Food Scientists and Technologists

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What do they do?

Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

Also known as:

Associate Professor, Compliance Coordinator, Confectionery Laboratory Manager, Food and Drug Research Scientist, Food Chemist, Food Safety Director, Food Science Professor, Food Scientist, Food Technologist, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Coordinator (HACCP Coordinator), Laboratory Manager (Lab Manager), Product Development Manager, Product Development Scientist, Professor, Professor of Food Biochemistry, Quality Assurance Director (QA Director), Quality Assurance Manager (QA Manager), Quality Control Inspector (QC Inspector), Research and Development Director (R & D Director), Research and Development Manager (R & D Manager), Research Chef, Research Food Technologist, Research Scientist, Seafood Technology Specialist, Technical Director

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Food Scientists and Technologists in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Food Scientists and Technologists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For All United States:

  • 5.4%

    Percent Change

    Select a state to see its job growth rate ranking
  • 1,800

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Select a state to see its net job growth ranking

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Food Scientists and Technologists:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, All, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (17.3%)
  • Master's degree (28.2%)
  • Bachelor's degree (54.5%)
  • Associate's degree (0%)
  • Some college, no degree (0%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (0%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0%)

Percent of workers in this field

★ You’re seeing education information for Food scientists and technologists(1) because we don’t have information for Food Scientists and Technologists. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • 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.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Evaluate quality of materials or products.
  • Inspect areas for compliance with sanitation standards.
  • Evaluate new technologies or methods.
  • Research methods to improve food products.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Test quality of materials or finished products.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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