All You Need To Know About Being A Baker

You want to become a baker but are still not sure whether this profession is the right career choice for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being a baker in the following chapters.

Not only will I show you how much you can make as a baker, but I will also talk about job security, job satisfaction, career prospects, educational requirements and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what working as a baker really looks like and what you should expect from this job so that you can better decide whether you still want to become a baker or rather want to go for a different career instead.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does a Baker do?

Bakers produce bread, buns, pastries and many other delicious baked goods.

They make sure that we can eat healthy and tasty things for breakfast and also make sure that those baked goods meet high nutritional and hygienic requirements.

Duties of a Baker

  • Production of high-quality pastries, bread and other baked goods
  • Making sure that hygienic requirements are met
  • Cleaning up of the workplace
  • Creation of new recipes
  • Communication with clients
  • Promotion of baked goods
  • Selling baked goods to clients
  • Planning of volumes
  • Making sure that resources are used as efficiently as possible
  • Working on strategic business decisions
  • Making sure that legal requirements are met
  • Building an online presence in our digital world

What a Typical Day of a Baker looks like?

Bakers get up pretty early in the morning. They usually start their workday between 2 and 4 a.m. since they have a lot to prepare and hungry customers will come to your bakery as early as 6 a.m.

After you get to your workplace, you will get a short briefing from your boss on what you have to prepare that day.

After that, you will go to work and produce delicious baked goods on a large scale.

You also always have to stay focused since mistakes on your side can lead to a huge waste of resources and also to big economic damage for the bakery you work for.

You will prepare those baked goods for many hours until you will finally quit your shift between 1 and 3 p.m.

Of course, if you don’t work as an employed baker but own a bakery, you will often be in your bakery for much longer.

However, in such a case, you will also get to work much later since you will not actually produce baked goods but rather manage your bakery and supervise your employees and all the processes related to it.

Baker Salary 2021

Baker salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $48,000> $23.71
Top 25 %$38,000 – $42,000$18.69 – $20.74
Bottom 25 %$24,000 – $27,000$11.82 – $13.38
Bottom 10 %$17,000 – $21,000$8.41 – $10.29
Range$17,000 – $53,000$8.41 – $26.31
Average$34,000$16.75

Baker salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$17,000 – $21,000$8.41 – $10.31
Junior$20,000 – $25,000$9.78 – $12.28
Professional$24,000 – $29,000$11.69 – $14.37
Senior Professional$28,000 – $33,000$13.74 – $16.41
Expert$32,000 – $45,000$15.82 – $22.39
Top Expert$44,000 – $53,000$21.78 – $26.31

Baker salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$29,300$14.49
Alaska$31,200$15.42
Arizona$32,400$16.08
Arkansas$28,300$14.05
California$38,500$19.12
Colorado$33,200$16.38
Connecticut$31,700$15.62
Delaware$32,500$16.14
District of Columbia$35,200$17.37
Florida$33,800$16.61
Georgia$31,600$15.52
Guam$30,600$15.21
Hawaii$36,800$18.22
Idaho$31,200$15.46
Illinois$32,900$16.29
Indiana$33,100$16.41
Iowa$31,800$15.62
Kansas$29,900$14.73
Kentucky$31,300$15.39
Louisiana$33,400$16.81
Maine$32,700$16.28
Maryland$36,800$18.27
Massachusetts$37,200$18.35
Michigan$31,500$15.61
Minnesota$33,200$16.43
Mississippi$30,600$15.18
Missouri$31,300$15.42
Montana$33,800$16.78
Nebraska$32,400$16.08
Nevada$31,700$15.67
New Hampshire$32,300$16.05
New Jersey$33,600$16.61
New Mexico$31,500$15.42
New York$39,800$19.59
North Carolina$33,200$16.47
North Dakota$34,200$17.02
Ohio$31,900$15.83
Oklahoma$32,700$16.21
Oregon$33,400$16.52
Pennsylvania$36,300$18.06
Rhode Island$33,200$16.41
South Carolina$32,800$16.24
South Dakota$34,900$17.31
Tennessee$32,400$16.11
Texas$31,900$15.72
Utah$33,600$16.63
Vermont$32,800$16.29
Virginia$35,200$17.41
Washington$36,100$17.82
West Virginia$32,400$16.12
Wisconsin$33,100$16.37
Wyoming$32,700$16.21

Job Security for Bakers

Bakers have decent job security. While barriers to entry are rather low and many people out there can do this job, you will still not have to worry about losing your job since not that many people want to work as a baker anymore.

Hence, even if you lose your job, chances are that you will find a new one pretty soon.

