Food Scientist and Technologist Careers

food-scientist-500Food Scientists and Technologists are present at every step of the way in the food industry from the farming of food to the packaging of the final product. A wide range of knowledge across the many fields of science aid professionals in the formulation of food products and in regulating the safety of the food supply in the United States.

As every part of the food industry needs specialists to ensure the quality and flavor of its product, a Food Scientist or Technologist may find work in the private sector as well as the public one. Some well-known occupations within the overall industry include Director of Quality Assurance, Food Toxicologist, Flavor Chemist, Food Product Consultant, Food Ingredient Sales, and FDA/USDA Research Scientist. Self employment is fairly uncommon in the profession making up only 14 percent of the industry.

Food Scientist and Technologist Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a food scientists and technologist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the mean yearly salary for food scientists and technologists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 19% have a Master’s degree.

Food Scientist and Technologist Education

Nutrition, calculus, communication oriented classes, data analysis, food engineering, food chemistry and analysis, and food processing operations are just a few of the courses that would be of help for the Food Science and Technology student. Higher level job positions such as doing research with the FDA or the USDA may require a Ph.D. or a masters while lower level positions may only require a bachelors degree.

Food Scientist and Technologist Job Duties

Depending on what subset of the Food Science and Technology field a student decides to pursue, duties typically include conducting research on the latest nutritional findings and applying that information to the tasks at hand. Such tasks usually include chemical and quality analysis of foods for the purposes of creating, labeling, processing, packaging, preservation, distribution, and determining the safety of food products before these products are released for public consumption.

Food Scientist and Technologist Salaries

The wages for Food Scientists and Technologists tend to range between $54,417 to $82,725 per year according to the May 2015 reports. These wages depend on the specific occupation chosen, the job level, knowledge and years in the field, and on what type of college degree the student has earned.

Food Scientist and Technologist Job Outlook

As the needs of the food industry — and the nation’s population — expand, the demand for Food Scientists and Technologists is growing by the year. According to, Food Scientist and Technologist Careers are projected to experience a growth of 3 percent between the years 2015 and 2024.

Food Scientist and Technologist Skills & Traits

Food Scientist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Food Scientists:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Reading Comprehension
• Writing
• Active Learning
• Critical Thinking
• Inductive Reasoning
• Oral Comprehension
• Problem Sensitivity
• Written Comprehension
• Category Flexibility
• Crushing machinery
• Filling machinery
• Laboratory heat exchange condensers
• Laboratory mechanical convection ovens
• Spectrofluorimeters
• Communicating with Others
• Evaluating Information
• Getting Information
• Making Decisions
• Analyzing Data

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