(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Baker Jobs

Bakers mix ingredients and bake recipes to produce cookies, pies, pastries, rolls, bread, and other baked goods. They commonly work in grocery stores, restaurants, retail bakeries, and manufacturing facilities.

Despite all the options for employment, there are really only two types of bakers: retail bakers and commercial bakers.

Retail bakers normally work in grocery stores, restaurants, and specialty bakery shops. These bakers produce smaller quantities of goods than commercial bakers do, but they enjoy more variety in the goods that they produce, and have much more freedom to develop their own personal style of baking.

Commercial bakers work in manufacturing facilities, where they create a high volumes of baked goods that are shipped to retail stores. They use huge ovens, mixers, and other automated equipment. Some of these bakers are able to develop their own recipes, but most are required to follow established production guidelines. Though the work can be repetitive, many people enjoy the manufacturing environment and the unique challenges it provides.

Work Environment and Schedule

The work environment and schedule for bakers varies greatly depending on the employer they work for.

Because of the nature of their business, restaurants and grocery stores often schedule bakers to work late nights, early mornings, and on holidays and weekends. Not everyone is able to work that kind of schedule, so be sure to take your availability into consideration before applying.

In some manufacturing facilities, work continues around the clock. Their production schedule creates opportunities for working one of many different shifts, which can be perfect for people who need (or prefer) to work an irregular schedule. Weekend and holiday work is often required in these environments.

If your desire is to work in a retail bakery, you can expect to come into work early in the morning. The baked goods need to be fresh before the doors open to customers, meaning that many hours of work may be required before the store even opens its doors in the morning. If the store offers custom work (such as wedding cakes), long nights may also be required to meet deadlines.

This can be a physically demanding occupation. It requires workers to stand for the duration of their shift, and the physical movements are repetitive.

How to Become a Baker

There is no short road to becoming a great baker. The required skills, knowledge and techniques require many years to master, but don’t let that discourage you: everyone has to start at the beginning. Some bakers learn their trade by attending a culinary school, while others learn through extensive on the job training.

Apprenticeships are common in the baking world, and many promising bakers have learned their craft by shadowing their mentors in a professional environment. For some, apprenticeships are a great way to work towards a certification while learning their trade.

Most employers do not require a certification, but they are available if you want to pursue them. Retail Bakers of America offers many certifications that range from entry-level to master baker levels.

Regardless of how you choose to develop your skills, your success in this field will come down to the amount of practice you’re willing to put in.

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Employment Outlook

There are currently 149,800 bakers in the United States, with 4,680 new baker job openings created each year.

Baker jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Baker Salaries

Overall Salaries

Baker salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most bakers make between $19,100 – $29,600 per year, or $9.16 – $14.21 per hour.

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