How to become a master chocolatier

Updated February 21, 2017

What do chocolate and lipstick have in common? According to Packaged Facts, during an economic downturn, sales of each product typically increase. They suspect the reason for this upswing is that both items are considered affordable indulgences and go a long way toward making a person feel better during tough times. The same researcher predicts that chocolate sales will reach upwards of £12 billion by 2015, and included in this figure are sales of artisan or premier chocolates. Although job security cannot be guaranteed, if chocolate is your passion and you've longed to make a living with that passion, pursuing a career in chocolate-making can be profitable. After you've made the decision to become a master chocolatier, there are some key things you should know to achieve your dreams.

Complete a basic programme in chocolate-making through an accredited school --- if you are not already a professional pastry chef. Before you can become a master chocolatier, you should have those prerequisites satisfied. Earning a comprehensive pastry arts or chocolate degree at a culinary academy or school is another option.

Determine if you have the time to devote to learning about chocolate. An initial online course can take up to three months and students will spend from six to eight hours a week learning and testing in the kitchen. A culinary degree in chocolate and pastry arts can take up to a year or longer and is a more-intense experience and time commitment. A master chocolatier program such as the one at Ecole Chocolat typically takes a full week away from home, including travel.

Determine if you have the money to invest in becoming a master chocolatier. The first level of courses can cost anywhere from £227 to £455 at the low end. Earning a master chocolatier designation can cost more than £1,105 as it is taught by other master chocolatiers, chefs and professional chocolate makers. If you choose to earn a degree in pastry arts or chocolate, such as with the French Culinary Institute or the Culinary Institute of America, you may spend up to £28,600 in tuition. While financial aid is available for this level of professional training, it is still an expense for consideration.

Add travel expenses to your tuition expenses for the master chocolatier courses, because they are held in locations around the world. In 2011, the master chocolatier courses at Ecole Chocolat are offered in Canada, Costa Rica, France, Belgium and Italy.

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About the Author

Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.