Food Scientists and Technologists
SOC: 19-1012.00

Description:

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
15,400 employed

Projected (2024):
16,000 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Associate Professor
  • Compliance Coordinator
  • Confectionery Laboratory Manager
  • Dairy Bacteriologist
  • Enologist
  • Food and Drug Research Scientist
  • Food Chemist
  • Food Preservation Scientist
  • Food Processing Scientist
  • Food Safety Director
  • Food Safety Scientist
  • Food Science Professor
  • Food Scientist
  • Food Technologist
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Coordinator (HACCP Coordinator)
  • Hybrid Corn Breeder
  • Hybrid Technologist
  • Laboratory Manager (Lab Manager)
  • Laboratory Technician (Lab Technician)
  • Microbiologist
  • Process Engineer
  • 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)
  • Quality Control Scientist (QC Scientist)
  • Research and Development Director (R & D Director)
  • Research and Development Manager (R & D Manager)
  • Research Chef
  • Research Food Technologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Seafood Technology Specialist
  • Swine Nutritionist
  • Technical Director
  • Value Analysis Coordinator


  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Test new products for flavor, texture, color, nutritional content, and adherence to government and industry standards.
  • Check raw ingredients for maturity or stability for processing and finished products for safety, quality, and nutritional value.
  • Confer with process engineers, plant operators, flavor experts, and packaging and marketing specialists to resolve problems in product development.
  • Evaluate food processing and storage operations and assist in the development of quality assurance programs for such operations.
  • Study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value, and convenience.
  • Study the structure and composition of food or the changes foods undergo in storage and processing.
  • Develop new or improved ways of preserving, processing, packaging, storing, and delivering foods, using knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences.
  • Develop food standards and production specifications, safety and sanitary regulations, and waste management and water supply specifications.
  • Demonstrate products to clients.
  • Inspect food processing areas to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards.
  • Search for substitutes for harmful or undesirable additives, such as nitrites.
  • Develop new food items for production, based on consumer feedback.
  • Stay up-to-date on new regulations and current events regarding food science by reviewing scientific literature.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air sampling systems
  • Amino acid analyzers
  • Amylographs
  • Anaerobic growth chambers
  • Analytical balances
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
  • Automatic diluters
  • Autosamplers
  • Bacterial identification systems
  • Batch fryers
  • Benchtop nephelometers
  • Biological safety cabinets
  • Bioreactors
  • Blast freezers
  • Carbon dioxide CO2 laboratory incubators
  • Color difference meters
  • Colorimeters
  • Commercial microwave ovens
  • Computerized calorimeters
  • Conductivity meters
  • Coulter counters
  • Darkfield microscopes
  • Dehydration equipment
  • Dejuicers
  • Desktop computers
  • Differential refractometers
  • Digital oscilloscopes
  • Drum dryers
  • Dynamic light scattering equipment
  • Dynamic mechanical analyzers DMA
  • Electronic laboratory balances
  • Emulsifiers
  • Epifluorescence microscopes
  • Extractors
  • Fermenting tanks
  • Food choppers
  • Food crushers
  • Food dehydrators
  • Food mixers
  • Food slicers
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
  • Fraction collectors
  • Freeze drying equipment
  • Fruit presses
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gel electrophoresis equipment
  • Glucose analyzers
  • Griddles
  • Grills
  • Heat exchangers
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • High speed refrigerated centrifuges
  • Homogenizers
  • Ice cream freezers
  • Induction cooktops
  • Infrared IR spectrometers
  • Ion chromatographs
  • Jet cooking systems
  • Laboratory lasers
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens
  • Laboratory mills
  • Laboratory ovens
  • Laboratory water baths
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser colony counters
  • Macro kjeldahls
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Meat grinders
  • Meat saws
  • Melting point apparatus
  • Membrane filtration systems
  • Micro kjeldahls
  • Microbial monitoring systems
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Muffle furnaces
  • Nitrogen analyzers
  • Orbital shaking water baths
  • Oxygen analyzers
  • Personal computers
  • pH indicators
  • Phase contrast microscopes
  • Piston filling machines
  • Plate heat exchangers
  • Programmable incubators
  • Pulper finishers
  • Pulsifiers
  • Ranges
  • Reflectance spectrometers
  • Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges
  • Retort sterilization equipment
  • Rheometers
  • Roasting equipment
  • Rotary evaporators
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Scanning plate readers
  • Specific gravity fat analyzers
  • Spectrofluorimeters
  • Spiral platers
  • Steam autoclaves
  • Steam blanchers
  • Steam kettles
  • Stomachers
  • Strain testers
  • Stuffers
  • Thermal cyclers
  • Thermal gravimetric analyzers
  • Thermal processing equipment
  • Torsion gelometers
  • Tubular heat exchangers
  • Ultraviolet UV spectrometers
  • Vacuum packagers
  • Viscometers
  • Water activity meters
  • X ray crystallography equipment
  • BioDiscovery ImaGene
  • Image analysis software
  • Insightful S-PLUS
  • MDS Analytical Technologies GenePix Pro
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Oracle software
  • PathogenTracker
  • SAP software
  • Sensory Computer Systems SIMS
  • StatSoft STATISTICA software
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA National Nutrient Database


  • life physical and social science


    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220