Skip navigation

Food Scientists & Technologists

Also called: Food Technologist, Food Scientist, Quality Assurance Manager (QA Manager), Professor

What 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.
On the job, you would:
  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards.
  • Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.

Knowledge

Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
  • food production
Math and Science
  • chemistry
  • biology
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Verbal
  • listen and understand what people say
  • read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • notice when problems happen
Math
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Dependability
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Cooperation
  • Achievement/Effort

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • BioDiscovery ImaGene
  • Insightful S-PLUS
Data base user interface and query software
  • PathogenTracker
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA National Nutrient Database
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel

Education

Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree or
master's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Training Find Certifications

Job Outlook

Average Outlook
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
Salary
$59,630
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about food scientists and technologists.