Future Job Prospects for Bakers

Job prospects for bakers may get worse in the future since machines get smarter every day and due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, many bakers may be replaced by those intelligent machines in the near future and may no longer find a job in this industry.

Working Hours of Bakers

Bakers don’t work a 9 to 5 job. Instead, they have to get up pretty early in the morning and have to start working between 2 and 4 a.m and will quit their shift between 1 and 3 p.m. most of the time.

Hence, make sure that you are willing to work those exotic hours before becoming a baker.

Job Satisfaction of Bakers

Bakers don’t report great satisfaction with what they are doing for a living. In fact, many bakers are disappointed and not satisfied with their working conditions and their salaries and many of them therefore think about quitting their jobs and doing something else.

Promotion Opportunities of Bakers

Bakers don’t have great promotion opportunities. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder like in many office jobs out there, you as a baker will do the same job for many years or even decades and this can be really frustrating in the long run.

Career Levels of Bakers

  • Junior baker
  • Senior baker
  • Senior baker with personnel and/or budget responsibility
  • Manager of a bakery
  • Owner of a bakery

Fields and Types of Bakers

  • Bagel makers
  • Pastry makers
  • Bread bakers
  • Pie makers
  • Dough makers
  • Production bakers
  • Retail bakers
  • Commercial bakers
  • Non-profit bakers

Educational Requirements for Bakers

Bakers don’t need to go to college to get a fancy degree. Instead, finishing high school will often be enough to start an apprenticeship in the baking industry.

In fact, passion and talent for baking is much more important to succeed as a baker compared to just looking good on paper.

How to become a Baker

  1. Inform yourself about a baker career
  2. Make sure that working as a baker is what you want to do for a living
  3. Get good grades in school to make yourself interesting
  4. Produce baked goods at home to get some experience
  5. Work as an intern in a bakery
  6. Stay in touch with your colleagues
  7. Apply for jobs in regional bakeries
  8. Prepare well for job interviews
  9. Sign an employment contract with your favorite bakery
  10. Do your work as best as possible to become a good baker

Character Traits you need for Working as a Baker

  • Passion for baking
  • You should have a good taste
  • You should be creative to invent new recipes
  • Willingness to work in a hands-on manner
  • You should have good organizational skills
  • Good multitasking skills can help you during stressful periods
  • You should be friendly so that clients come back to your bakery
  • You should be open to new things to stay competitive in the long run
  • Attention to detail helps you stand out from the crowd
  • Willingness to get up early in the morning

Hard Skills for Being a Baker

  • Good knowledge of how to prepare delicious baked goods
  • Good knowledge about legal and regulatory aspects
  • Knowledge about hygienic requirements
  • Good physical condition since you will have to do exhausting work
  • Good business skills help you grow your bakery business
  • Good people skills help you manage employees
  • You should know how to promote your products
  • Digital skills help you scale your business
  • Knowledge about tax-related issues can help as well

Soft Skills for Being a Baker

  • Good time management skills
  • You should have good communication skills and be friendly to clients
  • Composure under pressure
  • Willingness to work in a rather exhausting environment
  • You should trust in yourself
  • You should be open to feedback from your customers
  • Good people skills
  • Passion and dedication for producing the best baked goods
  • You should be able to organize yourself well

Exit Options for Bakers

Bakers don’t have great exit options. Once you start a career in the baking industry, it is pretty hard to get out of it and to do something completely different.

Thus, before becoming a baker, make sure that this is what you really want to do for quite a long time.

Baker – Similar Careers

  • Pastry chef
  • Caterer
  • Chef
  • Counter worker
  • Food processing worker
  • Food service worker
  • Buying agent for bakeries
  • Bakery manager
  • Butcher

Baker Career FAQs

Is working as a baker physically demanding?

Working as a baker can be pretty hard in a physical manner. You will also have to lift heavy things on a regular basis, even though machines may help you a little bit with those exhausting tasks.

Hence, don’t go for a baking career if you are not willing to work with your hands.

Is working as a baker mentally demanding?

Working as a baker is not that mentally demanding. While you have to stay focused to use existing recipes well, you will not have to do heavy mental work compared to many other jobs out there where you mainly have to work with your brain.

Is it dangerous to work as a baker?

A baking career is not that dangerous. However, you still have to comply with the rules of baking shops since working with those big baking machines can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing or just ignoring the rules.

How long do bakers stay in their jobs?

Bakers stay in their jobs for quite a long time on average. This is due to the fact that bakers often haven’t learned many skills apart from baking and this means that they will simply not find many other job opportunities.

Is it easy for bakers to find a new job?

