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Baker Salary in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

The average base salary for a Baker in the United States is per month or $35,550 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Average Baker Base Salary:
What can I earn as a Baker?Your salary is 0 the US national average
$17.09
$17.09
17.09

How Much Does a Baker Make in the United States?

The average base wage for a Baker is $17.09 per hour.

Some Bakers can earn as little as $12 (10th percentile) per hour, while others may earn as much as $22.59 (90th percentile) per hour.

[Source: BLS]

This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data. 

If you’re in the 90th percentile, you earn more than 90% of all the Bakers in the U.S.

Earning $46,980 a year then puts you in the top 10% of earners among Bakers.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the 10th percentile, you earn less than 90% of the group.

Earning $24,960 a year then places you in the bottom 10% of earners among Bakers.

This comprehensive guide provides insights into a Baker’s salary, covering salaries per state and factors influencing wages.

Annual Mean Wage of Bakers by State

[BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

The annual mean wage of Bakers can vary significantly from state to state for many reasons.

For instance, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Washington, Massachusetts and California, which are the top-paying states for Bakers, are also among the top five states with the highest cost of living according to the World Population Review.

[Source: BLS]

This graph is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the graph to see detailed data. 

Tourism can also influence salaries. Tourist destinations, such as Hawaii, often have a higher demand for goods and services, including baked items, leading to potentially higher wages for Bakers.

Are Baker salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

Factors That Affect Average Baker Salary

Besides geographic location and tourism, several other factors influence the average salary of Bakers:

Shifts and Hours

Bakers working night shifts, weekends or overtime hours may receive premium pay rates or additional compensation, which can affect overall salary.

Industry and Employer

The industry and type of employer can significantly impact salary levels.

For example, in the “Management of Companies and Enterprises” industry, where brand reputation and customer experience are paramount, Bakers capable of delivering high-quality and innovative baked goods may be highly sought after.

These Bakers contribute to enhancing the overall image and competitiveness of the client’s business, warranting higher salaries.

Below is a complete list of top-paying industries for Bakers, according to BLS.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Traveler Accommodation $ 46,080
Civic and Social Organizations $ 45,010
Management of Companies and Enterprises $ 44,450
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools $ 44,280
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries $ 43,780

Education and Training

Formal education or training in baking or pastry arts from culinary schools can also contribute to higher earning potential.

Employers often recognize and reward the added expertise and credibility that certified Bakers bring to their establishments, making them more likely to offer competitive salaries and advancement opportunities.

Consider pursuing the following certifications to enhance your credentials and negotiate a higher salary:

Certification Issuing Body Description
Certified Journey Baker Retail Bakers of America Geared towards newcomers in the baking journey, emphasizing fundamental knowledge of sanitation
Certified Baker Retail Bakers of America Designed for those with a minimum of four years of industry experience, covering management, retail sales/merchandising and staff training.
Certified Master Baker Retail Bakers of America An advanced certification for experienced Bakers, focusing on both technical and administrative skills required to manage the production area of a full-line independent or in-store commercial bakery.
Certified Decorator Retail Bakers of America Tailored for Bakers with a minimum of four years of verifiable decorating experience in a commercial/retail bakery
Certified Master Pastry Chef American Culinary Federation Recognizes chefs who have demonstrated mastery of culinary competence and expertise through education, experience, knowledge and skills
Certified Pastry Culinarian American Culinary Federation Ideal for those with a High School Diploma/GED and two years of entry-level culinarian experience, or other specified qualifications

Baker Salary in Major US Cities

Among these four major U.S. cities, New York City is the top-paying city for Bakers followed by Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

Miami

Annual mean wage

$34,100

Number of Employees

4,290

New York City

Annual mean wage

$40,350

Number of Employees

16,160

Chicago

Annual mean wage

$36,610

Number of Employees

9,880

Los Angeles

Annual mean wage

$39,890

Number of Employees

7,420

[Source: BLS]

 

 

High-Paying Cities for Bakers

CityAvg SalaryAvg Hourly Wage
Miami, FL34,10016.39
Chicago, IL36,61017.60
NYC, NY40,35019.40
Los Angeles, CA39,89019.18

Average Baker Salary by State

Explore the average Baker salary by state.

