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Top 11 Bakery Manager Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available to aspiring bakery managers and discuss their benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for a bakery manager in the job market because they demonstrate to employers that the individual has a comprehensive understanding of the industry and holds the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in the role. Certifications provide evidence of professional achievement, advanced training, and continuing education, which can help differentiate a candidate from other applicants. Additionally, certifications prove that an individual is knowledgeable about food safety, hygiene protocols, management practices, customer service strategies, and other pertinent topics related to bakery management. All these qualifications can give employers confidence that they are hiring someone with the right skillset to effectively manage their bakery business.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Bakery Managers and explains how they can contribute to a bakery manager's career growth.

What are Bakery Manager Certifications?

Bakery manager certification is a professional development program for individuals who wish to advance their careers in the baking industry. It provides an opportunity for individuals to gain valuable knowledge and skills in bakery management, including food safety, product development, budgeting, marketing, and customer service. This certification can help individuals gain recognition as a bakery manager or supervisor in the baking industry. It also demonstrates a commitment to professional growth and excellence in the field of baking. With this certification, bakery managers can demonstrate their expertise in the industry and become more attractive candidates for job openings or promotions within their current organization. Additionally, those with bakery manager certification may be eligible for higher pay or other benefits due to their increased knowledge and experience.

Pro tip: Take advantage of online courses and certification programs to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in bakery management. This will help you stay competitive in your field and demonstrate to potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective manager.

Related: What does a Bakery Manager do?

Top 11 Bakery Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Bakery Managers today.

1. Professional Baker Certification

Professional Baker Certification is a certification program offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). It is designed to recognize professional bakers who have achieved a high level of expertise in their field. The certification requires the baker to demonstrate proficiency in baking techniques, safety, sanitation, and nutrition.

The Professional Baker Certification program consists of two parts: an online exam and a hands-on practical exam. The online exam tests knowledge of baking principles, techniques, and ingredients. The practical exam tests the baker’s ability to apply those principles in real-world situations.

To get certified, you must first complete the ACF’s Professional Baking Certificate Program or its equivalent from another institution. Once you have completed the certificate program, you can then take the online and practical exams for certification.

The cost of taking the Professional Baker Certification program varies depending on where you take it and how many exams you need to take. Typically, it will cost between $500-$1,000 USD per exam. Additionally, there may be additional fees such as registration fees or travel expenses if you are taking the exams at an ACF-approved testing center outside your home state or country.

It typically takes about six months to complete all of the requirements for Professional Baker Certification. However, this timeline can vary depending on how quickly you are able to complete each part of the process and any delays due to scheduling conflicts or other factors.

2. Certified Bakery Manager (CBM)

Certified Bakery Manager (CBM) is a certification program designed to provide bakery professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage a successful bakery business. The CBM certification is offered by the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and is recognized as an industry-leading credential.

The CBM program consists of three courses: Bakery Management, Food Safety and Sanitation, and Quality Control. Each course must be completed within one year in order to receive the CBM certification. The courses are offered online or through self-study materials, so there is no need for travel or on-site training.

In order to receive the CBM certification, applicants must successfully pass all three exams with a score of 70% or higher. Applicants must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their ability to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting.

The cost of the CBM program varies depending on how you choose to take it. The online program costs $1,400, while the self-study materials cost $1,200. There may also be additional fees for exam registration and portfolio submission.

Overall, obtaining the Certified Bakery Manager (CBM) certification can take up to one year depending on how quickly you complete each course and exam. Once you have passed all three exams and submitted your portfolio, you will receive your official CBM certificate from AIB.

3. Certified Professional Baker (CPB)

Certified Professional Baker (CPB) is a certification program offered by the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). It is designed to recognize and reward the skills and knowledge of experienced bakers. The CPB certification is a comprehensive, multi-level program that includes a written exam, practical exam, and an apprenticeship.

The written exam covers topics such as baking science, food safety, nutrition, product development, and business management. The practical exam tests the candidate’s ability to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. The apprenticeship requires the candidate to work under the direct supervision of an experienced baker for at least one year.

It usually takes between two and three years to complete all requirements for the CPB certification. Candidates must also pass both exams with a score of 80% or higher in order to be eligible for certification.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the location and type of program chosen. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$2,000 USD depending on whether you choose an online or in-person course.

Overall, becoming a Certified Professional Baker is a great way to demonstrate your baking expertise and increase your chances of employment in the baking industry.

