18 Pros and Cons of Being a Baker

Baker

Banana bread, pies, and cookies.

How can your job be anything but marvelous when you are surrounded by these all day? 

On paper, becoming a baker sounds like a dream.

Even the most health-conscious person loves a sweet treat now and then.

Like every profession, though, life as a baker is not all sunshine and rainbow sprinkles. 

Are you considering becoming a baker?

If so, it is important that you weigh the pros and cons before making any moves.

If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, it might be time for a career change. 

Pros of Being a Baker

1. No Formal Education Is Required

According to the American Society of Baking, 53% of U.S. bakeries report a severe labor shortage.

This fact, coupled with the fact that there are no formal education requirements, makes now a perfect time to enter the industry.

Having the talent and passion for baking are the only hiring requirements many bakeries require.

Your education will come from hands-on experience and, in many cases, through apprenticeship.

There are a number of professional training and certification opportunities, should you decide you want to take your career to the next level. 

While everyone else is worrying about paying off their student loan debt, you will be working on advancing your career. 

2. Career Flexibility

When you think of a baker, what do you picture?

Most of us envision someone with a white hat and hair net who bakes small batches for their local community. 

The truth is, there is a lot of flexibility in this industry.

Some bakers specialize in bread products, while others focus on gluten-free options.

Some work in an industrial setting, whipping up big batches of baked goods.

Still, others focus solely on cake decorating. 

If baking is a true passion of yours, becoming a baker is an excellent way to develop your skillset.

You are guaranteed to learn something new every day.

3. You Get To Tap Into Your Creative Side

Creativity is the cornerstone of every fulfilling job.

It helps pave the way for innovation, stimulates the mind, and encourages you to embrace challenges. 

Baking is an art.

It requires precision, passion, and creativity.

As a baker, you will turn simple ingredients into masterpieces.

You will learn and face new challenges each day. 

4. Baking Is Not a Nine-To-Five Job

Are you a night owl who does their best work in the wee hours of the morning?

If you feel constricted at the thought of having to work traditional nine-to-five hours, you will love baker’s hours. 

While some bakery jobs have traditional schedules, most work late at night and into the morning.

When the rest of the world is drinking their morning coffee, bakers are clocking out for the day. 

5. You Put a Smile on People’s Faces

As a baker, you are in a position to make people smile.

Whether your customers order baked goods for special events or just for something sweet to eat, they are in a better mood because of what you do.

What could be more rewarding than changing someone’s day in such a positive way?

6. Bakers Stay Active 

Did you know that sitting for long periods of time increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other serious medical conditions?

If there is one thing bakers are not, it is sedentary.

As a baker, you will spend your days on your feet and moving.

From gathering ingredients to mixing, baking, and decorating, bakers are in constant motion all day. 

7. You Can Work Independently

There is nothing worse than being micromanaged by the boss all day.

If you agree, you are in luck. 

As a baker, you will not have to worry about your boss hovering over you all day.

Just make sure you do your job well, meet your deadlines, and produce tasty results. 

8. You Have an Opportunity to Help People

If you know anyone allergic to gluten, dairy, or eggs, you know how difficult it can be to find baked goods.

This offers a unique opportunity to tap into a demographic that is seriously overlooked.

Talk about making someone’s day.

Just imagine the smiles on your customers’ faces when they bite into your freshly baked bread.

It does not get much better than that.

9. Career Advancement Opportunities

Have you ever dreamt of being your own boss?

Many bakers pursue this dream after a few years of learning from their masters. 

The icing on the cake – startup costs for opening a small bakery are minimal.

All you need is a workspace, some equipment, and enough ingredients to get started. 

Cons of Being a Baker

1. Requires Weekend and Holiday Work

For many, a baker’s working hours are a dream.

Your workday is done when the rest of the world is just waking up. 

A baker’s workday is often long.

Most bakers work weekends, and overtime is almost guaranteed during the holiday seasons.

If you are opposed to long hours of hard work, you might want to reconsider a career in baking.

2. You Are at Risk of Developing Sleeping Problems 

Sleeping problems are fairly common in this industry.

