How Much Do People Who Make Candles Make?

Candlemaking is an artistic craft that involves melting wax, adding fragrance and color, and pouring it into a container to create candles. It dates back thousands of years, with evidence of candlemaking appearing as early as 204 BC in Ancient Egypt. While primarily a hobby for most, some are able to turn candlemaking into a full-time or part-time profession.

According to the National Candle Association, the candle industry in the U.S. is worth around $3.2 billion annually. Candlemaking has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with more people taking up the hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic. The creativity involved in designing and producing candles, coupled with the ability to create personalized scented candles, contributes to its enduring appeal.

Average Salary for Professional Candlemakers

candlemaker working on crafting candles

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for professional candlemakers in the US is $34,836. This is based on salary data reported for candlemakers in specific cities like Dededo, Guam (Source). The BLS groups candlemakers into the broad category of “Craft Artists”, which also includes other artisan professions like jewelry makers, potters, and more.

The average salary can vary significantly based on the candlemaker’s specific role and employment situation. An entry-level candlemaker working as an employee for a candle company may earn around $25,000 annually. More experienced candlemakers or those with supervisory roles may earn closer to the average of $35,000. Candlemaking business owners who sell their candles may earn $50,000 or more, depending on the success and scale of their business.

Salary Range for Professional Candlemakers

Professional candlemakers in the U.S. typically earn between $10,650 and $44,330 per year according to salary data from sites like ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and Comparably.

The salary range depends on a few key factors:

  • Experience level – More experienced candlemakers tend to earn towards the higher end of the range.
  • Geographic location – Candlemakers in high cost-of-living areas like New York can earn over $44,000, while the average in Pennsylvania is around $40,000.
  • Type of employer – Salaries at major candle companies exceed earnings for independent or small business owners.
  • Sales and marketing ability – Candlemakers who can promote and sell their products directly to consumers earn more.

Overall, most professional candlemakers fall within the $27,000 to $45,000 range, with top earners exceeding $50,000 annually.

Hourly Wage for Candlemaking

Candlemaking can be done as a hobby, side hustle, or full-time job. For those who take on candlemaking professionally, whether as a small business owner or employee, the hourly wage can vary based on several factors.

According to PayScale data, the average hourly wage for a Candle Maker in the United States is around $12 per hour. The reported hourly wage range is between $9 – $18 per hour. However, earnings can be higher or lower depending on the individual’s skills, experience, geographic location, and type of employer.

Some of the factors that impact a candlemaker’s hourly wage include:

  • Education and training
  • Years of professional experience
  • Specialized skills and techniques
  • Reputation and portfolio
  • Location and cost of living
  • Size of employer (large company vs. small business)
  • Production volume and pace
  • Quality of materials and finishes

In general, master candlemakers with exceptional skills and many years of experience tend to earn towards the higher end of the pay scale, especially if working for a high-end candle company or as an independent artist. Beginners and hobbyists selling basic candles locally likely earn towards the lower end.

Salary for Candlemaking Business Owners

store owner arranging candle products

Candlemaking business owners have the potential to earn a comfortable income from their craft, although profit margins can vary. According to industry research, the average gross revenue for a candlemaking business falls between $50,000 to $250,000 annually. However, expenses like materials, labor, rent, utilities, marketing and other overhead costs must be accounted for. Experienced candlemaking business owners target a profit margin between 50-80%. This means if a candlemaking business generates $100,000 in gross revenue, the business owner may realize $50,000 to $80,000 in profit. Profit margins can fluctuate based on economies of scale, efficiency, pricing strategies and more. Overall, candlemaking offers creative entrepreneurs an opportunity to generate a respectable income from a homemade craft business.

Earning Potential for Candlemaking Side Hustles

Candlemaking can be a lucrative side hustle for many people. According to one source, the average earnings from a candlemaking side business are $200-$500 per month ( However, earnings can vary greatly depending on factors like marketing, number of products, and sales channels.

