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Food Processing Major

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Food Processing

104 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
0 Master's Degrees Annually
#275 in Popularity
$50,790 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Food Processing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many food processing graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 104
Associate’s Degree 45
Undergraduate Certificate 39
Basic Certificate 38

What Food Processing Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to food processing were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Food Processing Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for Food Processing Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to food processing:

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  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Food Processing Majors

As you progress with your food processing degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Food Processing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with food processing:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Inspectors 4.5% $44,140
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers 2.1% $46,960

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Processing?

104 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
45% Percent Women
12% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 104 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food processing in 2018, making it rank #275 in popularity. Roughly 45% of the graduates are women, and 55% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of food processing majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Food Processing Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 3
Black or African American 1
Hispanic or Latino 6
White 89
International Students 3
Other Races/Ethnicities 2

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Food Processing. About 2.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Serbia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia

How Much Do Food Processing Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that food processing students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $54,250 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $49,175 (25th percentile) and $59,325 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to food processing.

Salaries According to BLS

Food Processing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $45,970 to $90,890 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Food Processing Major  ( 45970 to 90890 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with food processing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to food processing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 34.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 6.5%
Some College Courses 11.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 8.8%
Master’s Degree 3.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.7%
Doctoral Degree 15.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.3%

Online Food Processing Programs

In 2017-2018, 28 schools offered a food processing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 10 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 6 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 13 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 10 1
Master’s Degree 1 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Food Processing Worth It?

The median salary for a food processing grad is $50,790 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 27% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $217,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to food processing.

Major Number of Grads
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,521
Animal Science 7,549
Horticulture 4,175
General Agriculture 3,457
Plant Sciences 3,327
Agricultural Production 3,279
Food Science Technology 2,262
Agricultural Mechanization 1,449
Animal Services 1,166
Agricultural Public Services 725
Other Agriculture 530
Soil Sciences 434
International Agriculture 131

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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