4. Certified Pastry Chef (CPC)

A Certified Pastry Chef (CPC) is a professional designation that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the art and science of pastry making. The certification is offered through the American Culinary Federation (ACF), which is the largest professional organization for chefs in North America.

To become a CPC, an individual must possess a certain level of education, experience, and knowledge in pastry making. This includes having at least two years of full-time work experience as a pastry chef or baker, or completing a formal pastry program at an accredited culinary school. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam administered by the ACF to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in pastry making.

The process typically takes anywhere from six months to one year to complete. During this time, applicants should focus on gaining experience and studying for the exam. They may also choose to take additional classes or workshops related to pastry making to further enhance their knowledge and skillset.

The cost of becoming a CPC varies depending on the individual's circumstances. The ACF charges an application fee of $125 plus an examination fee of $150 for those who are already members of the organization. For non-members, there is an additional membership fee that must be paid before they can apply for certification. Additionally, there may be costs associated with any classes or workshops taken prior to taking the exam.

5. ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification

ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification is a certification program offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The certification is designed to provide food safety training and education to food service professionals. It is recognized as the industry standard for demonstrating knowledge of food safety principles and practices.

The ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification program consists of an online course, followed by an exam. The online course covers topics such as foodborne illness, personal hygiene, safe food handling, and sanitation. The course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete. Once the course has been completed, a proctored exam must be taken in order to receive the certification. The exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within two hours.

In order to get certified, individuals must register for a ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification Course through an approved provider or through the NRAEF website. There are several approved providers across the United States that offer courses in person or online.

The cost of the ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification varies depending on the provider and may include additional fees for materials or other services. Generally speaking, it costs approximately $150-$200 for the entire certification process (including both the course and exam).

6. HACCP Certification

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is a system used to identify, assess, and control food safety risks. It is a preventative approach to food safety that focuses on the identification and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

The process of getting HACCP certification involves an assessment by a third-party auditor who will evaluate your facility’s current food safety practices against the requirements set out in the HACCP system. The auditor will verify that your facility has implemented all necessary processes for ensuring food safety. The time required for certification depends on the size of your facility and how well prepared you are for the audit. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from one day to several weeks to get certified.

To get HACCP certification, you must first develop a written HACCP plan that outlines all procedures related to food safety in your facility. This includes identifying potential hazards associated with each step in your process as well as establishing critical control points where these hazards can be monitored and controlled. Once your plan is complete, you must submit it to a recognized certification body for review.

The cost of getting HACCP certified varies depending on factors such as the size of your facility and the complexity of its operations. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars per year depending on these factors.

7. Food Handler’s Card

A Food Handler’s Card is a certification that demonstrates an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to handle food safely. It is required by most states for anyone who works in a restaurant, grocery store, or other food service establishment. The card must be renewed every few years and can be obtained through an accredited program.

To get a Food Handler’s Card, individuals must complete a training course that covers topics such as food safety regulations, proper storage and preparation of food, cross-contamination prevention, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures. The length of the course varies depending on the state but typically takes between one to four hours to complete. After completing the course, individuals must pass an exam with at least 80% accuracy in order to receive their card.

The cost of obtaining a Food Handler’s Card varies by state but generally ranges from $10-$20. Some states may offer discounts for groups or those with financial need. In some cases, employers may cover the cost of the card for their employees.

8. Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

A Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate is a program designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful bakers and pastry chefs. It typically takes between six months to one year to complete the program, depending on the school or institution offering it. The curriculum includes courses in baking techniques, food safety, nutrition, menu planning, and more.

In order to get a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate, students must first complete an application process at their chosen school or institution. This will involve submitting transcripts of previous coursework and any other relevant documents. Once accepted into the program, students will take classes in baking techniques, food safety, nutrition, menu planning, and more. Upon completion of all coursework requirements, they will receive their certificate.

The cost of a Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate varies depending on the school or institution offering it. Generally speaking, it can range from several hundred dollars for a basic certificate program up to several thousand dollars for more comprehensive programs that include internships or externships.

9. American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certification

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the knowledge and skills of chefs in the culinary industry. It is a voluntary certification program that requires chefs to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through an assessment process.

To become certified, chefs must have at least two years of work experience in the culinary field as well as complete a series of exams. The exam consists of four parts: Sanitation & Safety, Nutrition, Foodservice Management and Culinary Arts & Techniques. Each part has its own set of tests and assessments which must be completed before certification can be awarded.

