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Baker Careers

I imagine bakers have a lot of fun with their job. In a way, it's similar to going to a science fair. Every day, bakers experiment with different ingredients to see how breads, pastries and other baked goods turn out. There's a lot of guessing and predications that are made in this career.

While you can be a baker in your own home with only your experiences to guide you, many learn their skills through attending culinary schools. It's important to note that the more you bake, the better you'll get at it. It's sorta like riding a bike, but at the end of this bike ride you have a perfect cupcake in front of you.

What Does a Baker Do

Bakers mix ingredients according to recipes to make breads, pastries, and other baked goods.


Bakers typically do the following:

  • Check the quality of baking ingredients
  • Prepare equipment for baking
  • Measure and weigh flour and other ingredients
  • Combine measured ingredients in mixers or blenders
  • Knead, roll, cut, and shape dough
  • Place dough into pans, into molds, or onto baking sheets
  • Set oven temperatures
  • Place items into ovens or onto grills
  • Observe color and state of products being baked
  • Apply glazes, icings, or other toppings

Bakers produce various types and quantities of breads, pastries, and other baked goods sold by grocers, wholesalers, restaurants, and institutional food services. Some bakers create new recipes.

The following are examples of types of bakers:

Commercial bakers work in manufacturing facilities that produce breads, pastries, and other baked products. In these facilities, bakers use high-volume mixing machines, ovens, and other equipment, which may be automated, to mass-produce standardized baked goods. They carefully follow instructions for production schedules and recipes.

Retail bakers work primarily in grocery stores and specialty shops, including bakeries. In these settings, they produce smaller quantities of baked goods for people to eat in the shop or for sale as specialty baked goods. Retail bakers may take orders from customers, prepare baked products to order, and occasionally serve customers. Although the quantities prepared and sold in these stores are often small, they usually come in a wide variety of flavors and sizes. Most retail bakers are also responsible for cleaning their work area and equipment and unloading supplies.

Some retail bakers own bakery shops or other types of businesses where they make and sell breads, pastries, pies, and other baked goods. In addition to preparing the baked goods and overseeing the entire baking process, they are also responsible for hiring, training, and supervising their staff. They must budget for and order supplies, set prices, and decide how much to produce each day.

How To Become a Baker

Long-term on-the-job training is the most common path to gain the skills necessary to become a baker. Some bakers start their careers through an apprenticeship program or by attending a technical or culinary school. No formal education is required.


Although there are no formal education requirements to become a baker, some candidates attend a technical or culinary school. Programs generally last from 1 to 2 years and cover nutrition, food safety, and basic math. To enter these programs, candidates may be required to have a high school diploma or equivalent.


Most bakers learn their skills through long-term on-the-job training, typically lasting 1 to 3 years. Some employers may provide apprenticeship programs for aspiring bakers. Bakers in specialty bakery shops and grocery stores often start as apprentices or trainees and learn the basics of baking, icing, and decorating. They usually study topics such as nutrition, sanitation procedures, and basic baking. Some participate in correspondence study and may work toward a certificate in baking.

In manufacturing facilities, commercial bakers learn how to operate and maintain the industrial mixing and blending equipment that is used to produce baked goods. They also learn how to combine ingredients and how temperature and humidity affect ingredients and the baking process.

Other Experience

Some bakers learn their skills through work experience related to baking. For example, they may start as a baker’s assistant and progress into a full-fledged baker as they learn baking techniques. 

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is voluntary and shows that a baker has the skills and knowledge to work at a retail baking establishment.

The Retail Bakers of America offers certification in four levels of competence, with a focus on several topics, including baking sanitation, management, retail sales, and staff training. Those who wish to become certified must satisfy a combination of education and experience requirements before taking an exam.

The education and experience requirements vary by the level of certification desired. For example, a Certified Journey Baker requires no education but must have at least 1 year of work experience. A Certified Baker must have 4 years of work experience and 30 hours of sanitation coursework, and a Certified Master Baker must have 8 years of work experience, 30 hours of sanitation coursework, and 30 hours of professional development education.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Bakers must closely monitor their products in the oven to keep them from burning. They also should have an eye for detail because many pastries and cakes require intricate decorations.

Math skills. Bakers must possess basic math skills, especially knowledge of fractions, in order to precisely mix recipes, weigh ingredients, or adjust mixes.

Physical stamina. Bakers stand on their feet for extended periods while they prepare dough, monitor baking, or package baked goods.

Physical strength. Bakers should be able to lift and carry heavy bags of flour and other ingredients, which may weigh up to 50 pounds.

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Baker Career Paths

Top Careers Before Baker

21.6 %
7.0 %

Top Careers After Baker

15.3 %
9.1 %

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Average Salary for a Baker

Bakers in America make an average salary of $27,637 per year or $13 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $43,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $17,000 per year.
Average Salary

Best Paying Cities

Average Salarydesc
Seattle, WA
Salary Range30k - 39k$35k$34,790
Portland, OR
Salary Range29k - 38k$34k$33,837
Newark, CA
Salary Range28k - 38k$33k$32,930
Fall River, MA
Salary Range26k - 39k$33k$32,510
Paramus, NJ
Salary Range26k - 39k$32k$32,088
Yonkers, NY
Salary Range24k - 36k$30k$29,967

Recently Added Salaries

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Night Baker
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Grand Central Bakery
Grand Central Bakery
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Chip Cookies Baker
Chip Cookies Baker
Chip Cookies
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Assistant Baker
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Baker Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Baker. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Baker Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Baker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Baker Demographics



52.2 %


44.1 %


3.7 %



61.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.8 %

Black or African American

10.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


59.1 %


12.5 %


5.1 %
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Baker Education


14.1 %



26.8 %

High School Diploma

23.7 %


19.9 %
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Top Skills For a Baker

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.5% of bakers listed food preparation on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and math skills are important as well.

  • Food Preparation, 10.5%
  • Quality Standards, 9.2%
  • Safety Rules, 8.2%
  • Menu Items, 8.1%
  • Customer Orders, 6.0%
  • Other Skills, 58.0%
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Best States For a Baker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a baker. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Massachusetts. Bakers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $34,220. Whereas in Oregon and Alaska, they would average $33,867 and $32,977, respectively. While bakers would only make an average of $32,288 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Baker Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Baker Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Baker Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Baker Employers

1. Panera Bread
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2. Walmart
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3. Publix
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4. Sam's Club
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5. Safeway
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6. The Cheesecake Factory
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