Candy makers are culinary artists with an excellent understanding of the science and confectionery techniques behind chocolates and other types of candy. They use their professional training in candy making to create and modify recipes, mix ingredients, and operate the equipment used to cook and harvest candy. A career as a candy maker requires a passion for art and cooking.
To get started as a candy maker, pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in culinary arts with coursework in candy making. However, because such programs typically don’t cover candy making in much detail, you may want additional training. The International Culinary Center in New York, for example, offers a training program that focuses on the preparation of chocolate candies and confections. The course, which takes between 1 and 2 weeks to complete, covers the whole process of making candy, from ingredient gathering to tempering, dipping and molding, harvesting and storage. The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art in Illinois also runs short-term courses for aspiring candy makers.
Master the Skills
Candy making requires creative individuals with a taste for little details. When preparing a milk candy, for example, you may need to modify the standard recipe by adding or removing some ingredients in order to alter the taste of the final product. This also calls for basic math and observation skills, as the task may involve measuring liquid ingredients and observing physical changes of the cooking candy. Mixers, kettle lifters and candy cookers are some of the special equipment used to make candy, so you need strong practical skills to operate these pieces of equipment effectively.
Build a Candy Portfolio
A candy portfolio enables you to showcase your candy making skills to potential employers. It can be a pictorial collection of some of your best candies, so be sure to take photos of the candies you will prepare during training. After building a solid portfolio, attend culinary art exhibitions or candy expos -- such as those organized by the National Confectioners Association, or NCA -- where you can present it to potential employers.
Get Hired or Start a Candy Shop
Beginning candy makers can find jobs at candy manufacturing plants, hotels and restaurants, and well-established candy shops. With vast candy making experience, strong business and customer-service skills -- as well as sufficient capital -- you can set up your own candy shop. You can then join the NCA as domestic manufacturer to access career resources such as industry publications at discounted rates.