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Food Scientist or Technologist

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What is a Food Scientist or Technologist?

Food Scientist or Technologist Example Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

Food Scientist or Technologist Responsibilities

  • Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
  • Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
  • Stay up to date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management.
  • Demonstrate products to clients.
  • Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.

Food Scientist or Technologist Needed Skills

Food Scientists and Technologists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Food Scientist or Technologist

  • Professor of Food Biochemistry
  • Laboratory Manager (Lab Manager)
  • Food and Drug Research Scientist
  • Hybrid Technologist
  • Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector)

Job Outlook for Food Scientists and Technologists

In the United States, there were 17,000 jobs for Food Scientist or Technologist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,000 new jobs for Food Scientist or Technologist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,800 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Food Scientist or Technologist are Utah, Colorado, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Vermont, or South Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Food Scientist or Technologist

The typical yearly salary for Food Scientists and Technologists is somewhere between $39,510 and $118,630.

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Food Scientists and Technologists who work in District of Columbia, Illinois, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Food Scientists and Technologists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $54,340
Arizona $65,100
Arkansas $84,580
California $72,580
Colorado $68,520
Connecticut $81,290
District of Columbia $97,570
Florida $76,740
Georgia $65,500
Idaho $67,600
Illinois $89,700
Indiana $72,760
Iowa $67,360
Kansas $76,380
Kentucky $58,260
Maine $52,000
Maryland $87,530
Massachusetts $87,700
Michigan $59,610
Minnesota $80,320
Missouri $65,190
Nebraska $72,100
New Jersey $78,560
New York $61,630
North Carolina $58,430
Ohio $78,950
Oklahoma $54,720
Oregon $65,750
Pennsylvania $76,670
Rhode Island $73,400
South Dakota $56,150
Tennessee $60,330
Texas $67,500
Utah $59,890
Vermont $86,360
Virginia $67,950
Washington $62,830
Wisconsin $63,140

What Tools & Technology do Food Scientists and Technologists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Food Scientists and Technologists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • SAP
  • Insightful S-PLUS
  • STATISTICA
  • Image analysis software

How do I Become a Food Scientist or Technologist?

Education needed to be a Food Scientist or Technologist:

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What work experience do I need to become a Food Scientist or Technologist?

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Who Employs Food Scientists and Technologists?

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Below are examples of industries where Food Scientists and Technologists work:

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Those interested in being a Food Scientist or Technologist may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Food Scientist or Technologist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: W.carter via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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