It is fairly easy to find a new job in the baking industry in case you lose your job for some reason as long as you live in a region where the demand for baked goods is high and there are many potential customers that could buy baked goods from bakeries.

Is it hard to switch from being a baker to another field of work?

While it is relatively easy for bakers to change jobs within the baking industry, it is pretty hard for them to find a job in another field of work.

In fact, bakers often don’t learn many hard skills apart from baking and this makes it relatively unattractive for companies in other industries to employ them.

Do bakers have a high social status?

Bakers don’t have a high social standing. Even though people love to buy delicious bread or other baked goods, bakers are still often belittled.

You may even have customers that try to make fun of you and you should therefore have a stable mindset so that snarky comments will not bother you.

Can you help out your family and friends as a baker?

As a baker, you can help out your family and friends quite a lot since you can produce delicious bread, buns, pastries and much more.

In turn, your loved ones will be quite happy and will really appreciate what you do for them.

Can bakers work remotely?

Bakers can’t work remotely but have to be present at work in person all the time.

Consequently, you will not have the same level of flexibility as a baker compared to someone who works in an office job and can work from home quite often.

Is it easy to find a partner as a baker?

Bakers often have a relatively hard time in the dating market since they don’t have a high social standing and also don’t make good money.

In turn, they often really struggle to find someone for a long-term relationship and becoming a doctor, lawyer or investment banker would be much better in this regard.

Do bakers have to work on weekends?

Bakers sometimes have to work on weekends. While you may have free weekends most of the time, you will also have to go to work to produce delicious baked goods on Saturdays and Sundays some of the time since your clients also want to buy those goods during weekends.

Do bakers have to work on holidays?

Bakers often also have to work on holidays. However, this doesn’t mean that you will have to work all of the holidays.

It just means that you will have to work some of them while your colleagues will have to work other holidays and you will therefore have to support each other to get things done during these times.

Do I have to work at nighttime as a baker?

Bakers often have to work in the early morning. In fact, most bakers start their workday between 2 and 4 a.m. and this means that you will have to get up pretty early.

Hence, before you decide for becoming a baker, make sure that you are fine with those exhausting working hours.

Do you have to travel as a baker?

Bakers don’t have to travel at all. In fact, you will just work in your bakery and the only travel you will have to make is to commute to work and back.

Thus, while many other people who work in demanding corporate jobs will be away from home quite often, you will have enough time to spend with your family as a baker.

Are baker pensions good?

Since bakers don’t make good money, their pensions will be rather poor. Moreover, due to their low wage, they are also not able to save enough money for retirement and once they finish their active careers, many bakers really struggle to pay their bills.

Are baker salaries going up?

Baker salaries are not going up significantly. This is due to the fact that almost everyone can do this job and with many potential job candidates on the market, wages for bakers are pretty low and will likely continue to stay low in the future.

Can you have a positive effect on society as a baker?

Bakers can’t have a real positive effect on society. While they supply the general public with delicious baked goods, they will still not have a big positive impact on the lives of people, at least compared to doctors, firefighters or other people who can save lives on a regular basis.

How long does it take to become a baker?

Since you don’t need to get a degree for working as a baker, you can become a baker rather quickly.

All you need to do is to apply for a baking job and with a little bit of luck, you may be able to start your baking career within a few months or even weeks.

Is it difficult to become a baker?

It is not difficult to become a baker. Since there are no high formal requirements you have to meet, almost everyone can become a baker.

While this may sound great since you don’t have to get a fancy degree, it also means that you will have lots of competition in this industry.

Do you need to be smart to work as a baker?

You don’t need a high IQ for working as a baker. While smartness may help, it is much more important that you are interested in producing great baked goods and that you are also creative enough to always reinvent yourself.

Do bakers have a good work-life balance?

Bakers don’t have a great work-life balance. While bakers barely work more than 40 hours per week, they still have to work during nighttime and this can be really annoying and may also destroy your sleeping rhythm, which may lead to a state where you will no longer be able to enjoy your leisure that much.

Do bakers have to work many extra hours?

Bakers don’t have to work many extra hours. In fact, once they finish their shift, bakers are able to go home from work without having to care about work-related things anymore and can rather enjoy their time with things they like more than working instead.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a baker?

To maximize your chances of becoming a baker, you should get experience in this field rather early.

Hence, make sure that you produce some baked goods yourself and that you also apply for internships in bakeries and stay in contact with your colleagues to improve your chances of finding a baking job later.

Can bakers work part-time?

Bakers are also able to work part-time. However, since bakers don’t make a great hourly wage, you will just not be able to work as a baker part-time since you will just not be able to pay your bills.

Instead, most bakers need a full-time job to survive and are still not able to afford any luxury.

