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Food Science Technology Major

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Food Science Technology

1,418 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
497 Master's Degrees Annually
#145 in Popularity
$72,570 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Food Science Technology Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,418
Master’s Degree 497
Doctor’s Degree 147
Basic Certificate 123
Associate’s Degree 37
Undergraduate Certificate 21
Graduate Certificate 19

What Food Science Technology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, food science tech majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Food Science Tech Majors

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

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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills for Food Science Tech Majors

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

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  • 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.

Abilities for Food Science Tech Majors

Food Science Tech majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • 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 Science Technology Major?

People with a food science tech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Agricultural Sciences Professors 7.9% $84,640
Agricultural Technicians 6.2% $40,860
Food Science Technicians 6.2% $40,860
Food Scientists and Technologists 5.9% $65,300

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science Technology?

1,418 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
69% Percent Women
28% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,418 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science technology in 2018, making it rank #145 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 69% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Food Science Tech Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 152
Black or African American 74
Hispanic or Latino 119
White 814
International Students 177
Other Races/Ethnicities 82

Geographic Diversity

Food Science Tech appeals to people across the globe. About 12.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia

How Much Do Food Science Technology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of food science technology students with a bachelor’s degree is $40,300 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $36,900 (25th percentile) and $45,450 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in food science tech, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Food Science Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $44,170 to $90,890 (25th to 75th percentile). 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, 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 Science Technology Major  ( 44170 to 90890 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with food science tech 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 science tech have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 9.1%
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) 3.5%
Some College Courses 1.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.3%
Master’s Degree 20.4%
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. 4.4%
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. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 14.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.1%

Online Food Science Technology Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 90 schools offered some type of food science technology program. 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) 17 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 5 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 12 1
Bachelor’s Degree 7 2
Post-Baccalaureate 17 1
Master’s Degree 44 5
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 35 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Food Science Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a food science tech grad is $72,570 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 82% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $653,400 after 20 years!

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

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
Agricultural Mechanization 1,449
Animal Services 1,166
Agricultural Public Services 725
Other Agriculture 530
Soil Sciences 434
Food Processing 226
International Agriculture 131

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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