Should I Become a Chocolatier?
Chocolatiers make candies and craft elaborate displays of chocolates. Individuals working in this field must have the artistic and technical expertise to blend different types of chocolate with other ingredients and mold the confections into intricate designs. Falling under the O*Net category of food batchmakers, these professionals often spend extended periods of time on their feet and sometimes deal with stressful working conditions.
|Degree Level||Associate's degree|
|Degree Field||Bakery and pastry arts|
|Training||Internship, specialized training programs available|
|Experience||Previous culinary experience, often as a pastry chef|
|Key Skills||Critical thinking; reading comprehension; communication; a steady hand; originality; technical; creativity|
|Salary||$28,790 per year (2014 average salary for all food batchmakers)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; O*Net Online
Step 1: Earn an Associate's Degree
An associate's degree program in bakery and pastry arts can teach students to prepare pastries, confections, desserts and breads. Courses usually include baking techniques, culinary mathematics, food safety, nutrition, ingredients and baking equipment. The curriculum should provide students with practical information on techniques used by professional pastry chefs, such as blending, creaming and cutting ingredients. They'll also learn about units of measurement, conversions and scaling, and determining costs for recipes.
- Complete an internship. Many college programs in baking and pastry arts assist students in obtaining internships. These opportunities give prospective chocolatiers real-world experience working for and learning from experienced chocolatiers.
Step 2: Complete a Specialized Training Program
Aspiring chocolatiers might train at a for-profit center dedicated to teaching chocolate confectionery. These programs are limited within the U.S. and sometimes require completion of a previous culinary program for enrollment. Students typically learn to temper, mold and store chocolate, as well as how to craft artisan bonbons, chocolate bars and other confections.
Step 3: Seek Entry-Level Employment
Prospective chocolatiers often find employment assisting experienced chocolatiers. This allows them to further hone their skills in preparation for advancing to a head chocolatier position or opening their own chocolatier business.