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Food Processing

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Food Processing Major

149 yearly degrees
#328 in popularity
$51,000 median salary

Food processing is a major that typically falls into the Agriculture category.

There are 13 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in food processing, 7 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 1 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 1 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Food Processing Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food processing in 2017. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 45.2% of the graduates are women, and 54.8% are men.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 2.9%
  • Black or African American: 1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 5.8%
  • White: 85.6%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.9%
  • Other Races: 1.9%
Food Processing Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in food processing. About 2.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending food processing majors to the U.S. are China, India and Serbia.

What Will You Learn as a Food Processing Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to food processing to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Food Processing Majors

Food processing majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Food Processing Majors

Skills for Food Processing Majors

A major in food processing prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Food Processing Majors

Abilities for Food Processing Majors

As a food processing major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for food processing Majors

What Can You Do With a Food Processing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with food processing:

Careers Related to Food Processing
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

First-Line Supervisors of Agricultural Crop and Horticultural Workers



Agricultural Sciences Professors



Agricultural Inspectors



Food Processing Major Salary

Average salaries range from $46,000 to $91,000 for careers related to food processing. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Food Processing Major  ( 46000 to 91000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Food Processing Major Jobs

Some careers associated with food processing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for food processing careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Food Processing
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Food Processing Programs

There are 7 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in food processing, with 1 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Food Processing Major Worth It?

The median salary for a food processing grad is $51,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 31% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $237,800 after 20 years!

food processing salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
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