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Food Scientists & Technologists

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

Where in the Army? In the Army: Food Safety Officer

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.


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


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


  • 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
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


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


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

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
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per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about food scientists and technologists.