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Food Scientists and Technologists

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What You Need to Know About Food Scientists and Technologists

Job Description & Duties 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

  • Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing, and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
  • Demonstrate products to clients.
  • Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
  • Seek substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites.
  • Develop new food items for production, based on consumer feedback.

Food Scientist or Technologist Needed Skills

When polled, Food Scientists and Technologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

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.

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.

  • Microbiologist
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Coordinator (HACCP Coordinator)
  • Swine Nutritionist
  • Technical Director
  • Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector)

Food Scientist or Technologist Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 17,000 jobs in the United States for Food Scientists and Technologists.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,000 new jobs for Food Scientists and Technologists by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,800 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Food Scientists and Technologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Food Scientists and Technologists are California, New Jersey, and New York.

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.

Salary for Food Scientists and Technologists

Food Scientists and Technologists Make between $39,510 and $118,630 a year. The median salary is $65,300.

Salary Ranges for Food Scientists and Technologists

How much do Food Scientists and Technologists make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$97,570

Illinois

$89,700

Massachusetts

$87,700

Maryland

$87,530

Vermont

$86,360

Arkansas

$84,580

Connecticut

$81,290

Minnesota

$80,320

Ohio

$78,950

New Jersey

$78,560

Florida

$76,740

Pennsylvania

$76,670

Kansas

$76,380

Rhode Island

$73,400

Indiana

$72,760

California

$72,580

Nebraska

$72,100

Colorado

$68,520

Virginia

$67,950

Idaho

$67,600

Texas

$67,500

Iowa

$67,360

Oregon

$65,750

Georgia

$65,500

Missouri

$65,190

Arizona

$65,100

Wisconsin

$63,140

Washington

$62,830

New York

$61,630

Tennessee

$60,330

Utah

$59,890

Michigan

$59,610

North Carolina

$58,430

Kentucky

$58,260

South Dakota

$56,150

Oklahoma

$54,720

Alabama

$54,340

Maine

$52,000

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 Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Who Employs Food Scientists and Technologists?

Food Scientist or Technologist Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

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

  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Materials Engineers
  • Geneticists

Are you already one of the many Food Scientists and Technologists in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Soil and Plant Scientists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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