Do bakers work indoors or outdoors?

Bakers work indoors most of the time. For the majority of your workday, you will just stand in front of the oven or prepare dough that will be turned into delicious baked goods soon.

Hence, you will not have to worry about climatic conditions outdoors but can rather focus on your work indoors.

What does the workplace of a baker look like?

Bakers mainly work in the bakehouse where you will prepare tasty bread, pastries and much more.

While this may sound like fun, working in a bakehouse is not that fancy and it can also be pretty hot inside, which can be really exhausting since you will be working many hours per day under those conditions.

Do you have to look good for working as a baker?

Your looks don’t matter for your baker career. What’s much more important than looks in this field is that you have passion and talent for the production of tasty goods.

If you have those skills, your clients will not care whether you look like a top model or not.

Is a baker career beneficial for your private life?

As a baker, you can produce many tasty baked goods for yourself and also for your loved ones.

Hence, a baking career can also benefit you in your private life since you will just have knowledge of how to treat yourself and your family and friends well.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a baker?

There is no need to get a degree for becoming a baker. You just need a high school diploma in most regions and you will be good to go.

Consequently, while many of your friends may have to go to college and spend lots of money on education, you will not have to deal with these issues as a baker.

Do you need to be certified to work as a baker?

You also don’t need to get additional certifications for working as a baker. Quite often, it will not matter how good you look on paper.

What matters in the long run is how good you are at what you are doing and if your clients are happy, your boss will be happy as well.

How much does it cost to become a baker?

You don’t have to spend any money on becoming a baker. Instead, you just need to apply for baking jobs after finishing high school and once you get a job, you can even make money from the first day of your baking career.

Is being a baker a good career?

Many people who work in the baking industry are pretty unhappy with their working conditions, salaries and working hours.

In fact, job satisfaction is pretty low among bakers and becoming a baker therefore only makes sense for you in case you are really passionate about producing delicious baked goods for people.

Is it easy to start your own business as a baker?

It is not that easy to start your own business as a baker. If you want to have your own bakery, you need lots of equipment and machines that can be quite costly.

Hence, you may have to take on significant loans to finance those initial costs and many banks may not be willing to grant you those loans.

Can bakers teach themselves?

While bakers can teach themselves to a certain extent, you will still learn a lot from more experienced colleagues at work.

Thus, it is crucial to always stay in touch with other people in this industry so that you get valuable insights on how to improve the quality of your baked goods even further.

Do bakers make good money?

Bakers don’t make good money at all. In fact, many bakers are not able to make a living from what they are doing and often need to work a second job to pay their bills.

Hence, if money is really important to you, you should definitely not become a baker but rather go for a different career instead

Is it ever too late to become a baker?

While it is never too late to become a baker, you should still start your baking career relatively early since the job as a baker can be really exhausting and the older you get, the more you will struggle with the harsh working conditions.

Do bakers have to quit their careers early?

Since working as a baker is physically exhausting, many bakers have to quit their jobs in their 50s and 60s since their bodies are simply no longer strong enough to work under those demanding conditions.

What is the most challenging thing about working as a baker?

The most challenging part of being a baker is to always reinvent yourself and to provide your customers with new exciting culinary experiences.

Only if you create new products on a regular basis, your clients will stay curious and come back to you in the long run.

Can you provide for your family by working as a baker?

Since you will not make good money from your baking job, you will also not be able to provide for your family unless you get a second job to pay your bills.

Consequently, you will also have a hard time in the dating market since potential partners will often search for people who can provide for them in the long run.

Will bakers suffer from old-age poverty?

Since bakers are not able to make good money from what they are doing, their pensions will also be relatively low.

Due to their low salaries, they will also not be able to save and invest enough money for retirement age.

Consequently, many bakers suffer from old-age poverty once they finish their active careers.

Can bakers retire early?

Due to their rather low salaries, bakers are often not able to retire early. Instead, they will have to work for quite a long time and many bakers still have to work at retirement age when many other people already enjoy their pensioner lives.

Can you get rich as a baker?

It is not possible to get rich as an employed baker since wages are just far too low.

The only way to get wealthy or even rich as a baker is to start your own bakery business and to expand it so that you can really scale your business.

Do you get continuous training as a baker?

As a baker, you will not get continuous training most of the time. Quite often, you will just get advice and instructions on how to make standard baked goods and that’s it.

However, if you really want to get good at your craft, you have to spend lots of time learning additional things yourself.

Are bakers organized in unions?

Bakers are organized in the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union. While this union strives to improve the working conditions of bakers, the success of those efforts is still rather limited and you will still have to work under rather poor conditions as a baker.