The profit margin for homemade candles is quite high. Many candlemakers are able to sell their products for 2-3x the cost of materials. For example, if a soy wax candle costs $5 in supplies to make, it could be sold for $10-15. After accounting for business expenses, profit margins range from 50-150% (

There are many success stories of people earning extra income through candlemaking side hustles. One candlemaker shares that she was able to make $3,000 per month within her first year of selling at craft fairs and online. She emphasizes that marketing and developing a brand identity were key factors in growing her sales (

Earnings from Candlemaking as a Hobby

For most hobbyist candlemakers, earnings from their craft are fairly modest. Many hobbyists sell candles simply to offset costs or make a small profit on the side. According to surveys of candlemaking hobbyists, the average earnings from candle sales is around $200-500 per year.

However, there are ways for hobbyists to increase earnings through clever marketing and expanding their customer base. Setting up an online store through Etsy or Shopify allows hobbyists to sell candles to a wider audience beyond just local craft fairs. Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can also help attract new candle buyers. Hobbyists may be able to command higher prices for unique, handcrafted candle designs.

Some examples of successful hobbyist candlemakers earning well from their craft include Mary Smith of Hometown Handmade Candles (earns ~$5,000/year) and James Wong ofJW Candle Creations (earns ~$15,000/year). Both started selling candles to friends and family, invested in branding and online stores, and slowly grew their customer base over time through word-of-mouth and social media.

While most candlemaking hobbyists will not get rich from their craft, there is certainly earning potential for those who market themselves creatively and expand their reach. With passion and persistence, some hobbyists manage to turn candlemaking into a substantial side income.

Factors Impacting Candlemaker Earnings

There are a number of factors that can affect how much a candlemaker earns, including:

different factors impacting earnings represented visually

Experience Level

More experienced candlemakers can command higher prices and earn more income. Mastery of candlemaking techniques and materials takes time to develop. Established candlemakers may earn 30-50% more than beginners (The Financial Glow: Evaluating Candle Business Earnings).

Materials and Production Costs

The cost of materials like wax, wicks, fragrance oils, and packaging directly impacts candlemakers’ profit margins. Finding cost-effective suppliers and streamlining production can increase earnings (

Marketing and Sales

Effective marketing of candle products and strong sales skills allow candlemakers to sell more items at higher prices. Building a brand and customer base is key to earning potential (The Financial Glow: Evaluating Candle Business Earnings).


Candlemakers in areas with higher costs of living and more competition may earn less. Selling at markets in affluent communities can increase income potential.

Economic Conditions

During strong economic times and holiday seasons, candle sales increase. Luxury candles also suffer more during recessions. The overall economy impacts earnings.

Candlemaking Career Outlook

The candlemaking industry has seen steady growth over the past decade. According to market research, the global candle market size was valued at $11.2 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.7% from 2022 to 2030.

graph showing steady growth in sales

Ecommerce and online selling have opened up new opportunities for professional candlemakers. Platforms like Etsy, Shopify, and Amazon Handmade allow candlemakers to sell their products to a wider customer base. As more consumers shop online, the ability to sell candles directly to customers on ecommerce sites has become increasingly important for candlemaking businesses.

The future looks bright for those looking to enter the candlemaking profession. Market trends indicate continued growth, especially for handmade, artisanal, and customized candle products. There is high demand for unique, high-quality candles which plays well to the strengths of independent candlemaking crafters and small businesses. While large manufacturers will continue to dominate overall market share, opportunities exist for small scale candlemakers to carve out a profitable niche.

Those with artistic talent, business acumen, and skill in candlemaking techniques like scent mixing and creative container design will be well-positioned to capitalize on the growth in the candle industry. Candlemakers who understand target consumer preferences and can adapt to emerging retail trends will have a competitive advantage in this evolving marketplace.


In summary, the median salary for professional candlemakers in the United States falls around $35,000 per year. However, there is a wide range based on factors like location, company size, experience level, and specific job title. Owners of successful candlemaking businesses have the potential to earn over $100,000 annually. Even candlemaking as a side hustle or hobby can generate supplemental income from selling homemade candles online or at craft fairs. Overall, the candlemaking field is small but growing as interest in artisanal products continues to rise. The most lucrative candlemaking careers require a combination of artistic talent, business savvy, and a true passion for the craft. While the profits can be substantial, most in this field are drawn to the expressive, therapeutic nature of candlemaking. With persistence and ingenuity, candlemaking can provide sustainable income. But at its core, it remains a craft rooted more in creative fulfillment than in financial reward.

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