through some past posts on here to find out what all is involved in being a WMI. I know in the past I have typed up some lenghty posts about it.

Mark, I'm not sure what the age on it is. I'm guessing that you would have to be at least 18, but I'm not totally sure. You can always contact Wilton and ask.




Do you know where I would have the most luck looking up past posts? I did a search on here and yahoo and nothing valuable came up.

thin4life Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:09am

I have been a WMI for over 5 years and I absolutely love it. I work at Michaels and have had probems because the manager is so laid back but the rewards far out weigh the problems. I just love seeing the look on the students face when they do their cakes and they can't believe they did that themselves. Wilton is really good to their instructors. You get so much free stuff it is unbelievable. If you can work for Michael's I would. We get paid according to how many students are in class. This month I have 10 students in one of my classes and my pay is over $20 an hour so it is well worth it. I say go for it, you won't regret it.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 1:55pm

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-638156-wilton.html+instructor+teaching

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-590766-wilton.html+instructor+teaching

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=585459&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=wilton&&start=15

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-67653-wilton.html+instructor+teaching

There are some old posts. Some of the thing differ a little now, but that will give you the basic idea of what is involved in the job. icon_smile.gif

Thin4Life, actually all accounts get paid per student. The difference in Michaels and Hobby Lobby (can't speal for JoAnn's) is that at Michaels you are a store employee so you get your check from Michaels and taxes are taken out. At Hobby Lobby you are a contract employee, your check comes from Wilton and you have to pay the taxes at the end of the year. At Michaels you are requiered to do demo's every other month or so, which you get paid for. I do not think Hobby Lobby pays for demo's.

I love teaching at Michaels but I haven't taught at Hobby Lobby so I can't say which is better. I do like that I don't have to worry about my taxes and that I get the 25% employee discount. If I ever stop teaching I'll have to quit shopping at Michaels. icon_smile.gif

cai0311 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:18pm

I was a Wilton instructor for almost 2 years at a Michael's store and hated every minute of it.

The classes were not supported well by the employees or the public (mostly because the employees were clueless and would give out the wrong info). The manager was worthless. The other instructor the store had would make beautiful display cakes, story boards...and the manager would not put them out front. Instead, the displays would be in the back office for a couple of weeks and then thrown away.

To me, all the prep work, time spent to drive to and from the store, time spent to clean the back room before and after class and clean my kitchen, material cost, and the fact most people that take the class spend more time sucking icing out of the bag than piping with the icing drove me to quit. About 6 months before I quit the pay scale changed to be based on how many students were in the class instead of a flat rate pay. I usally only had 1 or 2 people per class so my hourly rate went way down. The 2 hours I spent teaching the class was less pay than 1 hour at my day job. I felt my time was best spent else where - like with my husband.

One of the main reasons I went into engineering (my day job) was so I didn't have to deal with the general public. To be honest, I don't really like people. When I have consultations I am a smiling, bubbly person but most of the time I am cringing on the side wanting to slap people with a common sense stick.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 2:43pm

Cai, I have to say that having a supportive store can make or break a WMI. I have heard horror stores about managers that were A$$es and so on. So the store you are at does play a factor into it.

I can't speak for everyone, but for me, I spend less than $3 hours at the store so unless the class involves making a cake or icing, then I'm getting paid a little over $11 an hour or $33.50 a night. For me, it is right over my day job pay, so I'm totally happy with a part time job that pays well over min wage. If I have a bigger group, 7-9 students, then I'm looking at $43.50 a night, which is $14.50 a hour for three hours. After 10 the pay goes up $3 for every additional student a night.

It is not a job that will make you rich, unless you taught classes several times a day many days of the week. But it is a nice job to give you spending money. My day job pays the bills. My teaching is my extra money. icon_smile.gif

There are some expenses as a WMI, such as the cake and icing, but there are chances to earn gift certificates to use for Wilton products, will does send out Freebies now and then, and then depending on which store you teach at maybe a employee discount.

I've only had a few students in my 6 years that made me want to quit, but I just went home, vented and came back the next week ready to do it again. More often than not I get students that I miss when the go through the classes.

Cia, as far as the sucking the icing from the bag, that is #2 on my rule list that they get the first night of the first course. I do not allow them to lick their fingers or any of their decorating tools. I've had it happen a very few times, even now with the fingers they will stop with their fingers half way to their mouth and look in my direction to see if I saw them.

Win Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:01pm

[quote="Cakepro"]I've been a WMI for 13 years and this is what I have figured out, as I have seen many piss-poor instructors come and go...as long as you are breathing and can do the Wilton techniques, you can become a Wilton instructor. Sad, but true. They aren't exactly discerning in who they let become an instructor.]

That's so funny! I've applied online three different times and have only ever received acknowledgments that they received the application --never have been called for an interview, etc. I guess because I certified over twenty years ago, they don't consider me current in knowledge? I always include a link to pictures that display all the techniques they cover, but I guess I'm not what they are looking for even though I know there are openings in my area for instructors. icon_sad.gif

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:31pm

If there were openings I can't see why they wouldn't want you. icon_sad.gif

cai0311 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:39pm

TexasSugar, I was there 2 hours at the most (so around $22 for the night). With only 1 or 2 students per class we usually finished up early and most of the time the student would rather end 20 minutes early than sit there by themself and decorate an ugly cake. In the almost 2 years I worked there I had one class that hit 4 students! All the classes at that Michaels were like that - not just mine (I only taught once per week).

