How to Become a Confectioner
Have a sweet tooth that can't be satisfied? Then maybe you might like to become a confectioner. If you have a knack for cooking, are creative, and also have a fine eye for detail, then you might just be the next Willy Wonka!
While working as a confectioner sounds like a fun job filled with candy bars and gummy bears, the work is actually very detailed and specialized. When you become a confectioner, your occupation is part pastry chef, part designer, part chemist. Being able to put together sweet treats that taste and look amazing can be harder than it seems. Often, the secret to a confectioner's success is in the small details.
Education Requirements to Become a Confectioner
There is not really a set educational path to become a confectioner. Some that work in this field are self-taught where their sweet ambitions started in their home kitchens. They learned as amateurs, and gradually became good enough to work as a professional confectioner.
There are many books and websites dedicated to the art of confectionary. If you're in high school, or perhaps just wanting to get a better feel for this role, then it's a good place to start. With time, you'll improve. Many who take this path go on to sell their creations to independent restaurants and cafes, or simply open their own boutique stores.
The alternative way to become a confectioner is to attend culinary school, enrolling in a program to become a pastry chef. There will be a lot of coursework that is based around confectionary. The skills you learn as a pastry chef will assist you in your career as a confectioner. There are some schools that even have a specialized confectioner degree program.
The third option to become a confectioner is to complete an apprenticeship. Studying under an accomplished confectioner is a great way to learn your trade. These positions are very few and far between since there are not that many practicing confectioners out there.
Confectioner Job Description
A confectioner creates sweet treats such as candy, chocolate, and other similar goodies. Some confectioners may work in a cafe or restaurant, preparing gourmet candy, while others could be working in their own boutique shop. Some work in product development, working with big companies to create the next new candy bar.
Here are some of the tasks a confectioner might complete in a day:
- Coming up with new dessert dishes
- Creating new ideas for candy
- Product development
- Testing new candy ideas
- Preparing sweets and candies
Confectioner Salary and Career Path
If you have decided to become a confectioner, you may have some hard work ahead of you. You'll need to be really passionate about your job because there are not a lot of opportunities out there to work as a confectioner.
However, like with any sought after job, if you are willing to work hard and go the extra distance, you will be able to work in this field. Be prepared to put in some long hours at low pay for the first few years. You might work at a candy store, or even for a large confectionery company in an entry level role.
Once you have worked a few years and been able to prove your abilities, you will likely get an opportunity to move into a more coveted position, with greater responsibilities and more earning potential. The median salary of a confectioner is $38,000 a year. The key to success as a confectioner is to identify the kind of role you want to achieve, then get an entry level position in the kind of business that role is in.
Some similar roles to a confectioner you might be interested in include:
- Bakery chef
- Cake decorator
- Pastry chef
- Food technologist
The path to become a confectioner is definitely a challenging one, not so much because of the nature of the work but because of the lack of opportunities available. However, if you are willing to putting the hard work and effort, you will be able to succeed in this occupation. If you love candy and sweets, and want to see people enjoying your creations, then you should definitely consider becoming a confectioner.
*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics