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How to Become a Chocolatier: 101 Guide

21/09/2023

If dessert has always been your favorite part of a meal and chocolate is one of your favorite treats, becoming a chocolatier may be in your future. Coming up with tiny morsels of delightfulness that look beautiful, and taste even better is the daily focus of a chocolatier.

This is a unique and exciting career option in the culinary world. Working as a chocolatier is very technical compared to baking, making pastries and cooking. There is a great deal of fine detail that goes into creating recipes, making the chocolates, decorating them and packaging or displaying them.

In this guide to becoming a chocolatier, we’ll talk about what this job entails, how you can become one and some of the frequently asked questions about this profession.

chocolatier

What is a Chocolatier

A chocolatier is a professional who specializes in making all kinds of delicious foods and treats out of chocolate. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate are just some of the base varieties that are used, with all kinds of different accents and details added in.

This profession is very different from someone who works for a company that mass produces chocolate confections. These treats are usually hand-made from molds or by hand, with details added individually. There aren’t production lines or big pieces of equipment used by chocolatiers.

Difference between chocolate maker and chocolatier

The Difference Between a Chocolatier and a Chocolate Maker

A chocolate maker focuses on making chocolate from scratch – starting all the way from roasting and grinding cacao beans into cocoa liquor, adding additional cocoa butter, sugar etc. to get the desired type of chocolate like dark chocolate or milk chocolate. They oversee the entire chocolate production process from raw ingredients to the final chocolate output.

A chocolatier, on the other hand, typically starts with pre-made couverture/cocoa chocolate that has already been perfectly tempered and meets the quality specifications required for working with chocolate. So they don’t make chocolate themselves.

A chocolatier’s specialty is taking well-tempered, good quality chocolate from a chocolate maker and using it to produce chocolate confections through processes like molding, coating, piping, etc. This is where their creativity comes in — a chocolatier focuses on things like fillings, flavors, textures and decorative elements to make chocolate bonbons, pralines, bars and other artisanal chocolate products.

What are the Career Opportunities for Chocolatiers

There are several settings where a chocolatier can work. Bakeries, confectioneries and small dessert shops are just some of the places where this craftsmanship occurs. Even some of the larger chocolate brands that make products in large quantities may employ a chocolatier to come up with new recipes and perfect products.

After working as a professional chocolatier for many years, there is also the opportunity to teach and train other upcoming chocolatiers. This can take place under an apprenticeship or even through a culinary institute.

Is it Worth to Become a Chocolatier in 2024

Some people see the job of a professional chocolatier as being outdated or phased out. However, chocolates that have been made by hand have a quality you won’t find anywhere else. The time and effort that go into creating these confections make a big difference in the final product. Whether enjoying a treat yourself or buying a gift for someone else, this is a special experience that you won’t find with a large-scale chocolate brand.

If you have a passion for creating candies and chocolates by hand and potentially have some experience in the culinary industry, becoming a chocolatier may be worth considering. It can be a lucrative profession, especially as you gain more and more experience and talent.

Chocolatier training course

Education and Training Requirements for a Chocolatier Career

Generally, a chocolatier will achieve their distinction after working as an apprentice under another chocolatier. Many chocolatiers begin their careers in other areas of the culinary industry, such as working as a baker or pastry chef. While the basics of becoming a chocolatier can sometimes be learned quite quickly, the detail that goes into creating perfect chocolates is something that takes a great deal of time and practice.

To truly become an expert in the field of chocolate, a chocolatier must learn their craft in great detail. The manual process of making chocolates will be learned, but a professional in this field should also understand the composition of chocolate, how it behaves under different conditions and the different flavor notes that can come out in different qualities of chocolate. This technical aspect of becoming a chocolatier is something that can be learned from another professional or even through a culinary program. In some cases, it can take many years to truly become an experienced chocolatier.

Skills Necessary to Become a Chocolatier

Paying close attention to detail is ideal when becoming a chocolatier. But there are also some other skills necessary to develop. Let’s take a look at them:

Here are the key skills needed to become a skilled chocolatier:

  • Creativity and Artistry — a chocolatier needs creativity and an artistic eye to design and handcraft beautiful chocolate confections. They combine chocolate with flavors, textures, colors and shapes to create edible art.
  • Understanding Chocolate — from cacao percentage to chocolate types and qualities, a deep technical knowledge of chocolate ingredients and handling is essential to becoming a chocolatier. This includes expertise in tempering chocolate properly.
  • Great Taste — a discerning palate is vital to blending flavors well and evaluating the taste of creations. They taste and tweak extensively during recipe development to balance flavors.
  • Dexterity — chocolatiers need dexterity and steady hands for detailed work like piping chocolate or molding flawless bonbons and pralines. Their intricate designs require precision handling.
  • Business Sense — for retail chocolatiers running a chocolate workshop, good business skills are indispensable for marketing products, managing finances, purchasing supplies, etc.

So if you are wondering how you become a chocolatier, expect that you will need to know everything there is to understand about chocolate. From the way it is made to the methods used to properly handle it, your knowledge of chocolate makes a big difference in how successful you are as a chocolatier.

FAQ

Do chocolatiers make good money?

Becoming a chocolatier can take some time, but there is the potential to make a very good salary once you have enough experience. As with any other position in the culinary world, you’ll start with a base salary when you secure your first chocolatier job. From there, there is a great deal of potential to work your way up to a higher-level position that makes more money.
The average hourly salary for a chocolatier is approximately 23 euros. Some chocolatiers make as much as 45 euros annually when they have been working in this field for many years.

Is there a demand for chocolatiers?

Europe is the world’s largest chocolate producer, so this is the location where the majority of chocolatiers work. However, there are jobs in this field all over the globe as well.

How much time it will take to become a chocolatier?

The amount of time that it will take to become a chocolatier will depend on the path that you’ve chosen to get to where you want to be professionally. If you’re working as an apprentice, this apprenticeship can go on for a few years. A culinary program may take far less time, condensing all of the information you need to know into a year or two.

Becoming a Professional Chocolatier

If you would like to learn more about becoming a professional chocolatier or if a different career path in the culinary industry is intriguing, reach out to HRC Culinary Academy for more information. Our admissions team is happy to help you navigate your journey regarding all things culinary.

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Considering a career as a chocolatier? Visit our Pastry and Bakery program to learn more

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