Like I said, for everything that goes into getting ready for class (not to mention having to drive in NE Ohio in the winter at night) $22/night wasn't worth it for me (30 minutes of overtime a week at my day job pays more than that). I didn't teach the class to become rich, I taught because I like just about everything there is to do with cakes.

The first week of every class I would pass out a 10 commandments of cake decorating list. One of those commandments was not to eat the icing from the bag, finger, tip, spatula, container... It never helped.

I also hated having to push Wilton products that I myself won't buy because I either think it is a gimick or doesn't work like they claim. Not all the Wilton product, but some (like their premade buttercream icing, fondant, leveler, cupcake holder while decorating, buttercream icing recipe in general, ribbon cutter, clown heads...)

In the end, I was complaining way more than having anything positive to say about the class - so I decided to quit.

cake-angel Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Win


That's so funny! I've applied online three different times and have only ever received acknowledgments that they received the application --never have been called for an interview, etc. I guess because I certified over twenty years ago, they don't consider me current in knowledge? I always include a link to pictures that display all the techniques they cover, but I guess I'm not what they are looking for even though I know there are openings in my area for instructors. icon_sad.gif




Sometimes it helps to get another WMI in your area to vouch for you or to put your name in with their Wilton supervisor. That is how I got a WMI position. An instructor I knew was leaving and she sent my name in to her supervisor and they contacted me. It had been 2 years since my application so they emailed me and asked me to fill out a new one and then they called me and had the interview and asked for some examples of my work featuring Wilton techniques.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:53pm

When I started I had to ask myself because I had branched out from Wilton if I wanted to promote Wilton only in class. My answer was that beside I few products I do believe that what Wilton sells is nice for people to start out with and that in the end they can decide if they want to go out and spend way more money on other products. I'll also tell a student if I like or don't like a product and why.

It isn't a job for everyone. While I find it an easy and rewarding job others may not. I don't have a long distance to drive to class, and in Texas we don't have alot of bad weather in the Winter, so that isn't an issue for me. I've only had to cancel maybe 3 classes in all my years because of weather.

I do believe people should consider the pros and cons of the jobs in relation to their lives. If my day job paid more in a short period than I made in an night of teaching I may ditch the teaching as well. But right now, with my insurance going up and paying for a new car, I will take any extra money I can get. icon_smile.gif I've only been working the full time job since August and had a thought of quiting teaching, but in the end, because I had the time, I decided to keep teaching, and am glad I have. I'll probably continue teaching until I get ready to start a family, then I will have to decide if I want to continue or not. It just depends.

cake-angel Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

I'll probably continue teaching until I get ready to start a family, then I will have to decide if I want to continue or not. It just depends.




I started teaching because I have a young family and needed to get out without feeling guilty for hiring the babysitter. LOL. I only teach 2 nights a week and it has saved my sanity and made me a happier more patient Mommy.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 4:08pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cake-angel

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

I'll probably continue teaching until I get ready to start a family, then I will have to decide if I want to continue or not. It just depends.



I started teaching because I have a young family and needed to get out without feeling guilty for hiring the babysitter. LOL. I only teach 2 nights a week and it has saved my sanity and made me a happier more patient Mommy.




I can totally understand. I have mom's take the class for that reason. icon_smile.gif

It will depend on if I do the family thing alone or if I have a partner in it. If I have a father in the picture then I will continue teaching. If I don't, then I'm not sure, because I'll be away from my child all day, so then I'd hate to turn around and leave them several times a week as well, ya know?

nanahaley Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 4:13pm

I became a WMI when the regular WMI asked me to fill in when she had surgery and was out for 4 months. I taught for 3 months before I found out I wasn't supposed to be "filling in" without being an authorized WMI. So I went through the application process and it helped that the Michael's store manager asked me to stay on and gave me a recommendation. We have now have 2 WMI's at my store but I only teach 1 night a week. If you are teaching for the money, I wouldn't advise it. You definitely won't get rich. You have to have a true love of everything cake and as was mentioned before - PATIENCE!!! Many of my students have become members here and I have them on my buddy list and try to keep up with their cakes and make comments on them. I would not trade the experience for anything. I do a lot of prep work not only in preparation for classes but also preparing the registration sheets and posting schedules in the store. We are not allowed to hold a class with less than 4 students and I don't think I've had a class with less than 6. After my first class of 14 Course 1 students, I started limiting my class to 12 and that is still more than I would like to have. I think 8 is an ideal number to give more attention to each one.

cake-angel Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 4:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cake-angel

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

I'll probably continue teaching until I get ready to start a family, then I will have to decide if I want to continue or not. It just depends.



I started teaching because I have a young family and needed to get out without feeling guilty for hiring the babysitter. LOL. I only teach 2 nights a week and it has saved my sanity and made me a happier more patient Mommy.



I can totally understand. I have mom's take the class for that reason. icon_smile.gif

It will depend on if I do the family thing alone or if I have a partner in it. If I have a father in the picture then I will continue teaching. If I don't, then I'm not sure, because I'll be away from my child all day, so then I'd hate to turn around and leave them several times a week as well, ya know?





I totally know what you mean. I do have a partner in raising my kids - he just works away a lot. It is nice because I get to be a stay at home mom but I really look forward to my evenings out. LOL. I would probably feel different if I worked outside of the home full time as well.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 5:43pm

Ahh, yes if I was a stay at home mom, I'd totally keep teaching! icon_wink.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%