Baking is a specialty career field within the culinary arts. Bakers create breads, pastries, cookies and other tasty treats. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bakers earned a median salary of just $23,450 in 2010 and face only a two percent projected job growth rate through 2020. Nevertheless, bakers enjoy several career advantages.
People typically seek careers in baking because of a passion for the process and results. In many cases, professional bakers follow in their parents' footsteps or develop an enthusiasm for baking in early years. Baking can often serve as a stress reliever because of the physical pressure required to knead and form dough. Baked goods also give off a pleasant aroma. In fact, a number of retailers bake cookies in store to entice customers as much for the smell as the taste.
While job growth may be limited, bakers do have lots of career options. You can work for grocery chains or in various types of restaurants ranging from casual to formal. Many bakers also start their own restaurants or bakeries or take over family businesses. In this case, your income potential is higher if your business is successful. You also have the ability to control the business environment and the types of goods you bake.
Bakers take great pride in their work, and also receive recognition in their communities. Baker Eugene Otto indicated in an "All Culinary Schools" website profile that owning a bakery in a San Francisco neighborhood garners an "absurd" amount of respect. When you own a bakery in a small town, your shop becomes a focal point of the community.
Bakers are essentially pastry artists. In some mass production workplaces, your creative opportunities may be limited. However, bakers in many chains and shops have the ability to come up with new creations or to put a personal touch on favorites, such as cupcakes or donuts. A passion for baking and flexible opportunities give bakers a chance to use their creative talents.
2016 Salary Information for Bakers
Bakers earned a median annual salary of $25,090 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, bakers earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,980, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,110, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 191,000 people were employed in the U.S. as bakers.