StateAvg. Salary
Alabama30,730
Alaska34,320
Arizona36,530
Arkansas27,940
California40,680
Colorado40,030
Connecticut39,150
Delaware34,650
Florida34,190
Georgia31,240
Hawaii43,560
Idaho33,360
Illinois35,920
Indiana34,960
Iowa35,260
Kansas$32,020
Kentucky35,060
Louisiana29,700
Maine37,000
Maryland38,330
Massachusetts41,450
Michigan34,510
Minnesota39,480
Mississippi31,660
Missouri33,250
Montana34,940
Nebraska33,560
Nevada38,190
New Hampshire36,950
New Jersey38,290
New Mexico33,140
New York40,680
North Carolina29,900
North Dakota37,410
Ohio32,730
Oklahoma29,360
Oregon38,160
Pennsylvania33,430
Rhode Island34,570
South Carolina33,550
South Dakota36,290
Tennessee34,300
Texas30,580
Utah33,040
Vermont37,250
Virginia34,280
Washington42,400
West Virginia31,220
Wisconsin34,330
Wyoming31,280
District of Columbia43,420

Non-Monetary Benefits and Perks for Bakers

The most common non-monetary benefits and perks offered to Bakers are 401(k) matching, paid time off, commuter benefits, life insurance and education and student loan programs.

401(k) Matching

401(k) matching is when an employer contributes funds to an employee’s 401(k) retirement account, based on the amount the employee contributes.

This matching contribution, often a percentage of the employee’s salary is subject to predefined limits.  It’s a valuable benefit that assists employees in building their retirement funds.

Paid Time Off

Paid time off (PTO), also known as personal time off allows employees to take time off for vacation, illness or personal reasons.

Employers have the flexibility to establish their own PTO plans, including accrual policies and provisions such as rollover terms or PTO banks.

Commuter Benefits

Commuter benefits are employer-sponsored programs that help employees cover the costs of commuting to and from work. This can include pre-tax deductions for public transportation expenses, such as bus or train fares or subsidies for parking fees.

Commuter benefits are intended to make commuting more affordable for employees and encourage the use of eco-friendly transportation options.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a benefit provided by employers to offer financial protection to employees’ families in the event of their death.

This benefit can help employees ensure that their loved ones are financially secure in the event of an unexpected tragedy.

Education and Student Loan Programs

Some employers offer education assistance programs to help employees further their education.

This can include tuition reimbursement for job-related courses, scholarships for employees or their children or student loan repayment assistance.

Top 5 Skills Needed for Bakers

Bakers require specific skills and abilities to produce high-quality baked goods efficiently in fast-paced environments.

Attention to Detail

Bakers must meticulously follow recipes, ensuring that they measure ingredients accurately and adhere to specific instructions regarding mixing, shaping and baking.

Manual Dexterity

Baking involves a range of hands-on tasks, such as kneading dough, shaping bread, piping frosting and intricately decorating pastries.

Bakers need excellent hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to perform these tasks with precision and consistency.

Time Management

Bakers often work in fast-paced environments where they juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

They must efficiently manage their time to ensure that ingredients are prepared, baked goods are monitored during the baking process and orders are completed within deadlines.

Creativity

While baking involves following established recipes, Bakers also have opportunities to showcase their creativity.

They can experiment with different flavor combinations, innovative techniques and decorative elements to create unique and visually appealing baked goods.

Physical Stamina

Being a Baker can be physically demanding. Bakers are required to stand for extended periods, lift heavy bags of flour and work in hot environments, such as commercial kitchens or bakery ovens.

Physical stamina is essential for withstanding the demands of the job and performing tasks efficiently and effectively throughout long shifts.

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

Education Requirements for Bakers

According to a survey conducted by the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), 58% indicated that new hires need to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Meanwhile, 25% stated that no high school diploma is required and 9% reported that some college, but no degree, is required.

[Source: O*NET]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

Aside from formal education, gaining experience through apprenticeships, internships or entry-level positions in bakeries can be valuable for acquiring practical skills and knowledge in baking and building a strong foundation for a career as a Baker.

How Much Do Similar Careers to a Baker Get Paid?

Bakers in the U.S. earn less than Pastry Chefs but more than Prep Cooks and Fast-Food Workers.

