How Much Do Candy Makers Make?

March 18, 2024

If you’re known to hoard candy in desk drawers and steal trick-or-treaters’ loot, or go nuts for doughnuts, you might want to consider a career as a candy maker. Almost 54,000 people work in the candy industry in the United States alone, according to the National Confectioners Association. And they make an average of $21,420 a year, with more experienced managers and executives making much more. Workers in the candy manufacturing industry also typically receive benefits like life and health insurance, paid vacations and sick days, and retirement pensions.

Despite the high cost of ingredients, the demand for candy is growing. Sales of both hard and soft candies rose 11% last year. But even with strong growth, it’s tough to eke out a profit, especially for smaller candy makers, which are saddled with higher costs for everything from sugar to peanuts.

To make ends meet, most candy manufacturers cut back on labor and reduce the number of products they sell. But the workers who remain are often highly skilled, and many have years of experience. Some candy makers, such as the decorators and supervisors, may have formal training, while others can advance from unskilled jobs such as machine cleaners or helpers to more specialized positions.

At Liddabit, a small Brooklyn company, nearly all the employees originally intended to be actors, or worked in other industries before deciding on candy-making as their careers. They all graduated from the French Culinary Institute, and many are still friends after working together at the company for more than two years. They agreed that the hardest part of the job is the assumption of femininity, but they love what they do, and they’ve stuck with it despite long commutes.

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