The entire process typically takes between six months to one year to complete, depending on how quickly the chef is able to study and pass the required exams.

In order to get started with ACF Certification, chefs must first register with the ACF and pay a registration fee. The current registration fee is $95 for members or $115 for non-members. After registering, chefs will receive access to practice tests, study materials and other resources needed to prepare for the exams.

Once all four parts of the exam are passed, chefs will receive their ACF Certification along with an official certificate from the organization. The cost for taking all four parts of the exam varies depending on whether or not you are an ACF member; members pay $295 while non-members pay $395.

10. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Food Service Management Professional (FMP) Certification

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Food Service Management Professional (FMP) Certification is a professional certification program for food service industry professionals. This certification recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a mastery of the essential skills and knowledge required to effectively manage food service operations.

The FMP Certification is a three-level program, with each level taking approximately one year to complete. The first level, the Certified Foodservice Professional (CFP), requires completion of an online course and passing an exam. The second level, the Certified Foodservice Manager (CFM), requires completion of an additional online course and passing an exam. The third and highest level, the Certified Master Foodservice Manager (CMFM), requires completion of both courses plus two years of management experience in the food service industry.

To get started on the FMP Certification path, applicants must register with NRAEF and pay a fee that covers the cost of registration and access to all course materials. After registering, applicants can begin working through the online courses at their own pace. Once all course requirements are completed, applicants can take the exams at one of several testing centers throughout the United States. Upon successful completion of all exams, applicants will receive their FMP Certification from NRAEF.

The cost for completing all three levels of the FMP Certification varies depending on which courses are taken and how many exams are taken per year; however, it typically ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 USD total.

11. National Retail Bakers Association (NRBA) Retail Baking Professional (RBP) Certification

The National Retail Bakers Association (NRBA) Retail Baking Professional (RBP) Certification is a professional certification for retail bakers that demonstrates the holder’s expertise in the field and commitment to their profession. The RBP Certification is based on a comprehensive body of knowledge and provides a standard of excellence for retail bakers.

It typically takes 3-6 months to complete the program, depending on how quickly you can study and take the exam. To get the certification, you must first submit an application and pay a fee of $150. Once your application is accepted, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to access the online course materials. You must then complete all required coursework within 6 months before taking the exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as baking principles, sanitation, food safety, customer service, product knowledge, and more.

Once you have successfully passed the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will receive your official certificate from NRBA and become an RBP Certified Baker!

Do You Really Need a Bakery Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. If you are looking to become a bakery manager, then the answer is likely yes. A Bakery Manager Certificate can provide you with the credentials and knowledge needed to successfully manage a bakery. It also demonstrates that you have taken the time and effort to learn about the business of running a bakery and have acquired the necessary skills to do so.

Having a Bakery Manager Certificate may be beneficial when applying for jobs as it shows potential employers that you understand what is required in the role and are prepared for it. Additionally, it may give employers assurance that you know how to run a successful bakery business. Furthermore, if your employer requires certification or training in order to advance within the company, having a certificate could help you progress within your career.

In summary, while having a Bakery Manager Certificate is not absolutely essential to becoming or succeeding as a bakery manager, it can be beneficial as it provides evidence of your knowledge and experience in the field.

Related: Bakery Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Bakery Manager Certifications

1. What is a Bakery Manager Certification?

A Bakery Manager Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates an individual's knowledge and understanding of the best practices for managing a bakery. It covers topics such as food safety, baking techniques, product inventory management, customer service, and marketing.

2. How do I get certified?

In order to become certified, individuals must complete a training program and pass an exam administered by an accredited organization or institution. The specific requirements vary depending on the certifying body, but generally include completing coursework and/or passing a written exam.

3. What are the benefits of being certified?

Having a Bakery Manager Certification can provide individuals with greater job opportunities, recognition from employers, increased salary potential, and more respect in the industry as an expert in bakery management.

4. Are there any prerequisites for certification?

Typically there are no prerequisites for certification; however some organizations may require applicants to have some prior experience in the field or to have completed specific courses related to bakery management before taking the exam.

5. How long does it take to become certified?

The amount of time it takes to become certified depends on the individual's experience level and commitment to studying for the exam. Generally speaking, most people can complete all requirements necessary for certification within six months to one year.