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Candy Manufacturing Worker Job Description, Career as a Candy Manufacturing Worker, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High School

Salary: Median—$21,420 per year

Employment Outlook: Poor

Definition and Nature of the Work

More than two thousand different kinds of candy are produced in the United States. Among the most popular are chocolates, licorice, gumdrops, hard candy and lollipops, and peanut candies.

Candy manufacturing workers work in either wholesale or retail plants. Wholesale manufacturers make most of the candy that is produced in this country. They use large machines and equipment to produce the candy for sale in vending machines, supermarkets, and other retail outlets. Although wholesale manufacturers may automate production, the process of manufacturing candy is similar in both types of plants. Retail manufacturers produce candy for sale at their retail stores, generally producing small quantities. Much of the work at a retail plant may be done by hand or with small electronic equipment.

Weighers weigh the ingredients, and candy makers mix and cook the ingredients in kettles or vats. The candy is then cut, rolled, or placed in molds to cool. Some candy is coated with chocolate by hand or machine. Hand dippers dip candies in liquid chocolate. Enrober machine operators run machines that coat candies with chocolate.

In automated plants candy feeders put candies into machines that shape, wrap, and pack them. Candy packers wrap candies and arrange them in boxes. Workers are employed to perform jobs that must be done by hand, such as decorating. Employees maintain, fix, and clean the candy-making machines and equipment. Others load trucks and deliver the candy to retail stores or service vending machines. Workers are also employed as taste testers, quality control specialists, plant supervisors, sanitary engineers, and management and personnel workers.

Education and Training Requirements

Most unskilled workers in the candy-making industry operate the machines used in the manufacturing and packaging processes. Obtaining a job as a machine operator requires some mechanical aptitude as well as a high school diploma, but securing a summer or a part-time job is possible without a high school diploma. Other unskilled jobs, such as cleaning equipment or loading and driving trucks, are generally available without a high school diploma.

Semiskilled jobs, such as candy decorating or machine repairing, require workers who have experience and, in some cases, a technical school degree. In some plants formal apprenticeship programs are available. In most candy manufacturing plants informal, on-the-job training is the rule.

Technical and managerial positions, such as those of tester, quality control expert, sanitary engineer, plant supervisor, and management worker, require either a technical school or a college degree. Managers may study economics, accounting, advertising, and personnel management. Engineers who design the manufacturing machines must have a bachelor's degree in engineering.

Getting the Job

The best way to get a job is to apply in person to a local plant. Candy manufacturers generally employ more workers before and during holiday seasons, such as Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Easter.

For those who attend a technical school or college, the school's placement office may be helpful in securing a job. Newspaper want ads also carry advertisements for jobs.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Many opportunities for advancement exist in the candy manufacturing industries. Helpers and machine cleaners may become machine operators. Machine operators can advance to more highly skilled production jobs. Production workers may become supervisors or enter management training programs. Workers with experience, skill, and the necessary capital can start their own businesses.

The outlook for candy manufacturing workers is poor. In the United States there are currently about eighty-three thousand employees in the confectionery products industry. According to the projected outlook, the industry will lose more than three percent of its workers in the next ten years. Many workers are being replaced by machines. The best job opportunities will go to skilled workers, such as decorators, supervisors, and machine repairers.

Working Conditions

Working conditions vary considerably, depending on the job. Plant workers may have to work with noisy machines or in cold rooms. Most plants, however, are very clean and well lighted and are considered to be pleasant places in which to work. Office workers generally work in modern buildings away from the noise of machinery.

Delivery truck operators generally spend little time at the plant. Most of their time is spent on the road servicing coin-operated machines and delivering their products to retail customers. Most candy manufacturing workers work forty hours a week, but overtime is sometimes necessary during busy seasons.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings in the candy manufacturing industry depend to a great extent on the size and location of the plant and the skill of the worker. The annual median salary for a candy manufacturing worker is $21,420. Experienced managers and executives will earn more. Delivery truck operators who service vending machines generally receive a commission, in addition to their salary, based on the number of candy bars that are sold.

Where to Go for More Information

American Association of Candy Technologists
175 Rock Rd.
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
(201) 652-2655

National Confectioners Association of the United States
8320 Old Courthouse Rd., Ste. 300
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 790-5750

Workers in these industries also receive benefits such as paid vacations and sick leave, life and health insurance, and retirement pensions.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production