Bakers are often in high demand. People planning weddings or other special events, businesses needing cakes for an office party and ordinary people wanting homemade bread all rely on the baker's services. People who enjoy making bread, cakes or cookies may consider working for or starting a bakery; however, bakers work long hours and make only a few dollars more than most entry-level employees in other fields.
A Touch of Business reports that most bakers can expect to make between $8 and $14 per hour, or $15,000 to $20,000 per year. The amount of money bakers bring in each year depends on the location of their business, the type of products they offer for sale, how much business and bakery experience the baker has and the bakery's location. Bakeries that have been in business for a long time or operate in an area with a higher standard of living make more money than start-ups and those in rural locations.
Those who run bakeries pay a lot of expenses each month. In addition to paying for basic utilities for their bakery and monthly rent on their business space, bakers must pay employee wages, insurance on their vehicles and on their business, advertising costs and phone services. In addition, bakers must purchase equipment such as refrigerators and baking pans. Some bakers also pay for an attorney's help to ensure they are in compliance with all health and safety ordinances. These expenses may put the business into the red for the first few years of service.
A 2008 Forbes article reports that bakeries are among the least profitable businesses because of the high overhead costs, monthly expenses and long work hours. The average bakery owner suffers losses each year instead of turning a profit. However, A Touch of Business states that bakeries can make enough money to survive even during poor economic times because people and other businesses need to purchase bread and other baked goods.
Bakers work long hours in exchange for relatively little pay. Most bakers work 12 to 14 hour days and begin their days early in the morning. Bakers may not be able to take time off during holidays or other special occasions because there is a large demand for baked goods during these times. For example, if customers want cakes during Easter, the baker may not be able to take off Good Friday or Easter Sunday to spend with her family.