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Food Science Technology Major

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Food Science Technology

1,363 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
533 Master's Degrees Annually
#149 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 1,363
Master’s Degree 533
Doctor’s Degree 160
Basic Certificate 108
Associate’s Degree 44
Graduate Certificate 11
Undergraduate Certificate 3

What Food Science Technology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to food science tech 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 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

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

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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

As you progress with your food science tech 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.
  • 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?

1,363 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
69% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,363 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science technology in 2019, making it rank #149 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 129
Black or African American 62
Hispanic or Latino 124
White 753
International Students 225
Other Races/Ethnicities 70

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Food Science Tech. About 16.5% 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

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science tech have a median salary of $40,300 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $36,900 (25th percentile) and $45,450 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to food science tech.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $44,170 to $90,890 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to food science tech. 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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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 careers associated with food science tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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 2018-2019, 107 schools offered a food science tech 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) 28 3
Certificate (1-2 years) 5 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 17 1
Bachelor’s Degree 8 3
Post-Baccalaureate 28 3
Master’s Degree 48 5
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 36 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 8,910
Animal Science 7,814
Horticulture 4,451
General Agriculture 3,551
Agricultural Production 3,536
Plant Sciences 3,278
Agricultural Mechanization 1,537
Animal Services 1,070
Agricultural Public Services 774
Other Agriculture 551
Soil Sciences 434
Food Processing 244
International Agriculture 141

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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