Approximately 191,900 bakers are employed in the United States. Bakery workers can find jobs in a wide variety of settings, from small retail bakeries and bakery departments in supermarkets to multinational companies with huge manufacturing plants. They also may work in wholesale bakeries or distribution centers as well as in restaurants and hotels. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about one-third of all bakers work part time.
Aspiring bakers can apply to bakeries for jobs as helpers or apprentices. Students can often find jobs or apprenticeships through career services offices at baking schools. State employment offices and newspapers may provide leads. Local unions also have information about job openings.
Helpers who learn machine-operator skills may move into these positions, but usually only after years of experience. Because bakeries use many different kinds of machines and processes, versatile workers are the most likely to be promoted. Skilled machine operators can move into supervisory slots or become all-around bakers. These bakers may also move into work in hotels, restaurants, or retail bakeries. They may even open their own bakeries and bake their goods by hand.
Some experienced bakery workers can be promoted into management positions. The trend, however, is to fill management slots in bakeries with people who have college degrees in management or other business fields. Route-sales drivers may work into sales manager positions or become route supervisors.
Tips for Entry
Read publications such as Supermarket News, which has a category for baking (https://www.supermarketnews.com/product-categories/bakery) and Baking Business (https://www.bakingbusiness.com) to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers.
Visit the following Web sites for industry news, networking and training opportunities, and job listings:
Attend the American Society of Baking BakingTech conference to network and interview for jobs.