They are both artists and artisans in their own way, but there is a substantial difference between the two that you should be aware of. It all depends on how much the professional is involved in the making of the chocolate.
Chocolatiers are culinary artisans who source chocolate couvertures made by chocolate makers to create their unique confections. They focus on the creation of bonbons, truffles, pralines, flavored bars and other chocolate treats. Chocolatiers specialize in pairing and balancing a specific kind of chocolate with fancy fillings, flavors, textures and shapes of chocolate. Very few chocolatiers make their own chocolate, starting from chocolate already made by someone else and dedicating themselves to the best pairings with other ingredients.
Chocolate makers instead take the process a step further: they make their own chocolate starting from the raw cocoa beans. They buy and import cacao from the countries of origin located 20° north and south the equator. Then they process these beans in their factories into several machines, from the roaster to the melangeur, to obtain the purest chocolate (called ‘bean to bar’). Here the goal is not the pair the chocolate with other ingredients, but to highlight the natural flavors of the chosen cacao. With few additional ingredients, every cacao terroir has the chance to be appreciated for its unique tasting notes. For this purpose, chocolate makers craft chocolate bars to be savored.
Many chocolatiers are now turning into chocolate makers too, to be fully in control of their raw material and make sure to source ethical and flavorful cacao. At the same time, many chocolate makers are turning chocolatiers to take their bean-to-bar chocolate a step further and offer their loyal customers also bonbons, truffle, pralines and other treats made with that same single-origin chocolate.
Both are two different forms of art that are highly appreciate by chocolate lovers.