How to Become a Baker: Career Advice & Information

Overview & Salaries


Bread. Pastries. Pies. Rolls. Cookies. Croissants. Cakes. Brownies. Danishes. Bakers make all of them and more, creating consistently delicious baked goods to keep their customers at bakeries, patisseries, and cafes happy. 


Annual salaries for bakers will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2013, the average annual salary for bakers working in the U.S. was $25,120 per year.

For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for bakers, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.

Discover the Best Cities and States to Work as a Baker

The state of California has the highest number of bakers in the nation, where 24,180 bakers are making an average salary of $25,870. Interestingly, Florida is second, employing 11,710 bakers across the state, where they earn an average salary of $24,840.

The top 5 city areas that are employing bakers are:

  • Los Angeles-Long Beach Metropolitan Area (8,240)
  • New York-White Plains Metropolitan Area (6,550)
  • Chicago-Joliet Metropolitan Area (5,870)
  • Atlanta Metropolitan Area (3,290)
  • Philadelphia Metropolitan Area (3,060)

Employment and Salary Information for Bakers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a baker. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Baker

Why Become A Baker?

While we’re sure you can think of many of the reasons as well as we can, here are a few:

  • The food.
  • Working with your hands. If the bakery is more appealing than the office, this job might be for you.
  • Seeing what you make. Your work product is not only tangible, it’s edible.
  • Skills you can use at home. If you want to after a day’s work.
  • Opportunities to work part-time. Nearly one in three bakers worked part-time in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (A lot of bakers work early mornings, though!)

Baker: What You Need To Know

You might bake delicious treats at home, but working in a commercial bakery isn’t that simple. You need to be fast, precise, able to learn from experience, and to get it right time after time. You also need good manual skills to glaze and ice baked goods. A basic working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.

  • Understanding of Baking Ingredients and Processes
  • Use of Baking Equipment
  • Ability to Work to Deadlines
  • Manual Skills
  • Precision

Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about baking careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.

Degree Options for Baker Careers

On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeships

Many bakers learn their skills while employed in the field, getting on-the-job training through apprenticeship programs or through entry-level positions.

Technical and Culinary Schools

Accredited technical and culinary schools teach nutrition and food safety techniques, as well as use of baking equipment and some basic math. Programs typically take one to two years to complete, depending on the institution. Students often have the option of specializing in specific areas of baking such as pastry arts. Most of these schools require students to have completed high school or earned a GED.