His parents are Polish. He had one small Polish word tattooed on each arm (siła-strength, and pycha- pride). He was raised Catholic.  Bulaga grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He attended Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois, where he played offensive tackle and tight end but also at defensive end occasionally, and even at linebacker for the Marian Central Catholic Canes high school football team. He recorded 261 career tackles with 46 tackles for losses, 31 sacks, and one interception, while as a tight end, he had 35 pass receptions for a total of 665 yards, and scored 10 touchdowns. Bulaga and his teammates at the Marian Central High School, coached by Ed Brucker, were undefeated during their regular season in nine games, and they took second place in the state playoffs, losing in the championship to the Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin High School.
Bulaga played left guard in his true freshman year in 2007, and was a starter by mid-season. He was named to Sporting News′ Freshman All-Big Ten team. In 2008, he made the move to left tackle, and he started every game at that position for the Hawkeyes. He earned a second team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and a second team Sophomore All-American selection by College Football News.
In 2009, Bulaga was listed at number three on Rivals.com′s preseason offensive tackle power ranking. He was also named to the 2009 Outland Trophy watch list.
After missing three games with a thyroid disease, Bulaga started all of the remaining games for the Hawkeyes, including their 24–14 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2010 Orange Bowl. He was named the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year for 2009.
On January 6, 2010, Bulaga released a statement about his intentions to forgo his final season of college and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. With the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Bulaga.
Bulaga began the 2010 season as a back-up offensive lineman before getting his first start in the fifth week against the Washington Redskins. He went to start every game for the rest of the season, eventually being named to the NFL All-Rookie team. At &000000000000002100000021 years, &0000000000000322000000322 days, Bulaga became the youngest player to start in a Super Bowl. The Packers decided to shift him over to the left tackle slot for the 2013 NFL season.
Bulaga suffered a torn ACL during training camp workouts on August 4, 2013. He will miss the entire 2013 season.