Food Technologists

Food technologists, sometimes known as food scientists and food and flavor chemists, study the physical, chemical, and biological composition of food. They develop methods for safely processing, preserving, and packaging food and search for ways to improve its flavor and nutritional value. They also conduct tests to ensure that products, from fresh produce to packaged meals, meet industry and government standards. Approximately 14,660 food technologists are employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Food and Flavor Chemists, Food Scientists
Duties Study the physical, chemical, and biological composition of food and beverages; develop methods to improve the quality and shelf life of food and beverages
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas or near government food research facilities
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Family and Consumer Science
Experience Internship or related experience with chemistry and food science
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
Skills
  • Information Management
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Research Manager, or Food-Marketing Specialist, or Plant Director
  • Food Technologist
  • Assistant, or Junior Chemist, or Assistant Production Manager