If you have a passion for all things delicious and sweet, a career in the chocolate industry may be a good place to venture. The worth of the global chocolate industry will grow to $98.3 billion by 2016, according to Markets and Markets statistics. Also known as “the food of the gods,” chocolate and its byproducts is one of those things that has been in existence for almost as long as humans have existed and is not about to leave the supermarket shelves any time soon. It is, therefore, a stable industry to work in. So if you love eating chocolate, perhaps it is time to make some money from your indulgence. And you might just land an opportunity to eat more for free.
Working as a chocolatier is just one way to get your piece of the pie in the chocolate industry. Chocolatiers are tasked with creating and decorating handmade confectionary from cocoa and chocolate. It is a skill that requires patience as only hands-on experience can perfect your art. If you are a creative person, then this is the job for you.
Becoming a Chocolatier, however, is not a honeymoon-like walk in the park. You can be sure that almost anyone would want to have such a job, but only a few make the cut. Like any other proper job, academic qualifications are a plus. While not all employers require degree, some will ask that you have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in bakery and pastry arts. Some also prefer a candidate that has an intern training or specialized training. All employers, however, will only hire someone that has previous experience as a chocolatier, or as a pastry chef.
Having an artistic mentality is a must for this profession. You also require good listening skills to understand clearly what various clients want. You will need to hone your skills in critical thinking, communication, and patience – working in the kitchen can be a very daunting task. Above all, you must have focus and steady hands lest you mess everything up.
Chocolatiers in the United States earn between $8.73 and $16.40 per hour. Overtime you will be able to make about $19.50 per hour. Rising to a specialized level, which takes time, skill and patience, comes with extra perks. Eventually, you can move on to become a head chocolatier in your organization, coach chocolatiers or become a consultant. Take note that the skilled crafts industry is driven by trends and consumers’ demands, and keeping your skills updated is paramount. Four out of five chocolatiers say they are happy with their jobs, meaning it is a good shot.
2. Chocolate Consultant
If you love all things bean-to-bar, consulting in the chocolate industry is a good place to be. Chocolate Consultants are mostly self-employed, and sometimes they go by the name Chocolate Guides. It takes many years of studying, experiencing and working with chocolate to become a consultant. There are thousands of chocolate brands and flavors out there, and understanding just a portion of that is not something you achieve in a hurry.
Your job description may include developing new chocolate products, conducting and analyzing market surveys, and training and instilling expertise among employees. More tasks for you may include minimizing waste in production, advising the marketing team, pricing and guiding management on product development and policies.
While academic qualifications may not be a big deal for most employers, experience and passion for what you do are mandatory if you want to attract any attention from potential employers or clients. Most chocolate consultants entered the industry as pastry chefs, have worked as chocolatiers, or worked in a chocolate manufacturing company.
The average salary or charge for Chocolate Consultants by October 2015 was $33,000. The figure varies depending on your location, employer or target client. Common places to search for a job as a Chocolate Consultant include consulting firms, manufacturing companies, and research organizations. You know that you are succeeding as a Chocolate Consultant only if your clients are registering tangible gains in their business.
3. Chocolate Taster
This might just be where chocolate lovers need to be. You can call it a dream job, spending your time tasting chocolate and getting paid to do it. To some, it might even sound a privilege too good to fathom. But these jobs do exist. Someone is paid to munch bits and pieces of chocolate all day long. Simply put, a Chocolate Taster is a professional who is trained to taste, pick out flavors and analyze chocolates. They also inspect candies for cracks, right sheen and coatings, and confirm that the aroma is right.
You are eligible for this profession if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Technology, exceptionally healthy taste buds, and a tongue for sweet things. The degree will equip you with basic knowledge on selection, preservation and processing of safe and wholesome food. Your taste buds are the true test on whether you qualify and can keep the job. It is safe to say that picking out unique flavors from something you have been eating the whole day requires a special talent. Do not, however, despair. Such skills are acquired through years of experience and on-the-job-training. Also, a Chocolate Taster needs to have knowledge of flavors, texture and how to mould chocolate. Creativity, patience, commitment, and passion are added advantages when competing for an available position.
Chocolate Tasters make anything between $24,000 to $70,000. A job as a Chocolate Taster may not come easy because it requires sharp skill. Part of the interview may involve blind taste tests in which interviewees must successfully identify ingredients and flavors in different chocolates.
Common places to find work as a Chocolate Taster include resorts, casinos, cruise ships, and the hospitality industry at large. Career prospects for a chocolate taster include going into consulting, lecturing or research. You can even choose to open an outlet to sell your products.
If you are a lady, you will be excited to know that women naturally have a stronger sense of smell compared to men. Employers do not, however, discriminate. Such a job may be a dream come true for you, but do not forget to invest in a good medical and dental cover.
4. Chocolate Sales Person
Chocolate vans and excited neighborhoods are not scenes only reserved for movies. In real life, there are many people that earn a living by driving a van filled with chocolate around. The catch is making sure you come back with the van empty and money equivalent to the stock.
Chocolate shops and companies will employ you to sell chocolate if you meet the prerequisites of a terrific sales person. The chocolate industry is highly competitive, and mediocre people in their sales team is that last thing any business wants. Outstanding sales people understand their products and the industry, they are creative, and work towards driving sales like their lives are dependent on it. A love for chocolate is the only sure way to incite commitment.
You will, therefore, need basic education on chocolate and its benefits, experience, and professional training. A high school diploma will suffice as an educational requirement, but you will need to do a lot of reading on chocolate and its byproducts.
Communication is a skill you cannot afford to lack if you hope to succeed as a chocolate sales person. Because customer satisfaction is the number one priority for most businesses, good communication enables you get feedback from your customers and work towards improvement.
If you’re considering getting employed as a chocolate sales associate in the United States, you can expect to earn between $7.76 and $15.05 per hour. If you choose to work as an independent sales agent, most companies pay a commission. Your sales determine your pay. A sales job is easy to find but difficult to maintain. Keep yourself well informed about new products, competitors, and customers preferences.
If you would rather buy chocolate than pay rent, your love is understandable and you might as well figure out how to get paid for it. Other than employment, you can work in the industry by coming up with solutions to problems that constantly battle the industry. These include competition, ensuring cocoa growers honor human and labor rights, and developing health-friendly chocolate products. You have a higher chance of succeeding in any industry if your drive is love for the products, so identify a job in the chocolate industry that can work for you, and go for it.