Bakers
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Overview
Bakers mix ingredients according to recipes in order to make breads, pastries, and other baked goods.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for bakers are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 29,400 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Bakers are more likely to be automated than 74% of other careers.
Workforce size
Bakers, with 191,000 workers, form a larger workforce than 79% of careers.
Education
Only 9% of bakers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by bakers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer bakers have bachelor's degrees than 71% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 93% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for bakers. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most bakers.
This job's median $27KAll jobs' median $39K$25K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 52% of bakers -- that's a larger percentage than 66% of other jobs.
Gender of bakers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For bakers, the median men's salary was 14% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 23% of bakers are minority, and 36% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of bakers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (36%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Bakers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 39% of bakers, and 46% have company-sponsored health insurance (15% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for bakers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of bakers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (88%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (68%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (55%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (38%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do bakers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for bakers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for bakers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for bakers (BLS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all bakers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for bakers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for bakers (ACS Salary Data)
$24K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$24K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where bakers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Bakers (ACS)
Private for-profit (90.3%)
Private not-for-profit (1.6%)
Local government (0.6%)
State government (0.7%)
Federal government (0.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (2.9%)
Self-employed not incorporated (3.4%)
Working without pay (0.3%)
Distribution: Salaries of bakers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$24K$21K$24K$25K$16K$31K$23K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of bakers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$27K$27K$26K$42K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000State governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for bakers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$28K$26K$23K$27K$24K$24K$29K$19K$26K$0$20K$40K$60KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20K25KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Bakers and gender

With 52% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 66% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
52%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Bakers
Men (48%)
Women (52%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for bakers, with the median salary for men 14% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$23K$26K$0$20K$40K$60KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Bakers have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 40% of other jobs.

14%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of bakers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority bakers than for 64% of other careers. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of bakers
White (64% )
Other (12% )
Black (11% )
Asian (7% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
23%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
36%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for bakers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$21K$23K$23K$24K$24K$24K$25K$0$20K$40K$60KAmerican IndianOtherMultiracialHispanicAsianBlackWhite
Distribution: Salaries for bakers by nativity
$24K$25K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by bakers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bakers typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as bakers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for bakers.

Education attained by bakers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for bakers

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.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for bakers

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.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for bakers? Below we see the distribution of bakers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as bakers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$23K$25K$24K$26K$25K$29K$0$20K$40K$60KNone (23%)High School (39%)Some College (21%)Associate's Degree (8%)Bachelor's Degree (8%)Master's Degree (1%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Baking and Pastry Arts
6,850
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for bakers

What jobs will most bakers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of bakers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

BakersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersCashiersFood preparation workersCooksFood batchmakersJanitors and building cleanersMachine feeders and offbearersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesWaiters and waitressesPackaging and filling machine operatorsRetail salespersonsDriver/sales workers and truck drivers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for bakers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as bakers as well as 1% of respondents after working as bakers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for bakers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
Cooks
358,700
$0$200K$21K
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
197,500
$0$200K$61K
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
Food preparation workers
158,000
$0$200K$19K
Food batchmakers
21,800
$0$200K$27K
Machine feeders and offbearers
12,000
$0$200K$26K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for bakers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as bakers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of bakers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for bakers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.3%
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
2.1%
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
1.0%
Cooks
358,700
$0$200K$21K
3.1%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
197,500
$0$200K$61K
1.1%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
2.2%
Food preparation workers
158,000
$0$200K$19K
2.7%
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
1.4%
Food service managers
37,100
$0$200K$37K
1.4%
Bakers
29,400
$0$200K$24K
44.8%
Food batchmakers
21,800
$0$200K$27K
3.0%
Chefs and head cooks
20,500
$0$200K$31K
1.1%
Machine feeders and offbearers
12,000
$0$200K$26K
1.5%
No occupation
13.7%
Read about bakers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

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 and place items into ovens or onto grills

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

The following are examples of types of bakers:

Commercial bakers, also called production 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 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.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of bakers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Bakers, especially retail bakers, must have good communication skills in order to deal effectively with customers.
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.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for bakers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 93% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for bakers. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $27KAll jobs' median $39K$28K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for bakers are anticipated to grow by 8% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 49% of other jobs.

The projected employment for bakers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030050,000100,000150,000200,000250,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most bakers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as bakers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Bakers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.04.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where bakers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for bakers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for bakers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Bakers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which bakers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Bakers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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