The ten must have tools for a cake decorator in my opinion to make your cake time easier and enjoyable are:
1. Mixer. This is a life saving, well more like a time saving. with a stand mixer you can multitask and have your cake or buttercream faster.
2.Turntable. I would say turntables since you can have one for icing the cake, another one for decorating and one more for decorating with an angle. I personally have 2 Wilton brand, the professional and the one you can use on an angle. A third one which I really like when icing is a ateco brand, that thing can spin. You can even use it to spin your kids ( which I did, and after that had to hide it away)
3.Spatula. This tool is to fill, ice, and help move the cake. Make sure to get all sizes and the angled ones.
4.Scraper . Or even better if you can get a "Five way painter tool". These will help you to really smooth the cake way better than just the spatula.
5.Leveler. Check your cake to be leveled or otherwise you can have trouble when stacking them up.
6.Knife. Hold it right there.....no cutting the cake yet, but cut the top edges of the frosting after you smoothed it with the scraper.
7.Ruler. A ruler is handy to smack those little cake eaters' hands, or to check for height.
8.Silicone mat. A very convenient tool when rolling out the fondant, draping it on the cake or moving around the fondant/cake. I recommend you to get a very large one, i know it is a little bit expensive but it is worth.
9.Pizza cutter. hmmm, I'll eat the pizza and you keep the cutter. Handy tool when trimming the excess fondant. I am still thinking about the pizza!
10. PVC pipe. This is awkward but yes, a PVC pipe to roll out fondant very smoothly, carry and drape over cake.
An once again get some coffee, patient and have fun with it. After everything is done you can lick the buttercream from the spatula, mixer bowl or even your counter.