Job TitleAverage Salary
Pastry Chef
Prep Cook
Fast-Food Worker
Baker Career Progression

Experienced Bakers can advance to higher positions, including managerial roles overseeing production processes in large bakeries. With training and success, some may transition into business management within the organization.

Baker
Food Processing Equipment Worker
Avg Salary $ 36,450
Production Supervisor
Avg Salary $ 70,200
Industrial Production Manager
Avg Salary $ 122,000
General Manager
Avg Salary $ 123,000
Pastry Chef
Avg Salary $ 55,995
Sous Chef
Avg Salary $ 57,013
Head Chef
Avg Salary $ 74,632
Executive Chef
Avg Salary $ 81,040
Pastry Chef
Avg Salary $ 54,995
Sous Chef
Avg Salary $ 56,013
Food Service Manager
Avg Salary $ 67,130
Business Operations Specialist
Avg Salary $ 82,670

Labor Laws and Taxes for Bakers

As a Baker, you need to be aware of the minimum wage, overtime pay, leave and tipping policies in your state.

Check out the guides below or view more labor laws:

To easily calculate federal, state and local taxes in your state, use our free Paycheck Calculator.

Baker Salary FAQs

Bakers typically do not receive tips as part of their compensation. Their earnings primarily come from their base salary, which may vary depending on the employer and location.

Benefits for Bakers can vary depending on factors like employment status (full-time, part-time, or freelance) and the policies of their employer.

Some full-time Bakers may receive benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and retirement plans, while others, especially those in smaller bakeries or self-employed, may not have access to these benefits.

Make sure to inquire about benefits during the hiring process and negotiate accordingly.

Whether Bakers receive overtime pay for working beyond regular hours depends on their employment status and the labor laws of their country or region.

In some cases, Bakers classified as non-exempt employees may be entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond a certain threshold in a given workweek.

  • All Bakers earn low wages

While it’s true that entry-level Bakers may start with modest salaries, experienced Bakers with specialized skills and certifications or working in high-demand areas can earn competitive wages.

Additionally, Bakers in managerial or specialized roles may command higher salaries.

  • Bakers do not have opportunities for career advancement or higher pay

While some may perceive baking as a static profession, there are numerous opportunities for career growth and increased earnings in the baking industry. Experienced Bakers can advance to supervisory or managerial roles, specialize in niche areas of baking or even start their own bakeries, all of which can lead to higher compensation.

  • Bakers only work in traditional bakeries or pastry shops

While traditional bakeries and pastry shops are common workplaces for Bakers, they can also find employment in various settings such as hotels, restaurants, catering companies, food manufacturing facilities and even in educational institutions as instructors or research chefs.

 

Several skills significantly impact a Baker’s salary and earning potential.

Firstly, proficiency in baking techniques and pastry arts is crucial as it directly affects the quality and consistency of the baked goods produced, which can contribute to customer satisfaction and business success.

Additionally, creativity and innovation in recipe development and presentation can set Bakers apart in a competitive market, potentially leading to higher-paying opportunities.

Attention to detail is also essential to ensure precision in measurements, timing and decoration, resulting in impeccable finished products.

Time management skills are vital for Bakers to efficiently handle multiple tasks, adhere to production schedules and meet deadlines, especially in fast-paced environments such as bakeries or commercial kitchens.

Furthermore, effective communication and teamwork skills are valuable, particularly for Bakers working in collaborative settings where coordination with other kitchen staff is essential.

Bakers with specialized skills or extensive experience may pursue relocation or international work opportunities.

When considering such opportunities, it’s essential to assess how the relocation may impact salary and benefits.

In some cases, moving to regions with a higher cost of living or strong demand for skilled Bakers may result in increased salary packages to align with local standards.

Conversely, relocating to areas with a lower cost of living may lead to adjustments in salary to reflect the economic environment.

Differences in employment laws can affect benefits like healthcare and retirement plans.

Bakers considering relocation should research and negotiate compensation packages to make sure they align with their financial needs and career goals.

In the U.S., the average annual salary for Bakers is $34,140. This translates to an average hourly wage of $16.41.

Bakers who work in major metropolitan areas may significantly earn more. For example, in New York City, the average salary for Bakers is $41,329 per year — which is 21.06% higher than the nationwide average.

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