Do you get paid when you are sick as a baker?

Many bakers don’t get paid in case they get sick. However, this also greatly depends on the bakery you work for and if you are not sure about it, make sure that you study your working contract carefully before you finally sign it.

Do bakers have a high level of responsibility?

Bakers have a high level of responsibility. Since they produce baked goods that people consume, bakers are responsible for meeting hygienic requirements so that clients can consume those baked goods in a safe manner and don’t have to worry about health issues in this regard.

Can bakers work abroad?

It is pretty easy for bakers to work abroad. Quite often, bakers who want to work abroad have a pretty easy time finding a job since many bakeries are happy to offer baked goods and recipes from overseas to their clients to stand out from the crowd.

Is it stressful to work as a baker?

Working as a baker can be stressful, especially if you are still young and don’t have enough experience to organize yourself well.

In such a case, you will struggle quite a lot on a daily basis and will come home from work tired on a regular basis.

Is it boring to work as a baker?

Working as a baker can be boring if you don’t have a passion for producing baked goods.

In such a case, you should not become a baker but rather go for something that better fits your personal preferences and interests.

Is being a baker hard?

Working as a baker can be pretty demanding. You will often have to work with your hands and will barely have any time to relax, especially during the first hours of your workday when you have to produce lots of baked goods at the same time.

Is burnout a problem for bakers?

Since bakers work with their hands and don’t have to do heavy mental work, bakers are relatively unlikely to suffer from burnout.

However, if you don’t have a stable mindset, the stress that comes along with such a career may still put you at risk for mental health issues.

Is there a dress code for bakers?

There is no official dress code for bakers. You can just wear what you feel most comfortable in.

Most often, the bakery you work for will also provide you with clothing and you don’t have to worry about it that much.

What kind of bakers are paid the most?

The more experience you have and the more specialized you are as a baker, the more you will get paid on average.

However, your salary will still be quite low as a baker and you may therefore rather want to have your own bakery to make much more money.

What percentage of bakers are women?

Around 67% of all bakers are female and 33% of bakers are men. Thus, the baking industry is still dominated by women and this trend will likely also continue in the future since a higher number of women will aspire to a baker career compared to men.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a baker?

You don’t need to have a mentor to succeed in the baking industry. What’s much more important is that you get really good at what you are doing so that you have an edge over your competition and can stay in this field in the long run.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a baker?

As an employed baker, you will usually not be personally liable for mistakes. However, things may change if you have your own bakery.

Hence, make sure to get proper insurance so that you don’t have to worry about any issues in this regard.

Do bakers have a high life expectancy?

Since bakers have to work in a heavy physical manner and also have lots of stress at work, bakers don’t have a high life expectancy.

They also don’t make good money and will often not be able to afford proper medical treatment.

Do bakers suffer from sleeping problems?

Since bakers often work at nighttime and in the early morning, many bakers suffer from sleeping problems since their natural sleeping rhythm gets destroyed.

In turn, all kinds of diseases will become more likely since good sleep is crucial to stay healthy in the long run.

What states are best for working as a baker?

The best states to work for bakers are the states that have low living costs. In fact, since you will not make good money as a baker, it is crucial to choose a region where living expenses are pretty low so that you are able to pay your bills.

Who do bakers work with?

Bakers often only work with their colleagues. Sometimes, when they get out of the bakehouse, they will also get in touch with clients.

Hence, working as a baker can feel relatively lonely since you will be on your own quite a lot.

Is working as a baker cool?

Working as a baker is not considered to be cool. However, you should not worry about being cool.

What you should worry about is whether you go for a career that is suitable for you instead of caring about the opinion of anybody else.

Do you have to be creative as a baker?

Being creative really helps for a successful baker career since the more creative you are, the more new baked goods you can invent and the more likely it is that you find something your clients will come back for over and over again.

How employable are bakers?

Bakers are needed in all regions. Hence, there is a huge demand for bakers.

However, since almost everyone can do this job, there is also lots of competition in this field and if you want to stay successful as a baker in the long run, you have to stand out from the crowd somehow.

Are bakers happy with their jobs?

Many bakers are not happy with their jobs at all. In fact, many bakers don’t like the exotic working hours, the poor wages and the demanding working conditions and think about changing their jobs soon.

Is working as a baker exciting?

Working as a baker is not that exciting. You will just do the same things over and over again and this may get pretty boring, at least if you don’t have any deeper interest in making people happy with your baked goods.

What are the pros and cons of working as a baker?

If you are still interested in becoming a baker, also make sure to check out the pros and cons of a baker career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1087725/number-bakers-united-states/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1087973/share-bakers-united-states-gender/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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