How to Become a

Coffee Roaster

The complete career guide to be a Coffee Roaster: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $30,320
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 1.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

The role of a coffee roaster is to create new and interesting coffee variations for resale and use. To do this, the individual must be truly passionate about coffee and have a deep knowledge of specialty coffee.

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What is a Coffee Roaster?


A coffee roaster usually reports to the production manager, and fulfils the following tasks:

  • Routinely maintain and clean all coffee roasting equipment, and track all inventory by weighing and portioning accurately.
  • Collaborate with the team and brainstorm names and summaries for new coffee blends or single origin coffees.
  • Ensure that all products are in line with the good manufacturing practices guidelines, Organic Certifications and OSHA safety standards.
  • Closely monitor the creation of each coffee roast by adjusting roaster settings as required.
  • Set up coffee events with the team and testers for sensory evaluations regarding all offerings.

Day In The Life

Coffee roasters are proactive about the entire process of specialty coffee making. You would be assisting with the purchase of carefully sourced coffee beans and providing direction on the roasting and blending process. Often, coffee roasting companies work with select importers that supply a particular region, so you would be providing them inputs on the beans required.  Managing the roasting process includes actions like prepping various green coffee beans for to be ground and brewed to bring about the brown shade of coffee that most are familiar with. You will be closely monitoring the roasting process for aspects like batch number, temperature and roast level, which can differ based on the type of blend you require – it can be done by rotating beans over a heated surface or by roasting on an open flame.

Work Schedule

Usually, coffee roasters enjoy a relaxed office environment with paid vacation and holidays. It is a full-time position that expects you to work 40 hours per week. Much of the days are spent working in solitude, amidst the heat and loud noises of the roasting equipment. If it is a bigger operation, you may have to be willing to work a variety of shifts such as early mornings and some weekends.

In addition, this complex position will involve standing and walking for long time periods, climbing and bending, and lifting of up to 50 pounds on a regular basis. Due to the heat of coffee roasting equipment, you may need to work in elevated temperatures and use personal protective gear for your safety.

Growth Of The Job

The specialty coffee industry is experiencing tremendous growth, with increasing job opportunities. As you gain more experience in the coffee roasting field, you can expect to be promoted to a Head Roaster and then eventually, become a Master Roaster. If you intend to explore related positions besides being a coffee roaster, you could branch off into production management, coffee cupping, coffee buying and marketing.

Typical Employers

Corporate coffee chains and big coffee brands make up the majority of employers in the coffee business, for individuals working as coffee roasters. There are also boutique coffee companies that specialise in unique and interesting blends for niche customers like high-end restaurants, hotels, and private clients.

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How To Become a Coffee Roaster

If you are serious about embarking on a career as a coffee roaster, you should at least have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and a driver’s license. Some of the key skills that employers value in potential candidates include having the ability to communicate clearly, display leadership, work well under pressure and tight deadlines, adapt to different techniques and trends, and be comfortable working independently.

There are a few ways to go about getting a foot in the door. In case you have the budget, do some research and enroll at a well-known coffee roasting program that will teach you all the tricks of the trade behind professional roasting, e.g. how to operate roasting equipment. Completing such a program will look good on your resume and allow you to connect with a network of individuals involved in related careers.

A more traditional and common method for many coffee roasters is to apprentice with someone who has experience in the industry. Nothing beats on-the-job training so you can immerse yourself in the daily functioning of a coffee roaster. You will have direct exposure to the short-term challenges that crop up and learn to juggle multiple tasks in real time. However, there are also many coffee roasters who simply start their career with a love for good coffee and in their own backyard.

Coffee Roaster Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Coffee Roaster salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Coffee Roaster's can make an average annual salary of $30,320, or $15 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $22,180 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #696 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Coffee Roasters

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 1.6%   Masters
  • 7.3%   Bachelors
  • 7.4%   Associates
  • 24%   College
  • 42.2%   High School
  • 17.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Coffee Roaster job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 200 jobs for a total of 18,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #575 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Coffee Roasters

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing 4,100 -100 0%
Other food manufacturing 2,700 100 0%
Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing 2,500 -100 0%

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