While the rest of the world is snoozing, you are at work.

When you get home, it is still light outside.

This, combined with the buzz of activity around you, can destroy your natural sleeping rhythm. 

3. Work-Life Balance Is Challenging

We have discussed the difficult hours most bakers are expected to work and how this can affect your sleep patterns.

But, what about work-life balance?

As a baker, you will have to put in some extra effort to ensure a work-life balance.

Sleep and work are important, but so is spending time with family and friends.

Maintaining a good work-life balance is something you will have to work hard to achieve.

4. It Is Physically and Mentally Demanding 

Earlier, we mentioned the physical demands of being a baker.

You are on your feet and moving the entire workday.

This is a great opportunity to stay physically fit…assuming you do not eat your creations. 

Baking is not just physically demanding; it is mentally challenging as well.

You are working independently, which means that any mistakes are yours alone.

Mistakes lead to missed deadlines, which lead to angry customers and lost revenue.

The solution is to remain focused at all times, which is exhausting. 

It is important to note these considerations before entering the industry.

The physical and mental demands might sound alright at the moment.

What about when you are 40, 50, or 60? 

5. Bakers Earn a Modest Income 

The average annual income for bakers in the U.S. is $27,480.

The average entry-level yearly pay is $20,000.

Salaries vary depending upon location, education, certifications, and the type of bakery you work in.

That is not to say there are no opportunities to earn more.

The nation’s top-paid bakers earn $55,000 or more.

Hard work and passion are what you will need to climb your way to the top.

6. Being a Baker Is Messy

A baker’s job is a neat freak’s nightmare.

No matter how hard you try, it is virtually impossible to stay neat and clean when working in a bakery.

Expect your work clothes to arrive home stained and your hair white from flour. 

7. Limited Career Growth

As we mentioned earlier, bakers earn a modest income.

Even the nation’s top bakers fail to reach a six-figure income.

There is not a lot of upward mobility or pay raises in this industry.

Bakers looking to take their careers to the next level typically open their own bakery businesses.

It is essential to take this into consideration before making a career move to baking. 

8. Some Heavy Lifting Is Required

The modern baker has access to machines and equipment that make their work easier.

While this is great news, it does have a downside. 

It is possible you will have to move some of this equipment.

If your workspace is small, you may need to move a machine when you are done with it to make room for the next one you need.

These baker tools also break down from time to time.

When this happens, you might be tasked with fixing it or taking it to a repair shop. 

9. Baking Is a Competitive Industry

While there are thousands of bakeries in the United States, it is a highly competitive industry.

Commercial manufacturers generate 91% of the industry’s revenue.

The nation’s top four producers bring in approximately 35% of the revenue. 

This does not leave a huge piece of the revenue pie for small and medium-sized bakeries, which is the size of most bakeries in the U.S.

As a result, baking is a highly competitive industry. 

On the plus side, the baking industry has a lot of support and educational opportunities.

Memberships with associations like the American Association of Baking and the American Bakers Association are highly recommended. 

Pros and Cons of Being a Baker – Summary Table

Pros of Being a BakerCons of Being a Baker
1. No Formal Education Is Required1. Requires Weekend and Holiday Work
2. Career Flexibility2. You Are at Risk of Developing Sleeping Problems 
3. You Get To Tap Into Your Creative Side3. Work-Life Balance Is Challenging
4. Baking Is Not a Nine-To-Five Job4. It Is Physically and Mentally Demanding 
5. You Put a Smile on People’s Faces5. Bakers Earn a Modest Income 
6. Bakers Stay Active 6. Being a Baker Is Messy
7. You Can Work Independently7. Limited Career Growth
8. You Have an Opportunity to Help People8. Some Heavy Lifting Is Required
9. Career Advancement Opportunities9. Baking Is a Competitive Industry

Should You Become a Baker? 

Now that you are armed with the pros and cons of becoming a baker, you can make an informed decision.

Is this the right path for you?

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Even if you do not see yourself doing it long-term, maybe it is a stepping stone towards something else.

Jamie Willis